Martinton High School

Martinton Water Tower
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The History of Martinton High School

Martinton (population 375) is located in upper-eastern Illinois, some might even say lower northeastern Illinois.  Martinton sits in the northeastern portion of Iroquois County.  The town is situated about 15 miles southeast of Kankakee.  County Road 2100 E runs by the west side of town and connects it to U.S. Route 52 about 1 1/2 miles to the south.  The Union Pacific Railroad passes through the east side of town.

A brief history of the town of Martinton reveals that the town was established in 1871 by a man named Peter Martin. A post office was established there in 1873, and the Chicago, Danville, & Vincennes Railroad laid tracks through the area helping to spur on its early growth.

The following information regarding the history of Martinton High School and the school system in general was located at the web address of

“The first public school was erected in 1875, with an enrollment of 74 students from the village and surrounding areas. Later years out lying schools were built: Liberty, College Corner, Old Burg, Pittwood, Jarvis, Weygandt, Pleasant Valley, and Schoon. A two-story building was constructed in 1896 and the first teacher was V. A. HathawayIn 1911 a brick school, costing $12,000 was built. It consisted of eight grades and two years of high school. Later the same building housed a three-year high school. In 1948, consolidation was voted on to create Community School District #3. Classes continued in Martinton until the fall of 1967. The new elementary school was built three miles west of Donovan. It now serves Beaverville, Beaver, Concord, and Martinton Townships. All high school students of these townships go to Donovan High School.”

The following information was supplied to us by Mark Stuckey:

“The village of Martinton was established in 1875. I am not certain what the last year for Martinton High was, but Martinton grade school was closed in 1967. At that point it was 1st through 6th grade. Then in 1968, the newly formed school district opened it’s new building in rural Donovan for K-6 grade. Prior to 1967, Martinton grade school was a 1st through 8th grade school. In 1966, the 7th and 8th grade classes began the consolidation with Donovan, Beaverville, and Iroquois. When the Martinton school building was closed, the Martinton Lions club purchased or was given the building. They tried to keep it open for their meetings and also as a community center. It became to costly to maintain and was torn down around the late 1970’s.”

The former school grounds were located on the northwest side of town, just west of the Martinton baseball diamond and park. A playground now inhabits the space.

Martinton High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                           1911

Year closed:                            1948

Consolidated to:                       Donovan School District

Martinton HS team nickname:   the “Elks”

Martinton HS team colors:        Purple & Gold

School Fight Song:                   unavailable


The Elks of Martinton High School surely competed in basketball.  Possibly baseball and track as well.  Though no IHSA hardware was won ( we understand there were some very competitive teams to come out of the school. We are in need of the Martinton High School school fight song, team records, coach’s names, and any other items of interest regarding the Martinton HIgh School Elks.

Boys Basketball

Some scores involving Martinton High School in the annual IHSA State Tourney were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” These scores have been added below.

1933-34                 Kankakee District Tournament           Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Bradley 36-11

Bradley lost to Momence in 2nd Rd

1934-35                 St. Anne District Tournament             Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Sheldon 36-15

Sheldon lost to St. Anne in title game

1935-36                 Bradley District Tournament               Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Bradley 53-15

Bradley beat Grant Park in title game

1937-38                 Martinton District Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

Early Rd Scores Needed

Thawville beat Donavon in title game

1944-45                 Crescent City District Tournament     Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Chebanse 81-55

Title Game: Sheldon beat Chebanse

*No other scores are listed on the “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores” website.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Sports are fun to remember, but it was not the only offering that made the Martinton HS experience a good one.  If you were a part of any clubs, plays, dances, or other extra-curricular activities at Martinton High School please share your experience with us.  Remeber, you don’t have to be an alumnus to share items with the Glory Days site.  If you have access to ANY information you would like to see added please drop us a line.

To Contact Us

Write to us via e-mail at You can send items to us through the good old-fashioned postal service at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.    60631

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