New Douglas High School “Flyers”

Old New Douglas High School
A brick building with a white door

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
New Douglas, Illinois

The History of New Douglas High School 

New Douglas (population 319) is located in southwestern Illinois in the far northeastern portion of Madison County. New Douglas is located in a country setting at the intersection of county roadways named New Douglas Road and Rockwell Road. The Norfolk Southern Railroad line runs by the southeast side of town. New Douglas is about four miles east of Livingston and Interstate Highway 55. New Douglas is about 23 miles northeast of Edwardsville.

According to page 529 of the book titled “The History of Madison County Illinois” published by W.R. Brine & Co. in 1882, the area in which New Douglas is situated was first settled in 1819. The first school for New Douglas Township was opened in 1823. The second school house was opened in 1839. The town of New Douglas (originally called “Douglas” before a similar town was discovered with the same name) was platted in 1860 by a man named A. Foster and named after Stephen A. Douglas, a popular politician of the era. The town was the victim of a tornado in 1876. Several injuries were reported and many buildings destroyed, including the schoolhouse. A new building was soon constructed which included three rooms. New Douglas prospered for many years, having several businesses and, at one time, six churches.

The structure which housed the high school was built in 1905, and was also used by the local Masons as its Masonic Temple. A 2-year high school may have started around that time, and later expanded to a 3-year curriculum in 1930.

A small excerpt from an article written in 1931 found at the web address of tells us the following about the New Douglas High School of that time:

“The first settler was David Funderburk, a native of South Carolina, who served through the war of 1812. He located on section 7 in the fall of 1810. He taught school there in 1823 in a small cabin built near his home. The children coming from adjacent townships. The second school house was a log cabin built in 1839. It stood on the western part of section 18. Nelson Sparks was the first teacher. We now have a 4 room brick school building and employ 4 teachers. We have a 3-year recognized high school which has 2 teachers, and we have 2 teachers in the grades. Mr. O. L Haile has been our principal for 3 years but is continuing his schooling at the Southern Illinois State Normal at Carbondale and Mr. Wayne Halford, of Sorento has been elected to take his place. We have 3 rural schools Pisgah, Mt. Calvary and Gehrig. Elm and New Douglas were consolidated in 1930, and the country children are brought to our school in a bus.”

We know that New Douglas High School existed through at least 1949 by viewing basketball scores from the District Tournament held in Sorento that year. More of this information is available below.

It is likely that New Douglas High School closed in 1949. We know that the high school-aged students of New Douglas today attend Highland High School to the south. The school building pictured at the top of this page hosts 3rd and 4th grade students of the Highland School District.

New Douglas High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                                   early 1920s(?)

Year closed:                                    1949(?)

Consolidated to:                               Highland High School

New Douglas HS Team Nickname: (Grade School nickname “Flyers”)

New Douglas HS Team Colors:       ??

New Douglas HS Fight Song:          ??


We know that the New Douglas boys definitely competed in basketball. It is quite possible that New Douglas competed in baseball and track as well. The New Douglas Mid-Elementary School has a nickname of “The Flyers”. It is possible this was the nickname of the New Douglas High School teams as well. We are seraching for confirmation on the nickname, team uniform colors, school fight song, coaches names, and season records.


We know the New Douglas High School boys competed in basketball. The web addresses listed below provide the scores and locations of the District Tournaments that New Douglas participated in during the late 1940s. We did not find New Douglas listed among the participants of the 1950 tournament. The results of New Douglas HS that we located are listed below.

1940-41           Sorento District Tournament                   Coach’s name needed.

1st Rd lost to Panama 43-20

Worden beat Pocahontas in title game

1944-45           Sorento District Tournament                   Coach’s name needed.

1st Rd lost to Donnelson 29-21

Worden beat Pocahontas in title game

1945-46           Sorento District Tournament                   Coach’s name needed.

1st Rd lost to Reno 67-23

Livingston beat Sorento in title game

1946-47           Sorento District Tournament                   Coach’s name needed.

District Tournament played at Sorento

Round 1 – Sorento 63, New Douglas 53

Sorento lost in semi-finals, Livingston won Tourney.

1947-48           Sorento District Tournament                   Coach’s name needed.

District Tournament played at Sorento

Found 1 – Panama 54, New Douglas 25

Panama lost in semi-final, Livingston won Tourney

1948-49           Sorento District Tournament                   Coach’s name needed.

District Tournament played at Sorento

**Round 1 – Panama 58, New Douglas 38

Panama lost in championship game to Livingston

**Probably the final basketball game played by New Douglas High School. School consolidated to the Highland High School District in the summer of 1949.

Any further information on these and other seasons for New Douglas High School is welcome.


New Douglas High School certainly had several other activities that the students participated in. Band, chorus, student government, plays, and other activities were likely a big part of the New Douglas HS experience.


If you have any further information to share regarding New Douglas High School, especially a photo of the building, please contact us via e-mail at . You can also write to us at:

IHSGD Website

6439 N. Neva Ave.

Chicago, Il.    60631


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