|The History of Smithboro High School
Smithboro (population 200) is located in southeastern Illinois in the east-central portion of Bond County. The town is situated about 3 miles east of Greenville and 35 miles northeast of East St. Louis. U.S. Route 40 travels directly through Smithboro. Illinois Route 140 passes by the northside of town while Interstate Highway 70 passes about a mile south of town. The Burlington Northern and Conrail railroad lines intersect in Smithboro.
A brief history of Smithboro was located at the Wikipedia address of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithboro,_Illinois . According to Wikipedia, Smithboro was originally established as Henderson Station. The name was changed to Smithboro and named after the town’s postmaster, Henry Smith. The town was officially incorporated in 1889. The spelling of the name of the town was changed from Smithborough to its current name in 1893.
Some excellent information and memories of the history of Smithsboro and its former school system are offered to us by former student Marvin Roach:
“In the late 1800’s Smithboro was the location of a productive coal mine and nearly was named the county seat of Bond County. After the mine closed the town lost a lot of their population. I remember as a child in the 1950’s Smithboro having a population of around 250 people with a post office, two grocery stores, an appliance store, a barber shop, a restaurant, a garage, a service station, and the school. It was also the location of a state highway department garage and the C B&Q railroad had a crew and a building that housed equipment for section repairs. At that time Route 40 was a major highway through this part of Illinois and ran through Smithboro. After interstate 70 opened in 1967 some of these businesses closed. All that remains of these is the post office. The population is now at 200 and the only business left is a package liquor store with gas pumps. Smithboro, like so many other towns has suffered from the greater mobility that people have today.”
Regarding the former school system…”The building that housed the high school was torn down in the late 1990’s. It was a two story brick building with four rooms upstairs and two elementary grades in each room and a full basement downstairs. I have been told that the classrooms for the high school were located there. I remember there being blackboards on the walls in the basement. There was no gymnasium. When I played basketball in the 8th grade we practiced outside and played our home games at the old Mulberry Grove school gym. Grades 1 through 8 attended Smithboro school until the 1958-1959 school year. Two more classrooms and a gym were added at that time and grades 1 through 6 had a room for each grade. Grades 7 and 8 were sent to Mulberry Grove Junior High. Smithboro school was closed in the middle 1970’s with all students going to the Mulberry Grove schools.
The two rooms and the gym are all that remain of the school and today house the Smithboro volunteer fire department.”
We know that the town once supported a high school, a two-year high school. Our guess is that the high school courses were offered beginning in the early 1900s. It was likely in the late 1940s Smithboro High School closed. We know that the students of Smithboro today attend classes in nearby Mulberry Grove.
If you have any further information on the history of Smithboro High School or the town itself, please contact us.
Smithboro High School Quick Facts
Year opened: early 1900s?
Year closed: late 1940s?
Consolidated to: Mulberry Grove High School
Smithboro team nickname: “Eagles”
Smithboro team colors: Green & White
School Fight Song: unavailable