St. James High School

The History of St. James High School

St. James (population estimated at 150) is located in south-central Illinois about 55 miles east-northeast of East St. Louis (or about 8 miles south of St. Elmo).  The town sits quietly in the southeast portion of Fayette County.  County Highway 5 will bring you to town from the east.  County Highway 7 passes by the west side of town and connects to Interstate Highway 70 just three miles to the north.  The Union Pacific Railroad passes by the west side of town, too. According to St. James is four blocks from east to west and two blocks from north to south.

The history of the tiny village of St. James is in need of research.  We do not believe it is an incorporated town in Illinois.  We do know that the village supported a high school at one time. It is likely that the school was a grade school of grades 1 – 8 with two or three years of high school offered after that.  We believe that St. James High School would have closed in the late 1940s like the hundreds of other two and three-year high schools of the day.

The fate of the St. James School building is being sought.  It would appear that St. James’ high school-aged children attend school in either St. Elmo or Farina (South Central).

St. James High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                             late 1800s / early 1900s

Year closed:                              late 1940s?

Consolidated to:                         St. Elmo or Farina South Central

St. James HS team nickname:    unavailable

St. James HS team colors:         unavailable

School Fight Song:                    unavailable


St. James High School boys definitely competed in basketball.  We believe they may have competed in track and baseball as well.  St. James High School’s team nickname, team colors, school fight song, coach’s names, and records of the better SJHS teams are all items we are seeking.

Boys Basketball

A Greenville High School yearbook of 1932-33 had this information written regarding St. James High School’s participation in the Vandalia District Tournament that year:

1st Round – St. James beat Reno  22 – 17

2nd Round – Greenville over St. James  39 – 23

The GHS yearbook states:

“Greenville played true to form in her game with St. James. St. James put up such a real fight that it was exciting throughout, yet doubtful at times. In the third and fourth quarters Greenville gradually pulled away from St. James, who were fighting hard but unable to stop the excellent pass-work which led us to a victory of 16 points over our opponents. We won 39-23.”


We know athletics could not have been all of the functions offered at St. James High.  It is probable that chorus, band, dances, clubs, plays, and other extra-curricular activities were offered as well.

We Are Seeking Your In-Put

Please contact us at if you can offer any further insight or information on the history and accomplishments attained at St. James High School. Items can be mailed to us at:

IIlinois  HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.  60631

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