Philo High School

Philo High School Building Constructed in 1898
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Submitted by G. Trimble
Philo School Gymnasium Built 1898
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Photo taken in 2015

The History of Philo High School

Philo (population 1,314) is located in east-central Illinois about 6 miles southeast of Champaign.  The town was platted in the south-central portion of Champaign County in 1864.  Illinois Route 130 is the main roadway leading to Philo and it intersects with County Highway 18 in town.  The Black Slough Creek flows to the south of Philo. The Norfolk & Western railroad travels through the north side of town. The town was named Philo after the first name of the person who platted the town, E.B. Hale.

According to a “rootsweb” website page the early history of Philo is as follows:

“The village of Philo, of considerable importance, stands on a beautiful location, situated on the Toledo, Wabash and Western railroad. It was laid out in 1864 by E. B. Hale, the son of Philo Hale, and includes 80 acres of land. Elam Ellithrop built the first house in the village, and Wright built the second, and he was also the first station agent for the Toledo, Wabash and Western railroad. B. C. Morris, M. D., was the first physician; he was the first to sell goods also; he built the first hotel. The town contains one school-house, two churches, two elevators, one mill, one dry goods store, three grocery stores, two drug stores, two hardware stores, two hotels, three blacksmith shops, one tin shop, two harness makers, lumber yard and livery stable.”

Another rootsweb page that offers the history of the Philo High School Class of 1908 can be viewed at:

http://champaign.illinoisgenweb.org/schools/philo1908.html .  A photo of the original Philo High School building was also located on the same rootweb website and can be viewed at http://champaign.illinoisgenweb.org/photoalbum/schools.html .

Philo High School served the community for over five decades.  The late 1940s brought with it many changes in the way schooling was supported in Illinois. The consolidation push of the smaller school districts came to Philo and the surrounding communities at that time.  After the 1949 school year the townspeople of Philo joined the efforts of several communitites in the area to form the Unity School District.  The high school for the new district was located in Tolono.

Philo High School
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http://www.rootsweb.com/~ilchampa/photoalbum/schools.html

The fate of the original high school building in Philo was provided to us by David Happ:

“After Philo HS merged with Tolono and formed the Unity (Unit 7) school district, the building was used for elementary grades.  When Unity East was built, the Philo HS building, the Philo grade school, and the land were all sold to the Village of Philo.  This was around 2001.  The HS building that you have pictured on your site was then torn down, and the adjacent elementary school building was converted to Village offices.”

Some nice photos of school life at Philo High School can be viewed at the following web address created by G. Trimble:  http://personal.linkline.com/trimble/Philo/

Philo Grade School Building Side View 2015
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Now Village Hall
Philo Grade School Entrance – Now Village Hall
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Photo taken in 2015

Philo High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                       late 1800s

Year closed:                        1949

Consolidated to:                   Unity School District (Tolono)

Philo HS team nickname:     unavailable

PHS team colors:                 unavailable

School Fight Song:               unavailable

Athletics

Philo High School had one season where it earned an IHSA District title in State Tourney action (www.ihsa.org).  We believe the school competed in track and baseball as well.  As you can see in the “quick facts” portion, we are missing a lot of information on the Philo HS particulars.  School team nickname, team colors, school fight song, as well as coach’s names and team records of the better Philo teams, all are items being sought.

Philo Gymnasium Entrance Doors
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Philo School Gym Side View 2015
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Boys Basketball

The boys basketball program at Philo High School probably had many great seasons, however only one is mentioned on the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org).  The boys of 1943-44 won a District title!  Unfortunately the team record and coach’s name of this group is not currently available. Scores found on the website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores” are listed below.

1921-22            Urbana District Tournament       Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Fisher 28-5

Fisher beat Villa Grove in title game

1922-23 through 1931-32  Postseason scores, records, and coaches’ names needed.

Philo HS Basketball Team of 1931-32
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Submitted by G. Trimble

1932-33            Urbana District Tournament       Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Urbana University HS 25-24

Urbana U-High lost in 2nd Rd

Mahomet beat Champaign in title game

Mahomet lost in Elite 8 Round

1933-34            Urbana District Tournament        Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Ludlow 26-11

                         2nd Rd lost to Champaign 42-24

Urbana beat Champaign in title game

Urbana lost in Elite 8 Round

1934-35            Urbana District Tournament        Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Foosland 48-25

                         2nd Rd lost to Ogden 37-18

Ogden lost to Fisher in Semi-final

Fisher lost to Urbana in title game

1935-36            Villa Grove District Tournament  Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Sidney 33-19

Sidney lost to Gays in title game

1936-37  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1937-38  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1938-39  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1939-40  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1940-41  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1941-42  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1942-43  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1943-44            IHSA District Champions         Coach’s name & record needed

                         District Scores Needed

                         Fisher Regional Tournament

                         1st Rd lost to Sadorus 38-28

Sadorus lost to Champaign in title game

Champaign lost to Decatur in State Title game

1944-45  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1945-46            Mansfield District Tournament    Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Bellflower 50-45

Bellflower beat Sidney in title game

1946-47            Longview District Runner-Up  Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Mahomet 41-35

                         Semi-final Beat Sidney 42-40

                         Title game lost to Mansfield 48-35

1947-48            Mansfield District Tournament    Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Sadorus 49-38

                         Semi-final lost to Homer 33-29

Homer lost to Tolono in title game

1948-49            Longview District Tournament    Coach’s name & record needed

*1st Rd lost to Homer 38-26

*Final game for Philo High School. Became part of the Unity School District in Tolono in the summer of 1949.

Philo Gymnasium Ticket Booth
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Philo Gymnasium Entrance 2015
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Looking For More Information

If you have any information you would like to share regarding Philo High School and its many accomplishments, including any extra curriclular activities, please e-mail us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net..  You can also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631


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