Scottland High School “Eagles”

Scottland High School – 1972
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Photo courtesy of Boyd and Neil King
Scottland High School – 1906
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Photo courtesy of Boyd and Neil King

The History of Scottland High School

Scottland (population approximately 100) is located in far eastern Illinois about 20 miles south of Danville.  The town appears to be unincorported in Illinois.  According to MapQuest ( Scottland is about 5 blocks long to the north and south and 3 blocks wide to the east and west.  Located in northeastern Edgar County, it is probable that Scottland was initiated by a railroad line that runs through it, currently owned by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company.  On various maps since its founding, the town has been listed as Scotland and as Scottland.  The Scott Bros. General Store was a central feature of the town in the 1800’s.  The town is nestled on County Road N 1950th Street about a mile north of U.S. Route 36. The Indiana state border is about 3 miles east of Scottland.  The Salt Fork Creek flows just to the northeast of town.  6 miles east of Scottland, just east of the Indiana border, is the town of Dana, boyhood home of Ernie Pyle, famous journalist killed in World War II.

The following history of Scottland High School was offered to us by Carol Craig.  It is an excellent account of the school system and history of Scottland, Illinois:


The Village of Scottland, Illinois

Scottland Town Entrance Sign
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Courtesy of Bill Gill

William Scott was born July 13, 1819, near Bloomington, Indiana, the oldest child of Samuel and Rebecca Scott’s ten children. When he was ten years of age, his family moved to Prairie Twp. in Edgar County and built a split log cabin. In his early days, he, as well as his father, engaged extensively in buying and feeding stock on a large scale, then driving them to Chicago. They used money from cattle sales to purchase black, prairie land at $1.25 an acre. His father became the largest landowner in the county, having 3,500 acres, as well as 1,000 acres in the state of Kansas. William owned 1,000 acres on which the town of Scottland is now located.

In 1843, William married Elizabeth Legate. They were the parents of nine boys and one girl. He was one of the first in the area to improve his farm, building a large, brick colonial home, at the cost of $12,000, located on the “Ocean to Ocean” road, northeast of Scottland.

The land for Scottland was surveyed and laid out in 1872. Mr. Scott, for whom the land was named, donated the right of way and one half of the town lots to the railroad company to induce them to locate the town there. The little village soon had between two to three hundred inhabitants, enough to support the businesses that were established. The post office was moved to Scottland in 1873. Three drygoods stores, two blacksmith shops, and the grain elevator were among the first firms to be built. Two doctors soon set up practices in town. The Methodist church was dedicated in 1883. There were two active lodges. The early school was damaged by a cyclone and was rebuilt in 1906. Later, drugstores, a flouring-mill, barber shops, beauty shops, grocery stores, hardware stores, engine repair garages, a hotel, a butcher shop, gas stations, a paint store, a café, and a soil service were added.

Besides the Scotts, the Shane, Bonwell, Dawson, Smith, Hess, Littlefield and Light families were some of the early families who currently have descendants living in the Scottland area.

Scottland celebrated a Centennial in 1972, publishing an excellent book of text and pictures, from which this information was gleaned. Nearly all the businesses are gone, the post office closed, and the population has diminished, but the town remains a close knit community, with pride in their interesting past.


The first school, built before the turn of the century, was a two story building, one room on the ground floor and one above. It was used for grade school pupils only. The first teachers received $30-$45 per month. After this building was damaged by a cyclone, Mr. Scott and the railroad donated land to erect a new grade school in 1906. Classes were held in the townhouse and over a store while the school was being built in its permanent location. The two-story building consisted of the bell tower, the main hallway, the staircase, west classrooms, and a principal’s office. A new addition was built in 1928-29, which included the first gymnasium and a stage at ground level, and a study hall and three small classrooms on the top floor. A 1936 wing was added to the west of the original building, which housed the science and home economics departments. The north addition, added in 1948, included restrooms and a mezzanine level where there was a large classroom with a tube type fire escape and a larger principal’s office. The last addition was the new gymnasium, built in 1953 on the north side of the building. Remodeling was done in 1959 to convert the old gym into a cafeteria on the lower level, and a study hall and two classrooms on the middle level. In the 1960’s a building in the south of town was purchased to house the industrial arts and agriculture programs.

In 1907, a petition was put forth and passed to combine districts 18, 19, and 23. By then, a ninth year had been added and students were studying algebra, Latin, English, and physiology. In 1923, a basketball squad was organized, which practiced outdoors until a gym was built. The following year, one of the best track squads in the county was organized. The tenth grade was added to the high school between 1906 and 1919. In 1923, the first three year class graduated; and in 1937, the first four year class graduated from a complete Scottland High School. Students no longer had to finish high school at Chrisman, Dana, Bono, or Paris high schools. Future Farmers of America was introduced in 1936 and Future Homemakers of America followed in 1938. As the years passed, band, chorus, other sports and various clubs came into existence. In 1944-45, the first yearbook was published. The “Eagles”’ school song was Notre Dame Victory March.

In 1972, a referendum was passed to consolidate the Scottland and Chrisman school districts. The Scottland building housed the 6-7-8 junior high school students until 1979, when the state determined the building did not meet the Life, Health, and Safety Codes. With repairs being too costly, and a referendum failed to pass, the building was closed and sold at public auction. The brick building was torn down, leaving only the gymnasium. The property is currently privately owned, and the campus is used for a home site and a pasture for horses.

The Scottland School left a commendable legacy. Many students were well prepared for success in life. Its past can be recalled only in our memories.”

It cannot be said ANY better than that.  Great job Carol Craig!

The original Scottland High School building has been torn down.  The former gymnasium is still standing, owned by William Gill.  Bill tells us the gym has been kept in great condition (see the photos below).  Though Bill uses a portion of the gym area for storage, his sons Roy Douglas and William Clayton played many a basketball game with their buddies on the floor when they were growing up.  Great job by Bill Gill in maintaining the history and nostalgia of the Scottland HS gymnasium!

For more reading on the history of Scottland High School go to the web address of

Scottland High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                     late 1800s

Year closed:                      1972

Consolidated to:                 Chrisman School District

School team nickname:      the “Eagles”

School team colors:           Purple & White

School Fight Song:            “Scottland High Victory March”

                                                        Notre Dame University Fight Song Tune   

                                         Cheer, Cheer for old Scottland High,

                                         Wake up the echoes, Cheering her name,

                                         Send a loyal cheer on high,

                                         Shake out the thunder from the sky.

                                         What though the odds be great or small,

                                         Old Scottland High will win over all.

                                         While her loyal sons are marching

                                         Onward to victory!!                                        

Scottland High School Gym – Home of the “Eagles”
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Courtesy of Bill Gill
Scottland HS Gym Center Circle
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Courtesy of Bill Gill


Unfortunately there is no mention of the Scottland High School athletic success on the IHSA website ( We are confident that basketball was offered at the school.  Baseball, cross country, and track may also have been offered. We also know that the coach of the boys basketball team from 1965 – 1971 was Harold Clark, who was originally from Clarksville, IN. (Thank you to Paulette Rickets Burgett for this bit of information.)

If you have this information please contact us via the information listed below.  This inofrmation about Scottland High School was supplied to us by Gary Spicer:

“I came to the Eastern Illinois in 1963 and Scottland HS was still operating at that time.  As a matter of fact George Latinovich, who originated from the Clinton, IN. area, was their coach. George went on to coach at St. Joe-Ogden HS and Danville Area Community College.”

Gym Floor – private storage area in background
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Courtesy of Bill Gill
Scottland Gym Basket and Ceiling Rafters
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Coutesy of Bill Gill

We do know that the Chrisman High School teams have had incredible success in basketball and cross country.  We will bet the Scottland kids contributed to that success as well.

Two of the better athletes to don the purple & white included John Bright and Terry Simons.


Several basketball scores involving the Scottland High School “Eagles” were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” These scores are from Scottland HS in the IHSA State Tournament and are listed below.

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

1st Rd lost to Allerton 33-26

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

1st Rd lost to Redmon 56-9

1936-37 through 1947-48  Postseason scores, records, and coaches names needed.

1948-49                 Sidell District Tournament           Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Fairmount 51-25

1949-50  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1950-51                 Hume District Tournament          Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Fairmount 62-51

1951-52                 Metcalf Young America District   Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Sidell 47-33

1952-53 through 1956-57  Postseason scores, records, and coaches names needed.

1957-58                 Homer District Tournament         Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Young America 71-48

1958-59                 Chrisman District Tournament    Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Chrisman 69-39

1959-60                 Ridge Farm District Tourney      Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Chrisman 71-43

1960-61  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1961-62  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1962-63                 Ridge Farm District Tourney      Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Brocton 57-46

1963-64  14 – 8      Postseason scores needed.       Coach George Latinovich


1964-65      Postseason scores & records needed.  Coach Harold Clark


1965-66  Postseason scores, records, and coaches names needed.

1966-67    9 – 17    Postseason scores needed        Coach Ken Vitaniemi

1967-68                 Chrisman District Tournament    Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Westfield 77-38

1968-69                 Chrisman District Tournament    Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Newman

1969-70                 Chrisman District Tournament    Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Newman 71-63

1970-71                 Chrisman District Runner-Up  Coach’s name & record needed

                             Semi-final Beat Westfield 78-55

Title Game lost to Chrisman 69-51

1971-72                 Catlin Class ‘A’ Regional             Coach’s name & record needed

**1st Rd lost to Sidell Jamaica 80-66

**Final game for Scottland High School, consolidated with Chrisman in the summer of 1972.

Distinguished Resident

One former resident of Scottland made quite a career for herself.  Wilma Vaught was born in 1930 in Pontiac, Michigan, but her family soon moved to rural Scottland, where she grew up.  She went on in her life to become known as Brigadier General Wilma Vaught of the United States Air Force.

According to her official biography:

“Wilma graduated from Scottland Community High School and the University of Illinois.  Her father had the honor of pinning the star to her shoulder when she became a Brigadier General in 1980.  After a distinguished career in the military, she retired in 1985.  She was instrumental in the establishment of the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, which was dedicated in 1997.”


**From Janice L. Chapman Lewis:

“My Dad was raised in Scottland, IL .  He was the oldest son of Clarence E. and Inez Chapman. My grandfather was the station master for the B&O railroad there.  Many fond memories of visiting there, helping put the mailbags out on the hooks and many paper clips etc. on the tracks.  There used to be a station there but it burned down while my grandpa was at the St. Louis World fair and my dad was in charge. Must be a story there!  Thereafter the station was a Boxcar.  He had a brother Forrest who used to be a beau of Peggy Scott and a sister Helen.  We had many visits to the Scotts.   Also, remember the “free movies” in front of the general store.  Must have been one of the 1st. Drive Inns.  Sadly my dad died in 1959 from a car accident in WY at age 44.  We lived in South Bend, IN and moved to Denver, CO in 1956 when my Dad was laid off at Studebakers.  Would love to hear more about Scottland,and curious as to what the population was then and now.”

Seeking Your Assistance

If you have ANY information you can share regarding the history of Scottland and its former high school please contact us via e-mail at  We are especially interested in a photo of the Scottland High School building.  You can write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631


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