Rockbridge High School “Rocks”

Rockbridge High School Building
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Submitted by Dennis Price

The History of Rockbridge High School

Rockbridge (population 189) is located in lower western / southwestern Illinois in the southeastern corner of Greene County.  Illinois Route 267 is the main roadway traveling through Rockbridge as Illinois Route 108 passes by town two and a half miles to the north.  County Highway 24 also passes through the village. Rockbridge is located about 35 miles southwest of Springfield and 15 miles north of Alton.

A post office named Rockbridge was established in the area in 1850. The town was established in 1870 along the Rockford, Rock Island & St. Louis Railroad line.  It was originally named Sheffield after a successful local businessman. The name was changed to Rockbridge to match the local post office shortly thereafter.

Rockbridge High School may have been established in the late 1800s, possibly even in the early 1900s.  It is probable that Rockbridge High School served the community and the area through the 1940s, possibly even longer. Rockbridge High was a four-year high school.

An alum of Rockbridge High School, Winifred Locher, who is 94 years old as of this writing (June 27, 2012), wrote the following letter to us regarding Rockbridge High:

(Rockbridge) is on Ill. Rte. 267 – 2 1/2 miles off of Rte. 108, about 65 miles from Springfield, Il. and 35 – 40 miles from Alton, Il.

My Dad, Fred S. Pewter, was Supt. of the school from about 1920 – 1940. He was also the basketball & track coach

The school was so small, maybe 30 – 40 total enrollment. After he retired – I don’t know exactly when – (Rockbridge) consolidated with Greenfield  I think this was in the early 1940s. Rockbridge was always a four-year high school as long as I was there.

I graduated from Rockbridge High School in 1936 and went on to graduate from Blackburn College in Carlinville, Il. (Yes, I am 94!) The school colors at Rockbridge High School were blue and gold. The fight song was the Univ. of Illinois fight song.

R.C.H.S. (Rockbridge Community High School) did participate in basketball and track and literary contests which were big at that time. We had very good teachers – graduates of Illinois College and MacMurray College. We also had school dances and plays. We competed with the 3-year and 4-year schools in Greene County.  About 1934, my Dad was on the IHSAA board and attended some meetings at the Palmer House in Chicago. I went with him and attended the World’s Fair.

My Dad organized the “Little 8” conference of all Macoupin County schools except Rockbridge. We were very close to Macoupin County though. The schools who were a part of this conference included:

Bunker Hill (still active), BrightonChesterfieldHettickMedora, Rockbridge, Scottville, and Shipman.

We competed in sports and literary contests. These were all 4-year high schools.

Some of the colleges attended by graduates that I can recall were the University of Illinois, Blackburn, an art school in Washington, D.C., Monticello College, Godfrey Shirtloff College (Alton, Il.), Willesby, and Illinois College. This was during the time of the Depression, in a farming community, and at a time when college was an option, not a necessity and a priority like it is today. Also the threat of war was approaching. I can think of many who did well in their careers.”

In the summer of 1947 it was decided that students of Rockbridge High School would attend nearby Greenfield High School beginning in August of 1947. Rockbridge High was dissolved and annexed into the Greenfield High School District.

Rockbridge High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                               late 1800s / early 1900s

Year closed:                                 1947

Consolidated to:                          Greenfield High School

Rockbridge HS team nickname:  “Rocks” (1938 Springfield Newspaper article)

possibly the “Panthers” at some point

Rockbridge HS team colors:        Blue & Gold

School Fight Song:                     “We’re Loyal to You, Rockbridge High”

University of Illinois FIght Song Tune


We know that Rockbridge High School competed in boys basketball. Baseball and track may have been offered as well.  “Quick Facts” information is needed for the Rockbridge High School athletic teams.  Also needed are coach’s names and team records.


The web address of shows several basketball game scores involving Rockbridge in the IHSA State Tournament. These scores are listed below.

**From Phil Shadid:

“Here is an article from the Illinois State Journal newspaper from March 1, 1929:

“Bad roads are no bar to a basketball team’s fulfilling its schedule if a railroad connects the school with its rival.  At least this is the doctrine of Rockbridge, for the athletes oiled up a couple of hand cars the other night and traveled over to Greenfield.

Upon arriving there, one of their number, a forward named Jewett, furnished what is perhaps the best individual exhibition of sharpshooting that any prep athlete has staged this season, ringing up ten field goals.  He thereby counted up twenty of his team’s twenty-three points, a fair evening’s work, even for one who has ridden in the coach’s flivver, and quite an achievement after helping navigate one of the railroad chariots.”

Greenfield won the game 26-23.


1928-29                White Hall District Tournament         Coach Fred S. Pewter

1st Rd Beat Manchester 21-20

2nd Rd lost to White Hall 36-14

White Hall beat Greenfield in title game


1931-32                 Greenfield District Tournament        Coach’s name & record needed.

1st Rd lost to Hettick 45-21

Jerseyville beat Modesto in title game.


1932-33                 White Hall District Tournament        Coach’s name & record needed.

1st Rd lost to Roodhouse 29-21

Jerseyville beat Murrayville in title game.


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

1st Rd Beat Hillview 27-9

2nd Rd lost to Greenfield 32-10

Greenfield lost to White Hall in semi-final

White Hall lost to Jerseyville in title game


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

1st Rd Beat Palmyra 22-21

2nd Rd Score Needed

Semi-final lost to Gillespie 35-17

Gillespie beat Jerseyville in title game


1935-36                Jerseyville Regional Tournament      Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Carrollton 30-25

Semi-final lost to Jerseyville 49-36

Jerseyville beat Grafton in title game


1936-37             Greenfield District Tournament         Coach’s name & record needed.

1st Rd Beat Alsey 33-23

Semi-Final lost to Medora 37-11

Hillview beat Medora in title game.


1937-38             Greenfield District Tournament         Coach’s name & record needed.

1st Rd lost to Hettick 30-28

Hettick beat Chesterfield in title game.


1938-39             Medora District Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed.

1st Rd lost to Hettick 48-23

Medora beat Hettick in title game.


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  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.


1944-45             Eldred District Tournament                Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Kampsville 35-14

Kampsville lost to Scottville in title game


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


1946-47                Eldred District Tournament                Coach’s name & record needed.

**1st Rd lost to Eldred 83-15

Eldred Beat Grafton in title game.

**This is the final game played by the Rockbridge High School “Rocks” varsity basketball team.



Sports were not the only activity at RHS.  It is probable that school plays, clubs, dances, and many other activities were a part of the well-rounded experience at Rockbridge High School.



If you have any further information regarding the many successes attained at Rockbridge High School, please write to us via e-mail at   You can also write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631


Rockbridge Students Begin Attending Greenfield High School in August of 1947 / RHS Closed in May 1947

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