Prairieville High School

Prairieville School Building – 1948
A picture containing tree, outdoor, house, residential

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Submitted by Lorraine Wiltfang
Prairieville School
A picture containing tree, outdoor, grass, building

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Built in 1931

The History of Prairieville High School

Prairieville, Illinois (population 75) is an unincorporated community located five miles northeast of Sterling along old Illinois Route 2 in western Lee County in Northern Illinois. It is about 10 miles northwest of Dixon along the same road. Old Route 2 is known as the Prairieville-Palmyra Road and is a part of the Lincoln Highway. Just south of Prairieville is the Midway Drive-In Theatre, one of only a handful of drive-ins in the state.

Public schools were organized in the Prairieville area in 1850. The Prairieville school building was built in 1858 and housed K-8 education for many years. The building burned to the ground in 1930 and was replaced by the current structure, now a private residence.

From 1889 to 1897, the Prairieville School offered a two-year high school course. Only nine students graduated from the high school curriculum. Students who wanted to advance their education further either went to the Ward One School in Sterling (now Lincoln School) or the North Dixon school. However, it is likely that students went into the working world after completing an education through the two years of high school, and even earlier.

The nine graduates of the Prairieville High School are:

Class of 1890-91: Barry and Kitty Lennon and Amanda Ebersole

Class of 1891-92: Emma Lefevre, Lulu Hotchins and Blanche Thummel

Class of 1894-95: Frank Powers and Fred Hicks

Class of 1896-97: Ruben Andrews

Much of the history of the school came from a book written by Frank’s father, Leroy Powers, about the school in 1931.

Prairieville High School “Quick Facts”:

Year school organized:

Year high school program began:     1889

Year high school program ceased:   1897

Building Status:                                 Destroyed by fire, 1930

Year school fully closed:                   Unknown

School Colors:                                   Unknown if existant

School Mascot:                                  Unknown if existant

School Song:                                     Unknown if existant

Prairieville School Children – Lower Grades
A group of children posing for a photo

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Submitted by Lorraine

Front row – Douglas Carr; Carol Paschal; Mary Harper; Jimmy Kenney; Vernon long; Ailt Hippen; Janet Hackbarth;  ? Carr.

Second Row – Nancy Schauff;  ? ?; Rosalie Harper; Polly Berg; Shelby Tolley; John  Long; Leonard Long; Robert Colson.

Third Row –  Billy Maxwell; Shirley Hackbarth; Lorraine Hinrichs; Shirley Hippen; Margaret Lair; Earl Beck; John Fassler

Need Your Information

It is likely that what has been researched by the author is the complete history of the high school, but we are willing to take in any other information on the school as well. We are hopeful an area “buff” will fill in any open areas regarding the history of the school. If you have any information you can offer including our unknown “Quick Facts” information, please drop us an E-mail at – or – you can write to us at:

Illinois High School Glory Days
6439 N. Neva
Chicago, IL  60631

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