The History Of Sibley High School
Sibley (population 329) is located in eastern Illinois in northwestern Ford County. The Illinois Routes of 47 and 165 intersect in Sibley. The Mackinaw River runs into the south side of town. Lake Sibley is located on the north side of town. The Norfolk & Western Railroad also lays its tracks through Sibley. Sibley is located about 35 miles east and a little north of Bloomington.
The town of Sibley is named after Hiram Sibley, who bought a good portion of land from Michael L. Sullivant in 1877. Sullivant was a farmer whose corn crop was well noted. The town was originally named Sullivant but was changed to Sibley in 1880. One feature of the town in the late 1800’s was a corn crib so large that it was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records at the time, and was torn down in 1965.
Sibley residents began a school system for their children in the late 1800’s. In 1874, the first Sibley School building was erected. Classes for high school children were begun shortly after this. Sibley High School offered only freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Students seeking a high school diploma had to attend Gibson City Drummer Township High to finish their high school years.
This changed in 1918 when Sibley began offering a four-year high school education. It was this year also that a new school building was built in Sibley. A gymnasium was added to the school in 1941. Sibley High School served the residents quite well for the next 31 years. In the late 1940’s (as with MANY small school districts), the state of Illinois put pressure on the smaller districts to consolidate. The residents of Sibley got together with their neighbors, Melvin, and created a new school district. The new district was started after the 1949 school year and was named the Melvin-Sibley School District.
The Sibley school building served the Melvin-Sibley School District until that district was also closed in 1993. The children of Sibley now complete all of their schooling in Gibson City as part of the Gibson City Melvin-Sibley School District.
Sibley High School Quick Facts
Year HS (1 – 3 year) school opened:1874
New building/four-year HS opened: 1918
Year gymnasium added: 1941
Year HS closed: 1949
School nickname: unavailable
School colors: Black & Orange
School Fight Song: unavailable