Sailor Springs High School “Tigers”

Sailor Springs School Building
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The History of Sailor Springs High School

Sailor Springs (population 128) is located in the west-central portion of Clay County in the southeastern portion of Illinois. Sailor Springs is about 30 miles southeast of Effingham. The town is situated on the Dieterich Blacktop just south of County Highway 3. Sailor Springs is seven blocks from east to west and five blocks from north to south (

A nice, brief history of Sailor Springs is found at the web address of . The information is as follows:

“An interesting story is one told of Sailor Springs. This village of a few hundred people is five and a half miles north of Clay City. In an early day there was found at this place a number of springs with very peculiar water. This water was thought to be the cause of “milk-sick” and so the stock was fenced from the springs. In 1869 Mrs. Thomas M. Sailor of Ohio bought the land—four hundred acres—containing the springs. Mr. Sailor had the water tested and found it contained health-giving properties. Illuminating gas has been gathered from the springs and it has been thought it could be made of real value about the hotels. Back in the 70’s and 80’s the springs were liberally patronized as a summer resort. Two big hotels with fifty rooms each were often crowded while scores and perhaps hundreds lived in tents upon the beautiful grounds. In recent years the reputation of the springs has somewhat declined and the place is not so popular.”.

A fantastic web site dedicated to the history and memories of growing up in Sailor Springs is found at the web address of . The web site was created by author Mabel Leo and provides some incredible history and fond memories of Sailor Springs from Mabel.

The history of the Sailors Springs High School is needed. Research conducted by Dave Sanders located a chat log at the web address of . On this log one lady named Donna Ward wrote that her father attended Sailor Springs High School which at that time (late1920s/early 1930s) was a “2-year high school.” Her father completed a third year at Clay City High School, to which he walked to and from each day. Clay City, at that time, was only a 3-year high school. Other high school-aged kids of Sailor Springs would attend Flora High School after graduating their second year in Sailor Springs.

Brad, a former student of the Sailor Springs Grade School, tells us the following about the school building:

“The sailor springs school system consolidated with Clay City in 1970. I attended 1969 sailor springs school’s first grade. My first grade class consisted of 5 children including myself. It was a two room school house with first through fifth grade in one room located to the left side as you entered the school. On the right was sixth through eighth grade. My older sisters were in 6th and 8th grades. My oldest sister was one of two kids in her 8th grade class.

Mrs. Gentry taught the lower grade classroom and Mrs. Gray the older children.

Upstairs was a classroom which was used for speech. There was a gym in the back of the school which was destroyed by a tornado much later. The gym was very nice. Big oak curved beams layered the ceiling of the gym. Lunch was served daily in the gym.

The school had one bus. A bus shed was to the right of the school. Our team nickname was the “Tigers”, our uniform colors were Royal Blue & Gold, and our cheerleaders even made their own pom poms.”

We believe Sailor Springs was a two-year high school which likely began in the early 1900s, possibly as late as the early 1920s. It was probably closed in the late 1940s. We do know that the kids of Sailor Springs today attend school in nearby Clay City as part of the Clay City School District.

Sailor Springs High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                          early 1920s?

Year closed:                            late 1940s?

Year GS Closed:                     1970

Consolidated to:                      Clay City High School

Sailor Springs HS nickname:   “Tigers”

Sailor Springs HS colors:         Royal Blue & Gold

School Fight Song:                  unavailable


The Sailor Springs High School boys definitely competed in basketball. On the web address of we found that the Sailor Spring boys lost to Parkersburg High School in the first round of the Olney District Tournament by a score of 37 – 18. At this point this is the extent of the knowledge we have regarding Sailor Springs High School sports.

It is likely the school competed in baseball and track as well. School team nickname, uniform colors, and season recoreds are needed.


Other activities of interest at Sailor Springs High School may have included dances, plays, band, chorus, and various clubs.  If you have any information please contact us via the means listed below.


If you have any information regarding the former Sailor Springs High School please write to us via e-mail at  You can also write to us via real mail at:

IHSGD Website

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631


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