Mt Sterling High School “Raiders”

The History of Mt. Sterling High School

Mt. Sterling (population 2,070) is located in western Illinois about 30 miles east of Quincy.  It is the county seat of Brown County and is situated in the center of the county as well.  U.S. Route 24 is the main roadway through town.  Illinois Route 99 and Route 107 also travel through Mt. Sterling.  The West Creek flows by the north side of Mt. Sterling.  Though railroads had a lot to do with the town’s early growth, it does not appear ( that Mt. Sterling has a railroad traveling through it today.

According to the website , the founding of Mt. Sterling was recorded as follows:

“In 1824 Cornelius Vandeventer, a native of Ohio, became the first permanent settler in this area. Additional pioneers came over the next few years from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina. In 1829 Alexander Curry purchased a claim on the site of the future Mt. Sterling. Curry and his family laid out the town in 1834. At that time, this area formed the southern part of Schuyler County. Two years later, attempts were made to move the county seat from Rushville to a location nearer to the center of the county. When these failed Brown County, named after General Jacob Brown, a veteran of the War of 1812, was created on February 1, 1839. Mt. Sterling was named the county seat the same year. It was on a major route of the western migration beginning in 1849 with the discovery of gold in California.”

We are certain that schools began popping up all over Brown County shortly after its establishment.  Mt. Sterling probably had a public high school in place by the late 1800s.  The Mt. Sterling High School served the town on a solo basis for well over five decades.  It was in the late 1940s that a consolidation effort began between Mt. Sterling and several other Brown County School Districts of the day.  This effort was realized in 1948 with the creation of the Brown County School District.

The high school was, and still is, located in Mt. Sterling.  We are not sure if it is held in the original high school building or not.  We are not even sure at this time if the original high school building is still standing.

Mt. Sterling High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                             late 1800s

Year closed:                              1948

Consolidated to:                         Brown County School District (Mt. Sterling)

Mt. Sterling HS team nickname:  “Raiders”

School team colors:                   Orange & Black

School Fight Song:                     unavailable


We are certain that Mt. Sterling High School competed in boys basketball (  We believe that baseball and track were offered as well.  School team nickname, school team colors, school fight song, and conference affiliation are all being sought at this time.

Boys Basketball

The Mt. Sterling High School boys had one great season and many good seasons during their existence.  The team of 1909-10 won the District which in those days qualified you for the State Tournament.  Two tough losses put an end to the Mt. Sterling HS title hopes, but it was a great feat none the less.  The records of the teams and the coaches names as listed on the IHSA website are inturn listed below.

1909-10                 Qualified for State Tournament

                             District Champions

                             Lost to Bloomington in the Semi-finals 52 – 10

Bloomington eventual State Champs

Lost in Consolation bracket to Hinsdale 44 – 22 

1941-42                                                                        Coach Charles Ketner

1942-43                                                                        Coach Charles Ketner

1943-44   19 – 10                                                           Coach Charles Ketner

1944-45   22 – 9                                                             Coach Charles Ketner

1945-46   32 – 6      GREAT RECORD!                            Coach Charles Ketner

1946-47   31 – 4      GREAT RECORD!                            Coach Charles Ketner

1947-48   17 – 8      School’s Last season                        Coach Root

Need Further Information

We are hopeful an area fan or resident of Mt. Sterling will help us fill in the gaps for Mt. Sterling High School.  We are especially interested in photos and personal stories.  Drop us an e-mail at or write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631

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