The History of Monmouth Yorkwood High School
Kirkwood (population 794) is located in upper-western Illinois in the east-central portion of Warren County. Towns of note near Kirkwood include Monmouth (seven miles to the northeast) and Galesburg (twenty miles to the northeast). The town is located on U.S. Route 34 at County Roads 160th Avenue and 20th Street. The A,T & SF Railroad runs through Kirkwood, & a branch of the South Henderson Creek flows through Kirkwood’s east side.
Little York (population 269) is located on Il. Route 135 approximately 10 miles north of U.S. Route 34. The nearest town of note is Monmouth which is about 8 miles to the southeast of Little York. The Cedar Creek runs to the north of town and Davids Creek to the south. Little York is located in northwestern Warren County.
Each of these towns at one time supported their own high school. They each have their own pages on this site. You can view these pages by “right clicking” on the town’s name listed in bold letters above.
The following history of Yorkwood High School (so named by combing parts of both town’s names: Little YORK and KirkWOOD) was provided to us by a former student of all three schools, Mike Edwards:
“These seperate elementary and high school districts continued to operate until 1960 when the Yorkwood School district was formed. This was the combination of the Little York and Kirkwood schools. During the first years of the new district which encompassed grades K-12, the kindergarten through sixth grade grade went to the respective elementary buildings. Grades seven and grade eight went to the Kirkwood High School, while grades nine through twelve attended classes in the Little York High School building.
The combined enrollment of the whole school unit was over 650 students. The faculty consisted of 38 people whose salaries ranged from $4,000 to $7,900. The Unit Superintendent was Edward Johnson and the principal of the high school was Paul Luckenbill with Leo Clements as principal of the junior high; Mary Johnson ws the principal of the Kirkwood grades and Elizabeth Waugh was th principal of the Little York grades. Park Byers was the assistant superintendent and hot lunch manager.
The school also employed a full-time nurse, five janitors, four cooks and three secretaries.
In the fall of 1969 the Yorkwood Junior-Senior High School for grades 7-12 opened. Its cost was $970,000. The elementary grades continued to use Little York Elementary School, the Kirkwood Elementary School and the Yorkwood Middle School (formerly the Little York High School) until the end of the 1978-1979 school year.
In the fall of 1979 the new Yorkwood Elementary School for grades K-6, recently constructed to thw west of the Yorkwood High School, was occupied by the elementary school students of the Little York and Kirkwood areas. Its cost was $1,550,000.
The Yorkwood school district will not exist after this year. They are being merged with another school district due to declining student size and increased costs.
I hope this helps fill out some of the history of the school building and school district. It starts out with Little York High School and Kirkwood High School. They were merged into Yorkwood (York from Little York, wood from Kirkwood). The new district then built a new high school in the middle of the country half way between Little York and Kirkwood on IL Route 94. The older buildings were then reassigned grades. I went to school in Little York at the original building until 7th grade and then got bussed to Kirkwood for grade 8. The Kirkwood High School had a very large crack on the East side of the building between the library on the second floor and the classroom on the 3rd floor. It was big enough that you could drop a pencil from the 3rd floor and someone might be able to catch it in the library. The State then said the building was uninhabitable and then we got moved to old Little York high school building until the new Yorkwood High School on State Route 94 was ready. We were the first graduating class in the new school. We actually got to skip class to help work on the new gymnasium floor. I helped set up the cushioned wood floor in the new gym.”
You can check out the Yorkwood High School website while it is still up at http://www.yorkwood225.net/jr_sr_high.html .
Monmouth Yorkwood High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1960
Year closed: 2007
Consolidated to: (Alexis) United School District
Yorkwood HS team nicknname: the “Golden Bears”
Yorkwood HS team colors: Purple & Gold
Yorkwood HS fight song: “We’re From Yorkwood High School”
(TUNE OF WASHINGTON & LEE SWING)
Oh, we’re from Yorkwood High School, proud to say,
Followed by the chant:
B-E-A-R-S Yorkwood Golden Bears are best!