The History of Royalton High School
Royalton (population 1,130) is located in far southern Illinois about 12 miles southeast of DuQuoin. In its “hey day” in the early 1900s Royalton enjoyed a population of over 3,800! Illinois Route 149 is the main roadway to and from this southwestern Franklin County town. The town’s area was settled in the mid 1850s but it was not recognized as an officila Illinois town until 1907. the Missouri Pacific Railroad runsto the southeast of town. A branch of the Big Muddy River flows through the south side of Royalton. For some EXCELLENT history and facts about Royalton and its former High Schol please visit the town’s officila website at:
A school was established in Royalton by the late 1800s. Royalton High School served the town as, at first, a three year school, and later earning a four year high school status. The original school building was found unsafe in 1936. A new building was quickly constructed and ready for use in 1937. This is the building you see pictured above. Royalton High continued to be the pride and joy of Royalton residents until the early 1960s. It was then that dwindling enrollment led to a consolidation effort with its neighbor four miles to the northeast, Zeigler. This effort became a reality in 1962 with the creation of the Zeigler-Royalton School District.
The high school for the new district landed in Zeigler. The Royalton folks had the grade school and junior high in their town for the new Zeigler-Royalton District, however all schools for Z-R School District are, today, in Zeigler.
After the school was discontinued, the Royalton High School buildng was utilized in many capacities, as relayed to us by Adam Rosoho:
“The Royalton High School building served as the Royalton City Hall. The Royalton Public Library was housed there as well. The Royalton Police Department also used the building. The Library moved out in 2001 and the City Hall/Police Department moved out around the same time. People still rent the gym to play basketball.”
The Royalton High School building fell into a dilapidated state. The building was razed and only the gymnasium remains. To read more about Royalton High School go to www.royaltonillinois.com/RHS.html .
Royalton High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800s / early 1900s
Year closed: 1962
Consolidated to: Zeigler-Royalton High School
Royalton HS team nickname: the “Pirates”
RHS team colors: Black & White
School Fight Song: “Royalton Loyalty”
(sung to Illinios Loyalton – Click play below and sing along!)
“We’re loyal to you Royalton High,
So pass out that ball Royalton High,
Fling out that dear old flag of
Black and White,
Lead on your sons and daughters
Fighting for you
Like men of old, on giants.
Placing reliance, shouting defiance
Amid the broad green plains that nourish our land,
For honest Labor and for Learning we stand.
And unto thee we pledge our heart and our hand,
Dear Alma Mater, Royalton High!