Stockland (population approximately 150) is located in southeastern Iroquois County in the upper-eastern portion of Illinois. It is approximately 40 miles southeast of Kankakee. The town was platted in a country setting with the County Roads of 2820 east and 850 north being the main crossroads leading to and from Stockland. The KSBR Railroad runs to the west of town. A branch of the Sugar Creek flows to the west of town as well.
A nice history of the town and township of Stockland can be viewed on the Illinois Trails website at http://www.iltrails.org/iroquois/Stockland.htm . The first school house was established in 1850. It was in 1907 that Stockland High School was established. The High School District became one of the first consolidated Districts in the state of Illinois in 1940 taking in several country school districts in the area. In the early 1960s, Stockland folks began talking about closing their school. The closing of Stockland High School occurred in 1961. Students were given the choice of attending high school in Milford, Sheldon, or Wellington.
Stockland Grade School continued to serve the town and surrounding area until it was closed in 1988. The Stockland High School gym still stands proudly and serves the community well. The original high school building has been razed.
Stockland High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1907
Year closed: 1961
Merged to: Milford School District
Stockland HS team nickname: the :”Longhorns”
Team colors: Red, White, and Blue
(For a time Black)
School Fight Song: “STOCKLAND LOYALTY SONG”
Nestled in among the cornfields
Skies forever blue.
Lies our ever loved High School
And We’ll e’er be true.
Lift the chorus, speed it onward
Loud her praises sing
Hail to thee, our dear old High School
Hail to thee, we sing.
When the time comes for the track meet
Stockland will be there
With her banners gaily waving,
Winning fair and square.
Our High School we will always honor
Shout with all our might.
Let us pledge in word and action.
Love for blue and white.
Stockland High School Gymnasium
We know that Stockland High School competed in boys basketball. We believe that baseball and track were also offered. School team nickname, team colors, school fight song, and many other items are being sought regarding the athletic program at Stockland High.
There is a VERY nice history of the Stockland High School basketball program available on the IHSA website at www.ihsa.org . The Stockland boys won a District Title in 1938 and had some great seasons along the way. The coach’s names and better team records of SHS are listed below.
The photograph above is of the 1958-59 County Champions of Stockland High. Team members include Marvin Patterson, Russell Leitz, Gerald Bohner, John Criswell, Duane Reifel, Duane Stichnoth, George Fielding, Fred Hattabaugh, David Scherer, Wayne Rutledge, Larry Kimble, Coach Berg, Gordon Langellier, Leon Huff, cheer leaders, Mary Margaret Langellier, Brenda Bury, Shirley Huff
1959-61 Coach Roald Berg
Coach Mauritz Lindvall – Boys basketball 1948 – 50
56 – 23 overall (3 seasons)
2 – 22 games-won seasons
.709 – winning percentage
Memories of Longhorn Basketball
From Gene Callahan as told by Jim Ruppert:
“The 1949-50 Stockland team that went 22-5 won the Iroquois County Tournament title. The big game was in the semifinals against Cissna Park. Stockland trailed by 9 with 2:45 to play and rallied to win the game and then the championship the next game. Carl Smith stole the ball three times in the final 2:45 to key the Stockland comeback against Cisna Park.”
Stockland High School Gymnasium History
The following history of the Stockland High School Gymnasium/Auditorium was sent to us by Lucy Briscoe Green:
Stockland HS Gymnasium 2012
“The Stockland Gym was a separate building from the Stockland High School.They were not connected. In the late 1930’s the Stockland High School board decided the school needed a new gynmasium so they held a referendum to get permission to build one. It failed miserably so they waited a few months. Another referendum was held to get permission to build a community auditorium and it passed almost unanimously. Dahlquist andHicks were the contractors and the wood for the bleachers was hauled from Bloomington.
The floor was made of edge grain material that doesn’t splinter. The bleachers were made of this also. The same bleachers and floor are in the building today. Construction started in 1939 and was completed in January of 1940.The gym was to be finished by December of 1939, but the seal on the gym floor did not seal and had to be redone. The floor was ready for use in early Jan. 1940.
The basketball team played their first game on January 18, 1940 against Henning, Illinois and Stockland won the game. Upon completion it was immediately used for basketball by both the high school and the grade school along with all other school and community functions. Although Stockland was one of the smallest schools in Iroquois County, it produced two high school county champions, five grade school champions, and four teams made it to the Illinois Sweet 16.
The class of 1940 was the first to hold commencement exercises in the new gym. ( May 31, 1940). There were 14 graduates in the class. During World War II there were many dances and benefits held in the gym to sell war bonds and help the war effort.
Inside of Stockland Gymnasium
Youth Basketball Ready to Start
After the high school closed in 1961, and it looked like the grade school would follow shortly after, Clifford Bury received permission from the State of Illinois to hold a public hearing to transfer ownership of the building and the ground it sat on to Stockland Township so that it would always remain a community auditorium. When it became evident there was not enough tax money available to maintain the building, the alumni were asked to help and a local committee was formed to raise money to maintain the builidng. That goal has been realized. The youth of eastern Iroquois County use the building for youth basketball.
The total cost of the gym was less than $20,000 and has always been a focal point of the community. This building was renamed in honor of Clifford Bury.”
Clifford Bury Auditorium – 2012
Former Stockland HS Gymnasium
Need Your Assistance
If you have any further information to share regarding the Stockland High School accomplishments please share them with us. A photo of the school is especially being sought. You can e-mail items to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can write to us at: