|The History of Patterson High School
Patterson (population 25?) is located in lower-eastern Illinois in the northwestern portion of Greene County. Patterson is also a township in Greene County that currently has a population of 644. Patterson is located at the intersection of County Highway 11 and County Road 2500N. The tiny hamlet is about 40 miles southwest of Springfield and 45 miles north of St. Louis, Mo.
We are in need of a great deal of assistance in researching the history of Patterson and its former school system. We know that there was a Patterson High School from readers of the Glory Days site who have viewed other high school basketball schedules from the area. A few of those schools played games against Patterson High School.
According to the 1927 obituary of Mabel Carter as submitted by Duane Stewart, the first graduating class of Patterson High School occurred in 1901. Ms. Carter was a member of this class, as viewed in a copy of the obituary at the bottom of this page.
Lois Taylor Coonrod shared the following historical information and memories with us:
“My Mother graduated from Patterson High School in 1918, not in the school that stands in Patterson today. So it was established long before 1920’s. My 90 year old brother went to school through the 4th grade in the same building as my Mother had attended. He was born in 1922; he is still living and believes the school he and our Mother attended burned.
Patterson was always a three year High School. It you wanted a 4th year in high school you had to go to White Hall or Roodhouse IL to complete your 4th year.
I went to Patterson Grade School in the building that replace the one my mother and brother attended for my 7th & 8th grades – Fall of 1952 – Spring of 1954 (graduated from the 8th grade there). My two younger brother and my younger sister also attended school there.
At that time the school housed grades 1 through 8. They combined 1st & 2nd grades , 3rd & 4th, 5th & 6th and 7th & 8th grades together – each 2 combined classes had 1 teacher. Our 7th & 8th grade teacher was also the Principal of the School. The year I attended it was Charles K. Barnett. We had basketball and baseball teams. I was a cheerleader.
Later Patterson became a part of North Greene School District and for a period of time it housed 6th graders in the North Greene District. Roodhouse and White Hall 6th grade students were bussed to Patterson.
Today the school is owned by the community and they hold opry shows there once a month as well as an auction once a month. It is also used by members for other events.
This September myself and another Patterson Grade School graduate are hosting a Patterson School Reunion inviting anyone who attended Patterson School. I hope to get more history about the early years, and correct dates as when the high school closed, and what year they reopened it as a grade school, if the original building that my mother and brother attended did burn, and when the current building was built. I also hope someone had pictures of the school my mother and brother attended. I’m sure the Greene County Historical Society at Carrollton IL has pictures of the existing building and maybe the earlier building.”
Lois (Baldwin) Southern tells us the following about her time at Patterson High School:
“I attended Paterson School. I started grade school at age 6 in 1930 – Grades 1-3 were in one room, teacher was Kathryn Hayes, a fantastic teacher. Grades 4-6 were in another room and the teacher was a Miss Conley. Grades seven and eight were on the second floor with Roy Ballard as teacher, another fantastic teacher. I am not sure but I believe I attended high school in the new building. At that time, it only went thru the 3rd year of high school. At that time a Mr. Attebury was principal with Mr. Lambert as assistant principal, another fantastic teacher. I changed to White Hall High for my last two years since I wanted to get in 2 years of typing and Patterson only offered one. I would have graduated from Patterson in 1941. This was the largest class in the history of the school – a whopping 13 graduates. I graduated from Whitehall HS in 1942.
I lost track of what went on after that as I left for Wheaton College, in Wheaton, Ill. to become a dietition, but changed my mind and graduated from college with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree in 1949. Now I have retired in Texas at age 90.”
Lester Dawdy tells us he was a freshman when Patterson High School was closed in the Spring of 1947.. It was likely that Patterson Township kids were bused to nearby Roodhouse to continue their high school education.
Patterson High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1900?
First Graduating Class: 1901
Year closed: 1947
Consolidated to: Roodhouse High School (now White Hall North Greene)
Patterson HS team nickname: unavailable
Patterson HS team colors: unavailable
School Fight Song: unavailable