Roodhouse High School “Railroaders”

Roodhouse High School – 1928
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Photo Submitted by John Strain
Washington High School Building, Roodhouse, Il.
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Submitted by John Strain

The History of Roodhouse High School

Roodhouse (population 2,214) is located in northern Greene County at the intersection of Illinois Rt. 267 and County Road 2.  The Seminary Creek and Illinois Central Gulf Railroad run through the center of town.  The town was named after its founder, John Roodhouse, and was at one time, in the late 1800s, one of the most important railroad centers in the midwest.  A town of note for reference would be Springfield located 40 miles northeast of Roodhouse.

The Roodhouse school system was probably started in the late 1800s.  Roodhouse supported its own school system for many years until consolidation talks with its neighbor to the southwest, White Hall, took place in the early 1960s.  This effort was completed in 1963 with the creation of the North Greene School District.  The high school was located in White Hall with the junior high school remaining in Roodhouse.  The junior high school, in fact, is still based in Roodhouse.

Roodhouse HS Building – 1932
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Courtesy of John Strain
Roodhouse HS Front View – 1928
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The photo at the bottom of this page is of the North Greene Junior High School in Roodhouse.  Our good friend Louise Rawlings Buhlig tells us:

“There were two High School buildings on that property before the last one was demolished to make way for the newer grade school structure pictured below. The original High School housed not only the high school students, but also grades one through eight, another small grade school (still standing) on the other side of the railroad tracks accomodated grades one through four.”.

Roodhouse High School Quick Facts 

Year opened:                 mid to late 1800s

Year closed:                  1963

Consolidated to:             North Greene School District

School nickname:          The “Railroaders”

School colors:               Red & White

School Fight Song:        Tune of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”

Roodhouse HS Gymnasium – 1930
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The Roodhouse High School Railroaders had many great sesons in boys athletics, competing in the I.V. (Illinois Valley) Conference.  IHSA hardware was won in boys basketball and track.  It is believed baseball was also offered.  Another interesting fact about Roodhouse was the success of their drama, debate, and speech programs.  Those areas will be touched on later.  The success found on the IHSA web site for athletics are listed below.  Roodhouse was a member of the Illinois Valley Conference from 1928-1962.

Roodhouse HS Gym – 1930
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Sent to us by John Strain

Boys Basketball

The Roodhouse boys basketball team had a long and sotried history of successful teams.  The team brought home four regional titles, one District title, and one sectional title.  Their lone Sweet 16 appearance came in the 1938-39 season when the team finished 26 – 2 and lost to Ziegler in the Super Sectional! The best seasons of Roodhouse basketball are listed below.

1928-29                    Greenville County Champions

Roodhouse HS Basketball County Champs 1928-29
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1929-30     19 – 9       (good record)                                      Coach Foster Keagle


1935-36     20 – 7       Greenfield District Champions        Coach’s name needed

1st Rd Beat Scottville 37-30

                                   Semi-final Beat Greenfield 30-24

                                   Title Game Beat Modesto 31-24

                                   Greenfield Regional Tourney

                                   1st Rd lost to Virden 27-23

White Hall beat Carlinville in title game


1938-39     26 – 2       Regional / Sectional Champions      Coach Maynard “Pat” O’Brien

                                   Carrollton Regional Tourney

                                   1st Rd Beat Hardin 46-11

                                   Semi-final Beat White Hall 29-27 (O/T)

                                   Title Game Beat Jerseyville 30-26

                                   Quincy Sectional Tourney

                                   1st Rd Beat Beardstown 36-27

                                   Semi-final Beat Mendon 30-24

ROODHOUSE (30): Roodhouse 10, McPherson 7, Wimberly 5, McDonald 5, Lewis 2, Whitney 1.

MENDON (24): Anderson 12, J. Mealiff 8, F. Mealiff 2, Myers 2.

                                   Title Game Beat Quincy 24-22

                                   IHSA Sweet 16 Finalists

                                   1st Rd lost to Ziegler 21-11

Ziegler lost in Elite 8 Rd to Rockford

Rockford won IHSA State Title


1939-40     19 – 7       Carrollton Regional Runner-up           Coach Mason Campbell

                                   1st Rd Beat Hardin 31-18

                                   Semi-final Beat Eldred 37-20

                                   Title Game lost to Jerseyville 32-31

1940-41     17 – 7       Jerseyville Regional Champions    Coach Mason Campbell

                                   1st Rd Beat Hardin 39-30

                                   Semi-final Beat Carrollton 25-23

                                   Title game beat White Hall 31-23

                                   Collinsville Sectional Tourney

                                    Lost in 1st Rd. to Carlinville 37-24

Collinsville beat Carlinville in title game

CARLINVILLE (37): Berdella 13, Curry 8, Boente 8, Schreiter 6, Evans 2.

ROODHOUSE (24): Jackson 7, Tipps 4, F. Stone 3, Whitney 2, Newton 2, Smock 2, D, Stone 1, Neal 1.

1941-42     20 – 8       Jerseyville Regional Runner-Up     Coach Mason Campbell

                                  1st Rd Beat Alsey 56-37

                                  Semi-final Beat Carrollton 31-19

                                  Title Game lost to White Hall 29-28

1942-43     21 – 8       Jerseyville Regional Champions    Coach Mason Campbell

                                   1st Rd Beat Kampsville 52-16

                                   Semi-final Beat arrollton 35-28

                                   Title Game Beat White Hall 37-28

                                   Highland Sectional Tourney

                                   1st Rd lost to Wood River 54-35

Wood River beat Greenville in title game

WOOD RIVER (54): Miller 16, Harris 13, Bazzell 6, Hanks 5, Fairless 4, Fox 2, Eberhart 2, Ashmore 2, Eden 2, Hicks 2.

ROODHOUSE (35): Whitney 16, Jackson 9, Stone 4, Martin 3, Neal 3.

1945-46                     Jerseyville Regional Runner-up      Coach Mason Campbell

                                  1st Rd Beat Greenfield 41-28

                                  Semi-final Beat Eldred 47-24

                                  Title Game lost to Jerseyville 38-28


1946-47     22 – 5       Jerseyville Regional Champions     Coach Mason Campbell

                                  1st Rd Beat Hardin 42-18

                                  Semi-final Beat White Hall 51-21

                                  Title Game Beat Carrollton 30-29

ROODHOUSE (30): Ruyle 8, Reagor 7, Barrow 7, Ferguson 5, Ballard 3.

CARROLLTON (29): Voiles 21, Chenoweth 4, Cory 2, Price 1, Whiteside 1.

                                  East St. Louis Sectional

Semifinal- Collinsville 60 Roodhouse 33

COLLINSVILLE (60): Pitol 16, Miranda 13, Undergott 8, Anderson 7, Grimm 5, Ray 4, Sonnenberg 3, Schault 3, Weber 1.

ROODHOUSE (33): Ferguson 14, Ballard 8, Barrow 4, Little 3, Reagor 2, Ruyle 1, Havlin 1.

                                  Collinsville went on to lose in the

                                  2nd Round at the state tournament

                                  in Champaign


1947-48                     Jerseyville Regional Runner-Up      Coach Mason Campbell

                                  1st Rd Beat Greenfield 54-34

ROODHOUSE (64): Ballard 20, Ferguson 12, Carmean 11, Benner 7, Little 6, Day 2, Scott 2, Haviland 2, Bell 1, Roodhouse 1.

GREENFIELD (34): Coonrod 9, Gustine 6, Imel 6, Lewis 4, Waltrip 4, Overby 2, Shields 2, Nifong 1.

                                  Semi-final Beat Hardin 64-7

ROODHOUSE (64): Ferguson 17, Little 12, Day 7, Eavlin 7, Roodhouse 6, Scott 3, Bell 3, Carmean 2, Benner 2, Ballard 1.

HARDIN (7): Mortland 4, Godar 2, Tepen 1.

Title Game lost to Carrollton 55-49

CARROLLTON (55): Chapman 38, C. Brannan 8, Cory 5, G. Brannan 3, Whiteside 2.

ROODHOUSE (49): Ferguson 17, Little 9, Benner 9, Ballard 8, Bell 2, Day 2, Carmean 2.


1948-49     17 – 7       Jerseyville Regional Runner-up        Coach Mason Campbell

                                   1st Rd Beat White Hall

                                   Semi-final Beat Grafton 41-36

                                   Title Game lost to Jerseyville 38-37

1958-59     12 – 12     (last .500 or better record)                    Coach Alex McKnight


1962-63                      Final Season for RHS                         Coach’s name needed

                                   White Hall Regional Tourney

                                   1st Rd Beat White Hall 53-37

                                   *Semi-final lost to Jerseyville 59-45

                                   Jerseyville beat Carrolton in title game

*Final boys basketball game for Roodhouse High School.

The Winchester Invitational Tournament

Roodhouse had some nice success in this annual basketball tournament as researched by Mark Jurenga:

1935- 4th Place; Lost to Winchester

1942- Champions over Murrayville            Coach: Campbell

1943- 2nd Place; Lost to Murrayville

1948- Champions over Winchester           Coach: Campbell

1953- 4th Place; Lost to White Hall

1959- 4th Place; Lost to Griggsville

1960- 4th Place; Lost to Griggsville


Roodhouse had an excellent football program in the 1920s and 1930s. Evidence of the earliest football game can be traced back to as far as 1928, defeating Jerseyville 12-7. Roodhouse competed in the Ivy Conference.  The better team records and successes are liste below.

1955  5-4      3rd place Illinois Valley Conference                     Coach Bill Pauley

1956  6-3      4th place Illinois Valley Conference                     Coach Jack Jordan

1957  5-4      4th place Illinois Valley Conference                     Coach Jack Jordan

1958  9-0       Illinois Valley Conference Champs                    Coach Jack Jordan

1959  9-0       Illinois Valley Conference Champs                    Coach Jack Jordan

Roodhouse won 19 straight games starting with the last game of the 1957 season

1960  7-2       2nd place Illinois Valley Conference

Boy’s Track & Field

Three athletes brought home seven medals from the state track meet.  One male athlete, M. Hustedsingle handedly led Roodhouse High to consecutive team finishes of 7th and 4th in 1913 and 1914.  In 1914 M. Husted brought home two first place finishes and a second place finish in the three weight – field events offered!.  In 1911 an athlete simply named Husted (M. Husted’s older brother?)  brought home a state championship in the long jump and in 1939 a kid named Wimberly placed 5th in the 100 yard dash. The finishes and results of the State meets are listed below.

1911    E. Lynn Husted               Long Jump      State Champion!!

1913    Roodhouse Finished 7th Overall at the State Track Meet

           Individual Placer


           Merle R. Husted          Discus              State Champion!!

           Merle R. Husted          Shot Put           4th Place

           Final Team Standings

           1.)  Oak Park – River Forest        –  34

2.)  Chicago University HS          –  24

3.)  Raymond                            –  12

4.)  McLean                              –    8

Ridge Farm                         –   8

6.)  LaGrange                            –   7

           7.)  ROODHOUSE H.S.             –    6

Springfield H.S.                   –   6

9.)  Harvey Thornton, Rock Island, Virgina, Oregon

and Sullivan all tied with 5 points

1914B   Roodhouse Finished 4th Overall at the State Track Meet


            Individual Placer

            Merle R. Husted        Discus           State Champion

            Merle R. Husted        Shot Put        State Champion

            Merle R. Husted        Hammer        2nd Place

            Final Team Standings

            1.)  LaGrange                    –  28

2.)  Harrisburg                   –  16

3.)  Centralia                     –  14

            4.)  ROODHOUSE H.S.     –   13

            5.)  Aurora West               –   11

6.)  Kewanee                    –    9

Tuscola                      –    9

8.)  Pittsfield                     –    8

9.)  Momence, Jacksonville, Fair Field, all tied with 7 points.

1938   District Team Champions

1939   District Team Champions

          1939 Individual Placer at State Meet

          Harold D. Wimberly      100 Yard Dash         5th Place


(Harold Wimberly went on to play football at Illinois Weslyan and serve our country in World War II.  He also taught science and coached football and track at Jachsonville HS for many years. He had a great sense of humor and always had a story to tell. Wimberly’s young high school athletes were often impressed with his speed and how he could jump. To his students, he was Coach Wimberly or Mr Wimberly, but to adults he was known as ” Hal “. Thank you to his former student-athlete Bruce Samoore for providing this information)

Great Job Roodhouse Thinclads!!

Drama, Speech, Debate

Truly an incredible job by the Roodhouse english department here!  One State Team Championship as well as numerous individual and team IHSA hardware winners.  Nice job.  Sarah Martin Neely tells us the “coach” of this incredible program was Mrs. Thel Wilkinson. She was assisted by Miss Opal Story.  The great success in the above listed categories are listed below.

Drama Team

The Drama Team of Roodhouse High School had great success in the 1940s and early 1950s.  In fact, the Drama Team earned Roodhouse High a STATE CHAMPIONSHIP in 1943!!.  The Coach’s and team member names are not available.  The Drama Team also placed 2nd in 1946  and won their Sectional, qualifying for the state competition in 1951!!! 

1943     STATE CHAMPIONS!!!                                          Mrs. Thel Wilkinson

1946     STATE COMPETITION 2ND PLACE!!                      Mrs. Thel Wilkinson

1951     Sectional Champions                                           Mrs. Thel Wilkinson

Debate Team

The Debate Team at Roodhouse High also had some State Competition success.

1957    Sectional Champions                                          

Speech Sweepstakes Competition

In this category, Speech Sweepstakes, the Roodhouse High School speech team also excelled.  The team finished 8th in the State in 1946 and earned District Titles in 1953 and 1955! 

1946   Team Finished 8th in State Competition!           Mrs. Thel Wilkinson

1953   District Champions

1955   District Champions

Individual Events

Five Roodhouse students brought home individual medals from State Competition. Gordon White was crowned State Champion in one category in 1955!  The individual medal winners for Roodhouse are listed below.

1947   Bill Sawyer        Original Oratory      2ND PLACE

1951   Philip Smith       Original Oratory      5th Place

1952   Sarah Allen        Comedy                  2ND PLACE

1953   Olga Mayberry    Verse                      2ND PLACE 

1955   Gordon White     Extemporary           STATE CHAMPION!!

Memories & Items of Interest

From Roodhouse Class of 1951 graduate Louise Rawlins Buhlig:

“My parents were both graduates of just Roodhouse High School, Class of 1924, the first class to publish an Annual, The Legend, and the first class to wear cap & gown (I don’t believe the colors then were red & white, as that came into being with the addition of Community High School, depicting the Railroaders –Roodhouse is a railroad town and at one time the biggest hub between Kansas City & Chicago). The addition of Community would have been because some of the outlying smaller towns had three-year high schools, i.e., Patterson, Manchester, Hillview, necessitating the transfer of those graduates to spend their Senior year at Roodhouse, White Hall, or Murrayville.”

Need your Assistance

If you have any information, including photos, stories, facts, names, ect., regarding the many successes of Roodhouse High School, please e-mail us at  You can also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days 

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631    

Roodhouse Junior High School
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Roodhouse, Illinois
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Roodhouse vs. Jerseyville – 1930

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1930 Ivy Conference Standings – Railroaders are in FIRST PLACE!

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