Mansfield High School “Cardinals”

Mansfield High School Building – 2008
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Photo Taken by Kev Varney

The History of Mansfield High School

Mansfield (population 949) is located in eastern Illinois in far northern Piatt County. The town is located on U.S. Route 150 about 11 miles northwest of Champaign. Interstate Highway 74 passes just north of Mansfield as well. Lake Mansfield and the Madden Creek lay to the north of town as well. The Conrail Railroad parallels US Route 150 while the Norfolk & Western Railroad intersects with the Conrail and runs north and south though town. Mansfield was established in 1870 and named after a town of the same name in Ohio. Mansfield was officially recognized as a town in 1876.

The following history information regarding Mansfield High School was provided to us by Patricia (Shores) Amdor (MHS Class of 1963):

“The first high school courses at Mansfield were offered in the late 1880s and were held in a frame school building on the north side of town. The first graduating class from Mansfield High School was the class of 1890 with 3 students earning their diplomas. In 1894 a new brick school building was erected which housed both the grade school and high school. In 1920 an addition was made to the brick school building to provide room for the growing enrollment. In 1921 Mansfield Community High School District was officially organized. Originally, all the students who graduated from the one-room country grade schools came into Mansfield for high school.  Later, when all the one room schools closed, that building became the grade school. A new brick high school building (pictured above) was erected in the late 1930s with the class of 1940 (with 22 students) becoming the first group to graduate from this building.”

Mansfield High School served the community and surrounding farm children from approximately 1887 through 1971. It was in December of 1970 that the residents of Mansfield and Farmer City agreed to consolidate their school districts. The vote was an overwhelming in favor of consolidation. The vote totals of each area of the district follows:

Mansfield:  144 for / 82 against.

Mansfield Rural:  118 for / 48 against.

Farmer City:  292 for / 148 against.

It was in July of 1971 that the consolidation of the two school districts became official. Students of both schools later agreed the name of the new school district would be Farmer City-Mansfield. The high school for the new district was located in Farmer City. The Mansfield High School building was used as the FC-M Junior High School. Farmer City-Mansfield was joined by Bellflower High School in 1985. The name of the school district was changed to the Blue Ridge School District.. The Mansfield HS building today serves as Blue Ridge Junior High.

Mansfield High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                  late 1800’s

Year closed:                   1971

Consolidated to:              Farmer City-Mansfield High School

Mansfield HS nickname:  the “Cardinals”

School colors:                 Red & White

School Fight Song:         “Mansfield Loyalty”


                                     We’re loyal to you, Mansfield High,

                                     We’re red and we’re white, Mansfield High,

                                     We’ll back you to stand,

                                     ‘gainst the best in the land,

                                     For we know that you can, Mansfield High!!

                                     So go down that (court / field), Mansfield High

                                     And bring up the score, Mansfield High.

                                     Our team is the greatest team,

                                     So come on and let’s all scream

                                     For we want a victory Mansfield High!!

        **Special thanks to DONNA (WOLF) ROBERTS for providing the fight song!

Mansfield Football Field
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Mansfield High School definitely competed in the boys’ sport of basketball.  Football was also offered, as it is also probable that the sports of baseball and track were also offered. The Mansfield High School Cardinals competed in the Sangamon Valley Conference beginning with the 1958 school year. Many items are missing from the history of Mansfield High School athletics. If you have any of this information, please contact us via e-mail.


The Mansfield High School boys basketball program won three District titles. The first was in 1926 (!  This leaves Mansfield High with a long history of great teams and great athletes. Team records and coaches’ names of these many great teams are not available.

1925-26             Decatur District Champions

                          Piatt Co. Tourney Champions

Decatur District Tournament Scores

Semi-Final Beat Atwood 21-11

Title Game Beat Decatur 27-11

Pana Sectional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Casey 24-15

1946-47              Longview District Champions

1st Rd Beat Longview 43-33

Semi-Final Beat Tolono 50-41

Title Game Beat Philo 48-35

Champaign Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Monticello 61-45

Champaign beat Urbana in title game

1957-58              Deland District Champions                           Coach Paul Seaman

Semi-Final Beat Ellsworth 76-37

Title Game Beat Deland-Weldon 77-44

Urbana Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Monticello 47-45 (2 O/T’s)


Coach Paul Seaman started the Mansfield Cardinals football program in the fall of 1956.  By 1959 he had the program in top condition, co-champions of the Sangamon Valley Conference. Read more of Caoch Seaman’s memories below.

1956-57    1 – 8                                                         Coach Paul Seaman

1957-58                                                                   Coach Paul Seaman

1958-59                                                                   Coach Paul Seaman

1959-60    6-1-1   SVC Runner-Up                           Coach Paul Seaman


**From Coach Paul Seaman:

“I was basketball and track coach at Mansfield High starting the year 1953. My first basketball team was made up of: Bill Backert, Don McGee, Larry Houser, Gene Gillispie, and Bob Hardy. They were all seniors that season with maybe the exception of Bob. The 54-55 team was made up of John Houser, George Howe, Sam Beazly, Dean Curry, Dwight Rosenberry, and others. Then I spent the 1955-56 season coaching at Taylorville High School.

In the spring of l956 C. J. Little, the then principal, met me at the reginal tournament at Decatur Kinter Gym and told me that the Mansfield High School board wished for me to come back and start a football program, and I accepted the offer.

In the fall of 56 I started the football program. The team was made up of these players that I can remember: Lloyd Jones, Dave Jones, Don Wack, Dave Fisher, Barry Nixon, Billy Joe Decker, Fred Amdor, Steve Amdor, Larry Collins, Jack Holderer, Bobby Plunk, George Howe, Dennis Zech, Steve Van Gorder, Brenton Beazly, Dave Truitt, Jack Holderer, Bobby Crook, Bob Wolf, Steve Gilbert, David Eagan, Dick Manuel, and Kenny Canny.   These are names and people that my 85 year old memory has retained. These young men had never played football and had to start from scratch. That first year we won one game, we beat Fisher, but each year we got progressively better and in the 1959 season we were Sangamon Valley Co-champs with Mahomet.  We went 8 wins against one loss.

The 1958-1959 basketball team was outstanding. We won the District championship, and took second to Arcola in the Monticello Holiday tournament. We lost in overtime to Monticello in the regional tournament at Urbana.The members of that team were: Barry Nixon, Lloyd Jones, Dave Truitt, Brenton Beazly, Dennis Zech, Steve Van Gorder, Bobby Crook, and Dick Manuel.

My last year coaching at Mansfield was the 1959-60 season. During that time of l953-1960 the board of education was made up of such fine people as Clayton Howe, Bobby Plunk, Williard Curry, Clark Dixon, C. Leslie James, and Chalmer Cox. It was people like this that made my coaching years at Mansfield leave me with found memories.

I coached in following years at Urbana, and then at Champaign High School and retired after 20 years of coaching from Downers Grove North High School. I hope this information might be of some help, and I apologize to anyone I might have left out.”

If You Have ANY Information To Share

Mansfield High School was a school that was supported many ancestors of Mansfield and the surrounding countryside. There are many great stories to tell and details to share. If you have this information please write to us at . You may also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.    60631

Mansfield High School
Long shot of a building

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Mansfield, Illinois

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