Raymond High School “Redbirds”

Raymond High School 1923-61
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Photograph by Douglas Combs (April 2007)
Raymond HS Bldg. Inscription
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Photo by Douglas Combs

The History of Raymond High School

Raymond (population 927) is located in near southwestern Illinois about 30 miles southwest of Springfield.  According to Map Quest (www.mapquest.com) Illinois Route 48 is the main roadway through Raymond and connects the town with I-55 just 3 miles to the west.  Illinois Route 127 approaches Raymond from the south and connects with Route 48 in the center of the city. The Norfolk & Western Railroad owns tracks that travel through town.  A creek from Lake Lou Yaeger flows through the west side of town.

The history of the town and its school system is in need of research.  It is quite probable that Raymond began offering high school curriculum in the late 1800s.  We do know that a new brick high school building was constructed in Raymond in 1923.

RHS “Girls Entrance”
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Submitted by Doug Combs
RHS “Boys Entrance”
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Submitted by Doug Combs

It appears quite possible that Harvel High School (on this site) was annexed into the Raymond School District in 1947.  Raymond High School existed through the early 1960s.  It was then that consolidation talks began with nearby Farmersville (also on this site) was initiated.  This effort became a reality in the 1962 with the creation of the Lincolnwood School District.

The high school for the new district was held in the Raymond High School building until a new structure was built in 1971.  The original Raymond High School building was used as the Lincolnwood Grade School Building until a newer structure was built within the past few years.

The Raymond High School building pictured above indeed incurred the wrath of the wrecking ball.  Kyle Herschelman of the Journal-News provided the following link to a story he authored regarding the sad ending to this once proud building:


The article is reprinted below in its entirety.

Raymond High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                                          late 1800s

Year Brick HS building built:                  1923

Year consolidated to Lincolnwood HS:  1962

Raymond HS team nickname:                the “Redbirds”

Team colors:                                           Red & White

School Fight Song:                                  unavailable


The Raymond High School Redbirds had IHSA tournament success in the sports of boys basketball and boys track and field. We believe the school competed baseball and possibly football as well.We are searching for the school fight song and conference affiliation of Raymond High School.

Boys Basketball

The Raymond High School Redbirds won a total of four District ttles.  Unfortunately this all we know about their success (www.ihsa.org).  Chuck Trent located several season records and coaches’ names listed below. We also located some scores from the IHSA State Tournament on a site titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores”. These scores are listed below. Coaches names, team records, and other successes are being sought.

1916-17             Montgomery County Tourney (2nd Place)

Championship – Hillsboro 21 Raymond 18

1919-20             Montgomery County Tourney (2nd Place)

Championship Hillsboro beat Raymond

1921-22 through 1932-33  Postseason scores, records, and coaches’ names needed.

1933-34                  Springfield District Tournament                Coaches’ name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Auburn 16-10

Auburn lost to Springfield Feitshans in semi-final

Feitshans lost to Springfield HS in final

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

1st Rd Beat Coffeen 30-23

                               2nd Rd lost to Witt 31-28

Witt lost semi-final to Hillsboro

Hillsboro beat Litchfield in final

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

1st Rd Beat Donnellson 35-8

                               Semi-final lost to Farmersville 30-28

Farmersville beat Morrisonville 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                   IHSA District Champions                       Coach’s name & record needed

District Scores Needed

                                IHSA Regional Qualifier

                                Regional Scores Needed


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

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

1943-44  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1944-45                   Witt District Runner-Up                          Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Tower Hill 48-22

                                Semi-final Beat Rosamond 38-28

                                Title Game lost to Witt 36-33

1945-46  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1946-47                   Virden Regional Tournament                    Coach’s name & record needed

(Raymond did not compete in District)

Regional Scores

1st Rd lost to Springfield Lanphier 51-38

Lanphier beat Feitshans in title game

1947-48                   Springfield Regional Tournament             Coach’s name & record needed

(Raymond did not compete in District)

Regional Scores

1st Rd lost to Springfield Cathedral 62-27

Cathedral beat Lanphier in title game


1948-49    9 – 16      Virden Regional Tournament                   Coach Herman Presley

(Raymond did not compete in District)

Regional Scores

1st Rd lost to Springfield Cathedral 49-38

Cathedral lost to Girard in semi-final

Girard lost to Springfield HS in title game

1949-50    5 – 17      Springfield District Tournament                Coach Claude Shelton

1st Rd lost to Rochester 62-37

                                Rochester lost to Divernon in title game


1950-51                   Farmersville District Champions           Coach’s name & record needed

Season Record Needed

                                District Scores

                                1st Rd Score Needed

                                Semi-final Beat Divernon 59-53

                                Title Game Beat Farmersville 50-47

                                Virden Regional Tournament

                                1st Rd Beat Glenarm Ball Township HS 42-34

                                Semi-final lost to Auburn 62-58

Auburn lost to Springfield Lanphier in title game

1951-52  15 – 10      Glenarm District Tournament                    Coach Ray Truebe

                                1st Rd Beat Divernon 62-58

                                Semi-final lost to Pawnee 63-60

Pawnee beat Girard in title game

1952-53                   Postseason scores & record needed         Coach Ray Truebe

1953-54                   Postseason scores & record needed         Coach Ray Truebe

1954-55                   IHSA District Champions                         Coach Ray Truebe

                                District Scores Needed

                                Virden Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Auburn 85-65

Auburn lost to Springfield Feitshans in semi-final

Feitshans lost to Lanphier in title game

1955-56                   IHSA District Champions                         Coach Ray Truebe

                                Season Record Needed

                                District Scores Needed

                                Springfield Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost Springfield Cathedral 63-58

Cathedral lost to Lanphier in title game

1956-57                   Postseason scores & record needed         Coach Ray Truebe

1957-58                   Postseason scores & record needed         Coach Ray Truebe

1958-59                   Palmyra District Tournament                     Coach Ray Truebe

Season Record Needed

District Scores

1st Rd Beat Girard 82-53

                                Semi-final lost to Farmersville 64-54

Farmersville lost to Springfield St. James in title game

1959-60    7 – 15      Raymond District Tournament                  Coach Ray Truebe

1st Rd Beat Girard 58-57

                                Semi-final lost to Farmersville 56-34

Farmersville beat Palmyra Northwestern in title game

1960-61  11 – 13      Postseason scores needed                       Coach Ray Truebe

1961-62    9 – 13      Raymond District Runner-Up                 Coach Monte Nohren

1st Rd Beat Springfield St. James 82-61

                                 Semi-final Beat Pawnee 69-65

*Title Game lost to Farmersville 46-41

*Final game for Raymond High School. Consolidated with Farmersville in the summer of 1962 to form the Lincolnwood School District.

Boys Track & Field

Picture this, it is 1913 and you are a kid from Raymond competing in the IHSA State Track Meet.  There is no different “classes” for you to compete in.  You will compete against kids from Chicago, Springfield, Rock Island, kids from everywhere in the state.  Should you pack it up and leave or stay and do your best? We all know that answer and the Raymond kids showed their competitive nature.  The Raymond High School tracksters of 1913 finished THIRD in the State Meet among all schools in Illiinois.  Pretty incredible for a group of “farm kids” as the meet writers sometimes referred to the smaller town’s kids back then.  We are looking for the first name of an athlete named Belknap.  The great accomplishments of RHS thinclads in 1913 and 1955 are listed below.

1912-13     Team Finished THIRD in IHSA STATE MEET Competition!!

                 Individual Medalists

                 Henry Bitterburg        Shot Put         STATE CHAMPION!!

                                                     Discus             4TH Place

                 ??    Belknap              Shot Put          2ND Place

                 Robert Seward          440 Yd Dash     2ND Place

                 Final Team Standings

1.)  Oak Park (O.P.-River Forest)      34

2.)  Chicago (University)                    29


                 4.)  McLean                                         8

4.)  Ridge Farm                                   8

6.)  LaGrange (Lyons)                         7

7.)  Springfield (H.S.)                          6

7.)  Roodhouse                                   6

9.)  Harvey (Thornton)                        5

9.)  Sullivan                                        5

9.)  Rock Island (H.S.)                        5

9.)  Virginia                                         5

9.)  Oregon                                         5

1954-55     Robert House       High Jump      4TH Place

Boys Baseball

The Raymond High School boys competed in baseball each year. The flkoowing records and coaches’ names were provided by Chuck Trent.

1948-49    3 – 4       Coach Herman Presley

1949-50    4 – 5       Coach Claude Shelton

1951-52    3 – 5       Coach Ray Truebe

1952-53                  Coach Ray Truebe

1953-54                  Coach Ray Truebe

1954-55                  Coach Ray Truebe

1955-56                  Coach Ray Truebe

1956-57                  Coach Ray Truebe

1957-58                  Coach Ray Truebe

1958-59                  Coach Ray Truebe

1959-60    1 – 5       Coach Ray Truebe

1960-61    1 – 6       Coach Ray Truebe

1961-62    3 – 3       Coach Monte Nohren

Boys Football

Mark Jurenga did some research and came up with this bit of information on the Raymond HS boys.  They did compete on the grid iron in the early 1900s.  In a game against Hillsboro in 1904 the Raymond boys gave a gallant effort but lost by a score of 26 – 0.

Memorable Principal

Mr. Raymond R. Crum was Principal at RHS for several generations. He is remembered and beloved by many.

Memorable Stories

From Linda Solis regarding her father and uncle who graduated from Raymond HS in the late 1940s:

“(My father) had 5 brothers; all but one of them served in the military during WWII. His brother Elmer actually was drafted his senior year of high school because he’d already turned 18. After serving in the Navy for four years, Elmer came back and finished high school, graduating with my dad’s class (1947).”

Need More Information

If you have any further information available regarding the history of Raymond High School and its many achievements pleae contact us via e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.  You can also write to us via USPS at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.     60631

From the Jounal-News Newspaper, Monday, June 23, 2008: 

“Gone But Not Forgotten”
by Kyle Herschelman

For more than 80 years, the old Raymond High School/Grade School building symbolized the future of those in the panhandle of Montgomery County.

At 3:19 p.m. on Monday, June 23, that future became history as the last wall of the old brick building on Prairie Street was brought down.

While the school hadn’t been used since 2003, the impact it had on the community is without question.

Whether it be as a high school in the early years or as a grade school later on, the school has seen generation after generation pass through its doors in search of knowledge.

The setup of the building was fairly simple, and undoubtedly familiar to many of those in the Raymond area who graced its halls.

There were the two front entrances to the school, separated, one for boys, one for girls. And for many years, they were uniformly used that way.

There was the office, which was oddly tucked away in-between the entrance level and the top floor. The school didn’t really have a first, second, and third floor, but more of a series of half floors connected by wide staircases with wooden banisters.

There was the gym, the site of hundreds of basketball games, school plays, book fairs, and numerous other community events.

And then there was the study hall, a massive space surrounded by class rooms on either side. For years it was the study area for hundreds of students but for the last 30 years of its use, there was a sense of danger and mystery surrounding the hall.

Since as early as the 1970s, children were forbidden from crossing the middle of the study hall floor in fear that the floor would give way, giving the student a much quicker, and much more painful, way to get down to the gymnasium directly below.

Fortunately no one ever did take the plunge but concerns over the building’s overall structural soundness eventually led to it’s closing in July of 2003.

After a spirited fight to keep the building open went by the way side, the blade finally fell on the issue of demolishing the old school during the February meeting 2008 of the Panhandle School Board when they accepted a bid for the demolition.

With a projected demolition cost of $190,000, the destruction of the grade school will cost roughly $80,000 more than what the building cost to erect almost 90 years before.


The idea of the building came to fruition in 1919 after the community saw the need for a bigger high school and voted to build the new structure.

With $110,000 in bonds, the new Raymond Community High School was finally completed in 1920 under the supervision of school board president A.A. Central, secretary Dr. C.R. Driskell, and school board members John McCallum, Alva Jones, and Thomas Doyle.

In the 1923 edition of The Raymonian, the first ever volume of the Raymond Community High School yearbook, a description of the school’s dedication ceremony was included.

The description, which was written by “a senior who was there”, is below:

High School Dedication:

On November the twenty-second the beautiful new High School building was formally dedicated with a very appropriate program. Music was furnished by the High School Chorus and the address of the evening was delivered by Rabbi Ben Harrison of St. Louis. Following this, light refreshments were served to over seven hundred guests and friends of the school. Seniors acted as conductors through the building and those present were loud in praise of the community spirit to which the school is a lasting memorial.

While C.G. Vernon was the first principal at the new school, one of the most beloved principals to grace the halls of the building was Raymond R. Crum.

Starting in 1940, Principal Crum spent 31 years at the helm of the school, overseeing some of the most pivotal points in the district’s history.

In 1947, the Raymond and Harvel Schools were consolidated to eventually form the Panhandle District.

Two construction projects followed in 1956 and 1958 to add an annex and a junior high school building but the biggest change came in 1962.

That year the Raymond High School and Farmersville High School (which included students from Waggoner) consolidated to form the new Lincolnwood High School. With the larger student population, the need for a new school building became apparent, leading to the building of the new high school, which is still in use today, in 1970.

The 1970-1971 school year not only marked Principal Crum’s final year at the school, but also marked a new beginning for the building he spent his entire career in.

The old high school housed the junior high for a period of time before they too moved to the new school. From there, the building was the home to Raymond Grade School until the end of the 2003 school year. To put things in perspective that means the final sixth grade class to attend the old school will graduate from the “new” high school next year.

Although it is now reduced to a pile of wood, metal and bricks, the fond memories of the school still remain.

“I hate to see it go,” Don Bergdolt, principal of Raymond Grade School for 15 years, said prior to the demolition. “It’s an old building but it has a lot of character, a lot of history. It really is an institution.”

Marvin and Wanda Schroeder both taught at the old school, combining for more than 70 years of teaching experience between them.

Mr. Schroeder taught in Raymond from 1947 to 1984, spending 24 years at the old building before moving on to the new high school. Mrs. Schroeder worked from 1953 to 1960 in the high school before putting in 30 more years as a teacher at Raymond Grade School.

“At one point, I had taught in three different high schools and was still in the same room,” Marvin Schroeder explained. “I started with Raymond Community High School. When they organized the unit district (with Harvel), they dropped the Raymond Community High School and made it just Raymond High School in the Panhandle Unit. And then, of course, the consolidation of Farmersville and Raymond was 1962.”

“I taught in every room in the building except the old home economics room and the band room,” Wanda Schroeder remembers. “Back then, the enrollment was growing and you moved around according to the space that was available. Some of these rooms were little. If you had a bigger class, you got a bigger room.”

But for the Schroeders, the attachment to the building goes further than just a place where they used to work. Since the fall of 1961, the couple has made their home just across Prairie Street, a stones throw away from where they spent all those years educating the area’s youth.

“We had some really good years there and a lot of good people to work with,” Mrs. Schroeder said. “I’m sorry to see it go.”

The final phase of the demolition will take place in September with the landscaping of the area. According to Panhandle Superintendent Connie Falconer, the district has formed a committee to work on a memorial to commemorate the building and it’s meaning to the community.

Whatever the committee decides to do, the memories of those who attended the school will never wane. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, grandparents and grandchildren can all look back fondly and reminisce about their time at the old brick building on Prairie Street.

And no trackhoe, no dump truck, no demolition can ever take that away.

For more photos of the Raymond Grade School, or to share your memories with us, visit www.thejournal-news.net.

For those wishing to own a piece of the school, bricks from the old building will be sold to help benefit the Lincolnwood High School Post-Prom. Along with a brick, the buyer will also receive a commemorative sketch of the building and a plaque with a brief history of the structure. For more information, contact Kim Jaeger at 227-4559.

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