The History Of Nauvoo High School
Nauvoo (population 1,063) is located on Illinois Route 9 in upper-western Illinois. The town is located on the banks of the Mississippi River in far western Hancock County. Nauvoo is located about 35 miles west of Macomb. The town was platted in 1835 and originally named Commerce. In 1839 Joseph Smith and the Latter Day Saints moved into town and set off a population explosion. The town was renamed Nauvoo (which literally means “beautiful location”) and quickly spread its wings. By 1845-46 Nauvoo had an estimated population of 15 – 20 THOUSAND residents. This would have made Nauvoo Illinois’ largest city of that time and, in fact, one of the 20 largest cities in the United States. Events soon occurred which led to the steady decline over many years of Nauvoo’s population. Nauvoo is still quite a tourist attraction with many historic sites and places to visit. For an entertaining and informative look at Nauvoo go to www.nauvoo.net or www.visitnauvoo.org/.
Nauvoo’s school system was begun soon after the town was platted. This dates the educational opportunities for the Nauvoo kids back to the mid 1800s. Nauvoo has had three high schools in its town including two different parochial schools. Nauvoo supported its own public school system through the early 1960s. It was in 1961 that the residents of Nauvoo and nearby Colusa agreed to consolidate their school districts. The Nauvoo-Colusa School DIstrict was established in 1961, effectively closing the solo efforts of the high schools in both towns.
The fate of the original Nauvoo High School building is a good one. Sandy Stevenson tells us that though the building stopped being used as a high school in 1961, the building continued as a grade school for kids in grades K – 8. Sandy further tells us the following:
“In 1968 the 7th and 8th graders were moved to the High School creating a Jr./Sr. High School. The Elementary school now has Pre-K thru 6th grades in attendance. A lot have changes have been made to the building—but it is still in use as a school. Four generations of my family have attended school in this building.”
Marilyn S. Candido advises if you are interested in more great information on the city of Nauvoo check out the Nauvoo Historical Society’s website at www.nauvoohistoricalsociety.org
Nauvoo High School Quick Facts
Year opened: mid 1800s
Year closed: 1961
Consolidated to: Nauvoo-Colusa School District (Nauvoo)
School nickname: the “Indians”
School colors: Purple & White
School Fight Song: “We’re Loyal To You Nauvoo High”
We’re loyal to you Nauvoo High
We’re Purple and White, Nauvoo High
We’ll back you to stand
‘Gainst the best in the land
For we know you have sand, Nauvoo High
So crack out the ball, Nauvoo High
We’re backing you all, Nauvoo High
Our team is our fame protector:
On! Boys for we expect a
Victory from you Nauvoo High!