Metcalf High School “Mohawks”

Metcalf High School
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Metcalf School Memorial
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Metcalf, Illinois

The History of Metcalf High School

Metcalf (population 182) is located in eastern Illinois in north-central Edgar County.  Metcalf is about 25 miles southwest of Danville and 35 miles southeast of Champaign. U.S. Route 36 runs just south of Metcalf and is connected to it via County Road 6.  Metcalf was probably established as a railroad town in its early history as the Baltimore & Ohio and Norfolk & Western Railroads intersect in town. According to MapQuest ( Metcalf is 7 blocks long to the north and south and 3 blocks wide to the east and west.

Metcalf was platted in 1874 by John Metcalfe. It was officially incorporated as a village in 1885, then known as Metcalfe Station. Two railroad lines eventually crossed in town providing for rapid growth and industry. It was thought at one time there were 60 people employed by the railroad lines who resided in the village of Metcalf. By 1894 the village’s name became simply Metcalf, dropping the ‘e’ and the word “Station.” Businesses were bustling in this self-sustaining community. The population reached a high of 509 in 1920.

Metcalf residents began a school system for their children almost immediately after the town was platted. High school courses were likely begun in the late 1800s, probably in the 1890s. A new school building was erected in 1908. A new high school building was erected in 1921. The 1921 Metcalf High School building served the community until 1949 serving only as Metcalf High School. The building then continued to serve as Young America High School until 1968.

In 1949 the area was effected by the consolidation effort which was pushed throughout the state.  This effort resulted in the closing of all of the country schools in the area and the students being bused to Metcalf for school.  Nearby Hume High School also closed and joined the consolidation effort.  Metcalf High School was then formally renamed Metcalf Young America High School as the township in which Metcalf sits is known as Young America Township.

Helen Rhode McNeese (Class of 1947) sent us this information about Metcalf High School:

“Construction of the Metcalf High School building began in 1921 and was opened for use in 1922.  The last graduating class of Metcalf High School was the Class of 1949, due to a consoidation with Hume, Illinois. In the fall of 1949 the school name was changed to Young America High School.  The Class of 1968 was the last class to graduate from Young America High School.  Yet another Consolidation took place and a new K-12 facility was built near Hume, joining the towns of Metcalf, Hume, Brocton, and Redmon.

In 1969 the Metcalf building was purchased and used as a Shelter Care.  The Shelter Care was discontinued in 1979.  Then, in April of 1980, the building was destroyed by fire.

The sun dial that had been in the lawn of the high school since it began, was purchased by the Class of 1932 and moved to Metcalf Park.  The cornerstones from the Metcalf Grade School and the old High School were placed in Metcalf Park as well.”


Metcalf High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                                                   late 1800s

Year brick building built:                                 1921

Year consolidated to “Young America” HS:    1949

Year Young America closed:                           1968

Fate of Metcalf School building:                    razed – 1981

Metcalf HS team nickname:                           the “Mohawks”

School colors:                                                Maroon & Silver (possibly Red & White)

School Fight Song:                                        “On Metcalf High School”

                                                                                             Sung to “On Wisconsin”

                                       On Metcalf High School,

                                       On Metcalf High School,

                                       Hold your banner high!

                                       Throw the ball into the basket

                                       If you can please try!

                                       Rah   Rah   Rah!!

                                       On Metcalf High School

                                       On Metcalf High School

                                       Fight on for her Fame

                                       Fight fellows, FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

                                       We’ll win this game!!

Second Fight Song Sung to the Notre Dame University Fight Song Tune:

                                      Cheer, Cheer for Old Metcalf High,

                                      Sing ye her praises, up to the sky.

                                      All her friends come gather round,

                                      Give her a cheer that will shake the ground!

                                      Old Metcalf High has need of us all,

                                      Come show your love and answer the call!

                                      While her loyal sons go marching

                                      Onward to victory!!

Metcalf Basketball Team 1947-48
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Metcalf High School definitely offered boys basketball.  It is quite probable that baseball and track were offered as well.  We are looking for the original Metcalf High School team nickname, school colors, fight song, and conference affiliation.  Photos of the original high school building and great teams are welcome as well.

About the Metcalf Colors:

Helen Rhode McNeese and Harold Stone gave us this story about the Metcalf High School team colors:

“Metcalf School colors were “Red and White” in the later years of Metcalf High School they bought new uniforms and the company made a mistake and sent them Maroon and Silver. They were beautiful and the school decided to just keep them BUT Metcalf HS colors were really “Red and White”.

Metcalf HS Basketball 1939-40
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Metcalf Basketball Team – 1940s
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Boys Basketball

The boys of 1923-24 brought home Metcalf High’s only IHSA hardware.  The boys won a District title that year.  Unfortunately the coach’s name and team record of this and other great Metcalf High School teams are not available.

1923-24        District Champions     Coach’s name & record needed.

District Scores Needed.

Decatur Sectional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Waverly 27-18

WAVERLY (27): J. Ashbaugh 15, Newberry 6, Hall 6.

METCALF (18): Baugh 8, Canter 8, Taylor 2.

Athens beat Morrisonville in the title game.

Athens lost to Elgin in State Championship game.

Metcalf HS Faculty and Student Body 1939-40
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Metcalf HS Orchestra 1939-40
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Metcalf High School fans loved their sports but believed in a well-rounded program as well.  Orchestra and choir were also offered at the school.


Town Landmark

One land mark in Metcalf is the now closed grain elevator near the railroad tracks.  Its unique color makes it special in the realm of grain elevators in the United States.  Check it out on the following web address:

Scroll about half way down the page….good site and good reading too!

Need Your Assistance

If you have any of the requested information on Meetcalf or its school please write to us at  You can also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.  60631

Metcalf HS Freshman Class 1939-40
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Metcalf Veteran’s Memorial
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