Lena High School “Lions”

Lena High School
A building with trees in front of it

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Lena, Illinois

The History of Lena High School

Lena (population 2,887) is located in far northwestern Illinois on Il. Route 73 two miles north of U.S. Route 20.  A nearby town of note is Freeport located 12 miles southeast of Lena.  This western Stephensen County town has tracks from the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad running through its middle.  A branch of the Waddams Creek enters into the north side of town.

Lena’s school system dates back to the early 1900s, maybe even the late 1800s.  In the late 1950s consolidation talks were initiated with its neighbor to the north, Winslow.  In either 1958 or 1959 this effort became a reality with the creation of the Lena-Winslow School District.

The following information and memeories of the Lena School building were offered to us by former student John Timmeman:

“The building shown in the picture (above) was torn down in the mid l930’s.  A new high school was built by the WPA as high school classes were held in differnt churches in town during its construction.  The grade school classes were held in a church camp grounds on the north edge of town.

The steps on the outside of the building were replaced with a large fire-tube escape.  During noon hour we would use it as a slide.  Bread wrapper papers made of wax served as a seat to make you go faster.  We would fly down the shut, run up the inside stairs and down again.”

The Lena-Winslow High School building and one of the District’s elementary schools are located in Lena.

Lena High School Quick Facts

Year opened:               late 1800s / early 1900s

Year closed:                1958 / 1959

School nickname:        the “Lions”

School colors:             Red & White

School Fight Song:      Sung to the Notre Dame Fight song tune – click “play” below


There is not a lot of information available regarding the Lena High School athletic program. owever information has become available from Lena alumnus John Timmerman (Class of 1943). It is a fact boys basketball was offered. John recalls the boys competed in 12-inch softball in the fall, basketball in the winter, and track in the spring.  We are hopeful others from the area will help us with some stories and records of the great athletic teams of Lena’s past.

Boys Basketball

The Lena High School boys basketball team won two District titles during its existence. According to John Timmerman the boys in fact won a third District Championship in the 1942-43 season.  The ’43 team then went to the Regional where they were pitted against Rockford West, a school MANY times their size, and they were beaten in the first round.  The coach of the Lions from 1939 to 1942 was Carl Miller, who left when called to serve his country in World War II. Coach Faye Parkinson took over as head coach for the 1942-43 campaign. Four team members of the 1943 team are still alive and well.  They include Marvin Uecker and Jack Leamon (both of Lena), Dale Buss of Dakota, and John Timmerman of Dundee.  Coach Parkinson is still alive as well, living in California. The team records and coaches names of other teams are not known.

1942-43       District Champions              Coach Faye Parkinson 

1944-45       District Champions

1949-50       District Champions

Track & Field

The Lena Lions also competed in Track & Field each spring.  Coach of the thinclads for the 1939 through 1943 years was Vernon MacComber, who also still resides in Lena.

Need Your Help

If you have any information regarding the history of Lena High School and its many great accomplishments please write to us and share Lena’s success with others.  We are especially interested in a photo of the old high school building, great teams, and great characters of LHS’ past.  You can e-mail us this information at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net .  You also write at us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.      60631

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