Marine High School “Clippers”

Marine High School Building 1874 – 1966
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Submitted by Shirley Diaber

The History of Marine High School

Marine (population 910) is located in southwestern Illinois about 10 miles east of Edwardsville and 25 miles northeast of East St. Louis.  Marine sits in the east-central portion of Madison County.  Illinois Route 143 is the main roadway to and from Marine.  Other roadways leading to Marine include Madison County roads of Pocahontas Road (from the north) and, of course, Marine Road (from the south).  Route 143 connects Marine to Illinois Route 4, one mile to the west, and Interstate Highway 70, two miles to the southeast.

The history of the town of Marine and its former school system was sent to us by Shirley A. Daiber.  A majority of Shirley’s documentation is rewritten below with her permission.

The Village of Marine Begins

The first settlers of Marine Township were Major Isaac H. Ferguson and John Warwick, brothers-in-law who built their cabins in 1813 in Section 33, about three miles south of the current village of Marine on what is known today as the Marine-St. Jacob Road.

The first efforts to create a town followed the arrival of Rowland P. Allen from the east in 1817. He was looking for a place to settle for himself and several sea-faring friends.  In 1818, he and Elijah Ellison and their families came from New York and settled near the site of the current cemetery.  Thery were joined in 1819 by several other men with sea-faring backgrounds and other New Yorkers.

Losing no time, a town was platted and lots were offered for sale in 1820, “in the town of Madison in the Marine Settlement,” by Curtis Blakeman, George Allen, and several other settlers.  The sale was held on 18 November 1820 but was not a success.  The name “Marine’ was fiven the settlement to reflect that many early pioneers were sea captains so it was in rememberance of their seafaring life.  The Marine Settlement and the place to be called “Madison” were just small groups of cabins.

In 1834, the town was laid out but north of the settlement and given the name Marine–again in rememberance of the early pioneers.  The streets were laid out by George W. Welsh, James Semple, Jordon Jeffries, and Abraham Breath.  It was platted on 10 May 1836, and recorded in the Madison County Courthouse on 14 July 1836 by Abraham Breath and George and Mary Welsh.  It was described as part of Section 16 Town 4 North Range West of the Third Principal Meridian in Madison County, Illinois.  It was incorporated on 08 March 1867, and re-incorporated under general law on 23 April 1888.

School Begins

The following is a summary of Shirley A. Daiber’s account of the history of Marine Schools:

The first classes in the “Marine Settlement” were started in 1814 in the smokehouse of Isaac Ferguson.  There were ten or twelve students and the teacher was Arthur Travis.

Several smaller schools were constructed in the area until a new one-room brick school building was built in the late 1830s.  This school soon became too small and another building was constructed.  This one-room brick building still stands in the town of Marine and is used as a private residence. A new two-room school was built nearby.  It was a frame building which became known as the Marine Academy.  A two-story brick building was completed in 1862 and was known as the “German School”.  This building also survives today and is utilized as apartments in Marine.

The Marine Public School Building

The next school, known as the Marine Public School, was a two-story, six-room building constructed in 1874 on the east side of Duncan Street on the block between Silver Street and South (now Magnolia) Streets.  This school was built by the contractor, F. Oswald, of Alhambra, Illinois, at an initial cost of $10,000.00.  Much of the brick was made in Marine in the brickyard kiln operated by the Tiemans.  A yellow clay brick was used as accent trim for the building and was also manufactured at Marine with the name MARINE, IL so imprinted.  The school was completed in 1875 at a total cost of $13,000.00.

The six-room structure had four rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs.  It housed eight elementary grades and in 1918, was extended to include two years of high school.  In 1924, courses were extended to provide three years of high school.  Due to the extension of classes, there was no graduating class in 1925.  Grades 1 – 8 were located downstairs and high school with a small library was upstairs.  The high school continued for the school year 1950-51.  The students went to Highland High School for the remaining one/two years of high school education.  From the year 1951 through 1956, the building was solely used as a grade school.  The building remained empty after the new Marine Grade School was opened in 1956 and was razed in August of 1966.

Several courses of study were offered at Marine High School.  Essay contests, chorus, band, yearbook “Clipper” staff, Latin Club, Glee Club, and cheerleading were all offered for extra-curricular activities.  The high school curriculum included such sports as volleyball, basketball and track.  The school colors were orange and black.

The school existed through the early 1950s when consolidation talks between the neighboring towns of TroySt. Jacob, and Marine took place.  In 1951 these talks became a reality.  In that year the Triad School District was formed between the three towns.  The high school for the new district landed in Troy.  A grade school, built in 1955, remains in Marine to this day, providing education for children in grades PK – 5.

Marine High School Quick Facts

Year 2-year HS opened:      1918

Year 3-year HS started:       1924

Year closed:                       1951

Consolidated to:                  Triad School District (Troy)

Marine HS team nickname:  “Clippers”?

Marine HS team colors:       Orange & Black

School Fight Song:              unavailable

Turner Hall – Contained the Gymnasium
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Courtesy of Shirley A. Daiber

Marine High School definitely competed in boys basketball.  We believe that the boys may have competed in baseball and track as well.  We are interested in team records, coach’s names, team nickname, uniform colors, and any other information you would like to share regarding Marine High School athletics.

A building in Marine known as Turner Hall was used for classroom space and a gymnasium. Chuck Trent supplied the following information regarding Turner Hall:

.”The Marine Turner Hall Gymnasium was the home of the Marine High School basketball teams and then the grade school’s P.E. & Arts Center after the high school closed. As the name indicates, it was built by the Turner Association which every good German Community had in the 19th century it was located one block south and one block east of the main school. The building had two class rooms at the fro…nt and the basketball court in the center and two or three rows of terraced benches on each side for spectators. A stage was at the west end of the building which hosted school and community plays and variety shows. It was a community center where hobby and craft shows, square dances, Daily Vacation Bible School (1 year) and other events were held. There were also two bowling lanes on the south side of the building but were not used the last several years of the buildings existence which ended in the 1960’s.”

Marine HS vs. Venice HS, January 13, 1928
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Venice Herald Newspaper – Submitted by The Venice Historical Society (Donn Hornberger)

Boys Basketball

We know the school competed in basketball because of mention of the team playing in District Tournaments.  One record of this is found in the 1926 Greenville High School yearbook.  That year Marine lost a first round game to Trenton. Some of the scores involving Marine High School were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” The scores located are listed below.

1921-22 through 1945-46  Postseason scores, records, and coaches’ names needed

1946-47              Roxana District Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Bethalto 65-18

Bethalto lost to Troy in semi-final

Troy lost to Roxana in title game

1947-48              Roxana District Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Venice 66-20

Venice lost to Troy in semi-final

Troy lost to Roxana in title game

1948-49              Venice District Tournament             Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Venice 45-23

Venice lost to Lebanon in title game

1949-50  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1950-51  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

Extra-Curricular Activities

We are certain that education at Marine High School was valued and well-rounded.  School plays, chorus, band, dances, and many other activities filled several nights and weekends for a kid growing up in Marine.  Please contact us if you have this information you might like to share.

Memories and Information About Marine High School

From Donn Hornberger of the Venice Historical Society:

“I’ve discovered that Marine did have sports…basketball and baseball for certain and its all in the Venice Herald newspaper, published by St. Mark’s church in Venice, 1926, 1927 & 1928 and Editor Fa. Brockmeier.

Marine played in what became the Madison-Bond-Clinton Conference against Venice HS, for example. St. Jacob, Marine and Troy were small HS’s in 1920’s with (small) gymnasiums.  I know this because I played basketball in the old Troy gym in the mid-1950’s.  By that time, St. Jacob and Marine HS aged kids were attending Troy HS. These schools did consolidate in the late 1960’s and constructed the new Triad school district at that time. I spent several days sub-teaching at Triad HS right after the unification and new construction.

Above is a 1928 copy of the Venice Herald with an add about the coming basketball game against Marine HS. located in the right column.”

Seeking Your Assistance

If you would like to share information with us regarding Marine and its former High School please complete a School Submission Form or a Guest Commentary Form. You can also e-mail us at or write us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva Ave.

Chicago,  Il.    60631

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