Pesotum High School “Blue Boys”

Pesotum High School
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Pesotum, Illinois
Pesotum Alumni Reunion Program
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The History of Pesotum High School

Pesotum (population 521) is located in east-central Illinois in south-central Champaign County.  Pesotum sits about 10 miles south of Champaign/Urbana. U.S. Route 45 is the main roadway leading you to and from Pesotum. Interstate Highway 57 runs just to the west of town and has exit ramps for Pesotum to U.S. Route 45.  The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad runs through town as well.  The Hackett Branch Creek flows just to the east of town.

The history of Pesotum and its former high school are in need of research. As you can see by the alumni program sent to us below, Pesotum High School was a reality.  We believe the high school may have been started in the late 1800s.  It served the children of Pesotum through the late 1940s. It was then that a consolidation effort of several towns in the area took place. This effort became a reality in 1949 with the creation of the Unity School District.  The high school for Unity is located near Tolono.

The fate of the Pesotum High School building is not known.  We fear it may have been torn down.  If you have this information please contact us via e-mailo at

Pesotum High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                    late 1800s

Year closed:                     1949

Consolidated to:                Unity School District (Tolono)

Pesotum team nickname:  “Blue Boys” or “Indians”

School colors:                   Blue & White

School Fight Song:            unavailable

Pesotum HS Penant – late 1930s
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Submitted by David Schweighart (left click on photo for larger view)


Pesotum High School offered basketball, baseball, and track.  Unfortunately there is no mention of PHS athletics on the IHSA website (  We are seeking the school fight song.  We are also seeking the better team records, coaches names, and great athletic stories of Pesotum High School’s past.

We do know from a 1938 Pesotum High School yearbook obtained by Nancy Hartman that the teams were commonly called the “Blue Boys”.  The boys themselves, however, referred to their nickname as the “Indians”.  The uniform colors were likely blue and white.


1937-38            Trian Conference Champions             Coach E. G. Montgomery

Conf. Tourney results

Beat Gifford 34 – 23

Beat Sidney 23 – 21

Beat Penfield 22 – 21

Information from the 1938 Yearbook

From Nancy Hartman:

“(This information was taken from the 1938 Blue’n White Echoes yearbook published by the Commercial Students of Pesotum High School, Pesotum, IL)

In 1938, E. G. Montgomery served as teacher (history), coach and principal at Pesotum High School.   Pictures are attached that appeared in the 1938 yearbook with corresponding picture captions listed below.


The yearbook notes that the boys Basketball Team call themselves the “Pesotum Indians,” because of the town’s name which originated from an Indian named Chief Pesotum, whose tribe was located near Chicago and would come to the area to hunt.  However, the 1938 yearbook also referred to Pesotum athletic teams as ‘The Blue Boys.’

BASKETBALL notes from the 1938 yearbook.

“The Pesotum Blue Boys blazed their trail to victory in the Trian Tournament, December 22, in one of the most thrilling games the ’37-’38 Pesotumites have witnessed or played.
The gym was crowded to its capacity and the fans were kept in suspense during the whole game.  The fans were almost hysterical in the last minute when 
Penfield was ahead by a score of 21-20 and Batty made a basket making the score 22-21 (in favor of Pesotum). Just as the gun went off the crowd ran to the floor but the referee blew the whistle as one of the blue boys had fouled and the opponents were allowed a free throw.
The boys took their position at the free throw line; the crowd held their breath as the player took his aim, raised his arms and shot–and missed.  Pesotum was the new Trian Champion.”

In the first game of the Trian Tournament, the Pesotum Blue Boys played Gifford and won 34-23.  In the second game of the tournament, Pesotum played Sidney and won 23-21. Team members included Coach Montgomery, Dennis Vanblaricum, Harley Phillips, Billy Vanderhoof, Harold Buoy, Harold Schweighart, Harold Kleiss, James Hartman, Willard Cekander, Arnold Weasel, Wayne Batty, Leon Houser, Marvin Kresin, James Mitsdarffer, George Schaefer, Frederick Henry, and Assistant Coach Taylor.

Bob Weasel and Wayne Batty were co-captains of the basketball team.



The Pesotum Kitten Ball team took second place in the Trian tourney winning from Seymour and Sidney, then losing to Gifford.  Team members included Coach Montgomery, Dennis Vanblaricum, Harley Phillips, Billy Vanderhoff, Harold Buoy, Harold Schweighart, Harold Kleiss, James Hartman, Willard Cekander, Arnold Weasel, Leon Houser, Marvin Kresin, James Mitsdarffer, George Schaefer, Ralph Weatherford, Frederick Henry, and Assistant Coach Taylor



The track team won first place in the Trian track meet held at Urbana. This was the sixth time Pesotum won the Trian.  Team members included Harley Phillips, George Schaefer, Wayne Batty, Arnold Weasel, Leon Houser, Billy Vanderhoof,  Willard Cekander, Harold Kleiss, Ralph Weatherford, Harold Schweighart, James Hartman, and Dennis Vanblaricum.GIRLS SPORTS.


Mary Margaret Fackler, June Corrie, Rose Mary Ruenacker, Ruth Stumeier, Margaret Kleiss, Maxine Jones, Bernice Buoy, Ruth Fackler, Ida Mae Moody, Bernice Schweighart, Virginia Hartman, Virginia Loyd.


Miss Ohlsen, Bernice Buoy, Ida Mae Moody, Virginia Hartman, Mary Margaret Fackler, Virginia Loyd, Geneva Dallas, Thelma Starkey, Maxine Jones, Ruth Stumeier, Virginia Pieritz, Rose Mary Rubenacker, Margaret Kleiss, Eileen Henry, Bernice Schweighart, and Ruth Fackler.


Virginia Loyd, Virginia Hartman, Rose Mary Rubenacker, Maxine Jones, Bernice Schweighart, Ruth Fackler, Ida Mae Moody, Bernice Buoy, June Corrie, Mary Margaret Fackler, Juanita Brann, Margaret Kleiss, and Ruth Stumeier.


Sophomore Thelma Starkey was selected to sing the girls solo at the Trian Music Festival held in Seymour.  Thelma sang, Creole Croon.

The Orchestra, led by Mr. C. A. Ricketts, played at the grade school operetta, The King Sneezes, the Sophomore and Junior play, The Go-Getter, and at the Trian Music Festival at Seymour, IL.

Musical program members included:

ORCHESTRA.  Doris Deal, Clarinet; Wayne Batty, clarinet; Margaret McKimmy, violin; Helen Christian, violin; Ida Mae Moody, violin; Marie Schultz, saxophone; Dennis Vanblaricum, saxophone; Earl Clark, drums; Harold Kleiss, cornet; James Hartman, cornet; Thomas McKimmy, cornet; George Schaefer, cornet.

GIRLS’ CHORUS.  Bernice Buoy, Ida Mae Moody, Ruth Stumeier, Thelma Starkey, Viola Pitchford, Virginia Loyd, Geneva Dallas, Bernice Schweighart, Maxine Jones, Ruth Fackler, Mary Margaret Fackler, Virginia Hartman, Virginia Pieritz, Rose Mary Rubenacker, Eileen Henry, Helen Christian, Margaret Kleiss, Doris Gallagher. and Mr. Ricketts.

MIXED CHORUS.  Willard Cekander, Ida Mae Moody, Thelma Starkey, Viola Pitchford, Dennis Vanblaricum, Harold Kleiss, Geneva Dallas, Maxine Jones, Ruth Fackler, Mary Margaret Fackler, James Hartman, Harley Phillips, Virginia Pieritz, Rose Mary Rubenacker, Eileen Henry, Helen Christian, Frederick Henry, Harold Buoy, Arnold Weasel, Margaret Kleiss, Doris Gallagher, George Schaefer, Wayne Batty, Mr. Ricketts, and Leon Houser.


The Junior Class presented The Go-Getter, a three-act comedy. The play was directed by Miss Dorothy Johnson.  Those participating in the play included Wayne Batty, Doris Gallagher, June Corrie, Arnold Weasel, Ruth Fackler, Maxine Jones, Bernice Schweighart, Juanita Brann, Thelma Starkey, Harold Schweighart, Dorothy Henry, (Prompter) George Schaefer.


Doris Gallagher earned a 100 word certificate in shorthand and Dorothy Henry and Juanita Brann both earned 5 gold stars in bookkeeping.  Doris Gallagher and Juanita Brann earned 50 word per minute typing certificates.

Pesotum placed second in the Trian commercial typing contest held at Seymour High School..  The typing team also took third place in the District Contest held at Monticello.

Team members competing included Juanita Brann, Ruth Fackler, June Corrie, and Doris Gallagher


Thelma Starkey, Harley Phillips, Willard Cekander, Dennis Vanblaricum, Billie Vanderhoof, Juanita Brann, Ruth Fackler, Mary Fackler, Geneva Dallas, Virginia Loyd, Viola Pitchford, June Corrie, Bernice Schweighart, Maxine Jones, Eileen Henry, Leon Houser, Wayne Batty, Doris Gallagher, Ruth Stumeier

Pesotum HS Junior Class of 1937-38
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Submitted by Nancy Hartman
Pesotum HS Faculty of 1937-38
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Submitted by Nancy Hartman
Pesotum HS Fresh & Sophs of 1938
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Courtesy of Nancy Hartman

Names from the photo above:

SOPHOMORE CLASS.  First row (l-r): Bernice Schweighart, Maxine Jones, Harold Schweighart, Virginia Loyd, Thelma Starkey. Second row: Leon Houser, Geneva Dallas, James Mittsdarffer, Eileen Henry, Harold Buoy. Third Row: Juanita Clark.

FRESHMAN CLASS. Third row (starting with second picture on the left): Ralph Weatherford, Mary Margaret Fackler, Marvin Kresin, Helen Christian. Fourth row:  James Hartman, Virginia Hartman, Harold Kleiss, Rose Mary Rubenacker, Bernice Buoy.  Fifth row: Virginia Pieritz, Billy Vanderhoof, Ruth Stumeier, Frederick Henry, Margaret Kleiss. Sixth row:  Dennis Vanblaricum, Viola Pitchford, Willard Cekander, Ida Mae Moody, Harley Phillips

Need Your Assistance

If you have any further information you would like to share with us regarding the history of Pesotum and its high school please write to us at  You can also write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.    60631

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