Strasburg High School “Cardinals”

Strasburg High School – 1946 Yearbook Photo
A building with a flag flying in the air

Description automatically generated with low confidence
Submitted by Brad Friese

The History of Strasburg High School

Strasburg (population 603) is located in lower-eastern Illinois approximately 10 miles northwest of Effingham. The town is located in the eastern portion of Shelby County.  Illinois Route 32 is the main roadway taking you to and from Strasburg.  Interstate Highway 57 passes by Strasburg about 10 miles to the east.  The Wabash Railroad was an important part of early development in Strasburg.

According to the web address of

This web address tells us that the first town meeting was held in Strasburg in 1873.  A school district was subsequently developed in 1890.

Below historical information regarding Strasburg High School is provided by Brad Friese:

“Strasburg had a 2-year high school in 1906-1907, a 3-year school 1920-1921 and a 4-year high school 1930-1931.   A two-story brick school was built in 1925 and a gymnasium added in 1939.  The last Strasburg High School class was the class of 1949-50.  The building continued to be used as the Strasburg Grade School (1-6 grades) and Stewardson-Strasburg Junior High School (7-8 grades) until the spring of 1969.  The building was purchased by Youngcraft Cabinets and used as a cabinet shop for a few years and then converted into a night club named “The Trestle”.  The building still stands, but has not been used for about six years.  Strasburg High School`s nickname was Cardinals and the school’s team colors were red and white.”

It was at the end of the 1949-50 school year that Strasburg High School graduated its final senior class.  The townspeople of Strasburg and nearby Stewardson agreed to consolidate their educational efforts to create Stewardson-Strasburg High School which is still in operation today.

Please scroll down for more historical information regarding Strasburg High School.

Strasburg High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                      1906 – two-year HS

1920 – three-year HS

1930 – four-year HS

Year closed:                       1950

Consolidated to:                  Stewardson-Strasburg High School

Strasburg HS nickname:      the “Cardinals”

Team uniform colors:           Red & White

School Fight Song:              “Hail to Our Ole Team, Proud May She Be”

Sung to the tune of “ANCHORS AWEIGH”

                                                       Submitted by Brad Friese

                                                       Written by Doris (Reel) Stremming, 1947

                                          Hail to our good old team

                                          Proud may she be!

                                          We want to win this game

                                          So S-C-O-R-E!

Rah, Rah, Rah!

Whether we win or lose,

Loyal we’ll be!

For our old Strasburg team

We’ll cheer to glory!



The Strasburg High School “Cardinals competed in fall baseball, basketball, track, and spring baseball.  We are searching for further information regarding season records, coach’s names, and the school’s fight song.


Bob Friese provides the following history of the proud Strasburg High School basketball program:

Thursday, January 5, 1939 a referendum for new gymnasium passes 210 to 59.

The “Duling Gymnasium” was dedicated Friday, September 27, 1940.  Alf “Binky” Duling was a local blacksmith and longtime school director who was instrumental in getting the gymnasium built.  He passed away in 1939.

Players on the 1939-40 Strasburg Cardinals that won the 1940 Class B, Shelby County Tourney by defeating Oconee 41-31 and Herrick 49-14 were; Frank “Babe’ Giertz, Elmer Fields, Allen “Ears” Rankin, Fred Biesecker, Kenneth Rincker and Coach Charles F. Kell.

First basketball game in Duling Gym was played Friday, November 15, 1940 with a 32-22 victory over the Stewardson Tigers.

Players on the 1940-41 Strasburg Cardinals that won the 1941 Class B, Shelby County Tourney by defeating Herrick 57-22 and Oconee 43-18 were; Frank “Babe”  Giertz, Allen “Ears” Rankin, Harold Nippe, Don Bridges, Fred Biesecker, Elmer Fields, Kenneth Rincker and Coach Charles F. Kell.

1941-42, the high school’s new title is Strasburg Community High School.  Players on the team that won the 1942 Class B, Shelby County Tourney by defeating Oconee 37-29, Sigel 31-14 and Lakewood 44-25 were;  Norman Wirth, Donald Kircher, Elmer Fields, Jack Weber, John Radloff, Dwight Ostermeier, Gene Kull, Bill Rosine and coaches Charles F. Kell and Leonard O. Hewitt.

1942-43 Cardinals had a new coach, John T. Middlesworth who led the team to their fourth consecutive Class B, Shelby County Tourney in 1943 with victories over Lakewood 37-22 and Herrick 27-11.  Players on his first team; John Radloff, Gene Stremming, Donald Kircher, Norman Wirth, Charles Harmon, Delbert Doehring, Don Keller, Glen Radloff Jr., Harrison Ulmer, Dean Beals, Ervin Buesking, Kenneth Lenz, Eugene Mueller, W.C. Storm Jr., Dale Beals, Tobias Kircher, Wendy Volkman, Rollin Ragan, Mervin Ruff, Robert Ragan and manager, Marvin Ulmer.

At Windsor, Tuesday, January 13, 1945 Strasburg Cardinals defeats Windsor Blue Devils 32-30 for the first time in school history, Jr. Radloff led the attack with ten points.  Another jinx was broken on Tuesday, January 30, 1945 when the Cardinals defeat the Neoga Indians 32-28 for the first time ever, Delbert “Butch” Doehring led the scoring with ten points.

On Thursday, February 21, 1946, Delbert “Butch” Doehring scored 72 points against Dieterich in the District Tourney semi-finals, setting two IHSA records, Most Points, Game (72) and Most Field Goals Made, Game (34).  The 72 points scored, still ranks as the ninth highest individual total and the 34 Field Goals Made, Game ranks as fifth highest in Illinois history. The 1945-46 Cardinals may be the first team in school history to top the century mark in points scored when they defeated the Dieterich Black Cats, 114-31.  The next night, Stewardson defeated Strasburg, 44-35, for the district championship.

Basketball scores involving Strasburg High School in the IHSA State Tourney were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” These scores are recorded below as well.

1921-22             Charleston District Tournament          Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Stewardson 22-12

                          Lost in 2nd Rd, score needed

Kansas beat Charleston in title game

1922-23 through 1936-37  Postseason scores, records, and coach’s names needed.

1937-38       Postseason scores & record needed    Coach Eckfield

1938-39      2 – ?     Postseason scores needed        Coach Charles F. Kell

1939-40    16 – 12   Postseason scores needed        Coach Charles F. Kell

1940-41    17 – 11   Postseason scores needed        Coach Charles F. Kell

1941-42    16 – 15   Effingham Regional Tourney      Coaches Charles F. Kell & Leonard O. Hewitt

(Kell left for military service January 29, 1942)

1st Rd lost to Neoga 44-27

Effingham beat Windsor in title game

1942-43    14 – 12   Postseason scores needed        Coach John T. Middlesworth

1943-44    12 – 13   Postseason scores needed        Coach John T. Middlesworth

1944-45    16 – 11   Dietrich District Champions    Coach John T. Middlesworth

District Tourney at Dieterich, on Friday, February 24, 1945. Team members included Coach John T. Middlesworth. Delbert Doehring, Kermit Radloff, Junior Radloff, Tobias Kircher, Ralph Renshaw, Robert Ragan, Robert Small, Harrison Ulmer, Don Keller, Robert Nippe and manager Kermit Ruwe.

                                Dietrich District Scores

                                1st Rd Beat Dietrich 55-24

                                Semi-final Beat Montrose 58-28

                                Title Game Beat Toledo 35-29

                                Effingham Regional Tourney

                                1st Rd lost to Greenup 49-37

                                Effingham beat Teutopolis in title game

1945-46     9 – 15    Dietrich District Runner-Up     Coach John T. Middlesworth

                               Early Rd Scores Needed

                               Title Game lost to Stewardson 42-35

1946-47    13 – 14   Dietrich District Runner-Up     Coach John T. Middlesworth

                               1st Rd Beat Mason 59-16

                               Semi-final Beat Stewardson 45-35

                               Title Game lost to Cowden 61-24

1947-48    28 – 3     Dietrich District Champions    Coach John T. Middlesworth

District Tourney at Dieterich, on Friday, February 28, 1948.

1st Rd Beat Dietrich 59-24

                                Semi-final Beat Stewardson 80-51

                                Title Game Beat Cowden 58-30


                                Effingham Regional Tourney Runner-Up

                                1st Rd Beat Newton 58-51

                                Semi-final Beat Effingham 34-33

                                Title Game lost to Flora 57-38

The 1947-1948 Strasburg Cardinals basketball team was the most successful team in the school’s history.  Dubbed “The Once in a Blue Moon Team” by an area sportswriter, the team won 28 games while dropping only three, two loses were to arch rival Windsor, whom they also defeated once. They started the season with a thirteen game winning streak, won the Beecher City Invitational Tourney in December, placed second in the Shelby County Tourney in January, won the Dieterich District Tourney in February, advancing to the Effingham Regional Tourney.  They defeated Newton, 58-51 in the first round of the regional and Effingham, 34-33 in a very exciting semi final game. The Cardinals season ended when they were defeated in the regional championship game on Friday, March 5, 57-38, by the Flora Wolves.

Coach John T. Middlesworth, manager, Wayne Kearney, Caryl Doehring, Loyd Rincker, Warren Schlechte, John Dale Webner, Forrest Gene Risser, Rex Storm, Walter Keller Jr., Max Tate, Gene Rosine, Howard Schlechte, Don Ruff, Bobby Bridges, Howard Wirth, guard, George Terry, guard, Delbert Stremming, center, and Co-Captains, forwards, Bob Nippe and Kermit Radloff. Radloff went on to play basketball and baseball at Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois.

Cheerleaders were Dorothy Doeding, Emily Mulvaney and Shirley Kelsheimer.  Kelsheimer was selected to the Shelby County All-Tourney squad in January.

1948-49    25 – 5     Strasburg District Champions Coach John T. Middlesworth

District Tourney at Strasburg, on Friday, February 25, 1949.

Semi-final Beat Cowden 52-39

                               Title Game Beat Effingham St. Anthony 52-42


                               St. Elmo Regional Tourney

1st Rd Beat Beecher City 52-38

Semi-final lost to Brownstown 56-49

Brownstown beat Vandalia in title game

Strasburg defeated Effingham St. Anthony, 52-42 in championship game. Defeated Beecher City 52-38 at the St. Elmo Regional, defeated by Brownstown 56-49.

The 1948-49 Cardinals may be the second team in school history to top the century mark in points scored when on Friday, December 10, they defeated Humboldt 102-16, Howard Schlechte scored 29 and Warren Schlechte scored 21 points. The team won the Neoga Holiday Tourney in December by defeating Neoga 40-25, Effingham St. Anthony 35-24 and Greenup 53-51.  At the 1949 Shelby County Tourney in January they finished in third place by defeating Cowden 55-28, lost to Windsor 43-41 and defeating Stewardson 46-44.  In February they won the Strasburg District Tourney by defeating Cowden 52-29 and Effingham St. Anthony 52-42.  Coached by John T. Middlesworth, the 25-5 Cardinals were; Gene Rosine, John Dale Webner, Howard Schlechte, Forrest Risser, Bob Bridges, Bernard Doty, Kenneth Von Behren, Walter Keller, Jr., Warren Schlechte, Lloyd Spannagel and manager Kermit Ruwe.

1949-50    17 – 12   Effingham District Champions   Coach John T. Middlesworth

District Tourney at Effingham St. Anthony, on Friday, February 24, 1950.

Semi-final Beat Tower Hill 47-24

                               Title Game Beat Effingham St. Anthony 46-43 (2 O/Ts)

.                              St. Elmo Regional Tourney

                               1st Rd lost to Altamont 62-48

Altamont lost in semi-final to Beecher City

Beecher City lost in title game to Vandalia

The Final Season  1949-50

John T. Middlesworth was the head basketball coach with players: Howard Schlechte, Walter Keller Jr., Eugene Rosine, Richard Ulmer, George Schlechte, Don Haskell, Jim Stremming, Glen Spannagel, Kenneth Von Behren, Derry Dale York, Glenn Pieper, Omer Thomas and Kermit Ruwe manager.  Cheerleaders were: Lela Mulvaney, Melvina Mueller, Ruth Storm and Emily Mulvaney. Senior, Howard Schechte was 2nd in a poll of coaches selecting Shelby County’s Outstanding Player for 1949-50. The final victory of the season and the final victory in Strasburg High School basketball history was Friday, February 24, 1950 at the Effingham St. Anthony District Tourney, in the championship game, a double overtime win over Effingham St. Anthony, 46-43.  The St. Anthony Bulldogs had defeated Strasburg in their three previous games that season, a Howard Schlechte basket with seven seconds remaining and a free throw finished the upset.  The final game in school history was played at the St. Elmo Regional, March 1, 1950, when the Cardinals were defeated 62-48 by the Altamont Indians, and finished the season with a 17-12 record.

**Strasburg won the Class B, Shelby County Tournament in 1940, 1941, 1942 and 1943.  They were promoted to Class A in 1944.

**In the Class A, Shelby County Tournament finished 2nd in1948, 3rd in 1949 and 4th in 1950.


From our good friend Brad Friese:

“As far as anyone knows, the only interscholastic football game ever played by Strasburg was played at Windsor field some time during the 1946-47 school year. The Cardinals were defeated 21-12 by the Blue Devils.  The first touchdown in school history was scored when Bob Nippe completed a pass to George Terry in the end zone.  Kermit Radloff intercepted a pass at midfield, and with the help of some beautiful blocking by Loyd Rincker, scored the last touch down in Strasburg High School history.


From our good friend Brad Friese:

1945-46    1 – 2     Coach John T. Middlesworth

1946-47    1 – 3       Coach John T. Middlesworth

1947-48    7 – 1       Coach John T. Middlesworth

1948-49    4 – 4       Coach John T. Middlesworth

1949-50      3 – 4       Coach John T. Middlesworth

Boy’s softball was played in the early years until 1944-45 and again 1947-48.  In 1945-46, interscholastic baseball was played for the first time with two trips down Rt. 32 to Stewardson. After leading Stewardson by 7 runs going into the ninth inning Strasburg lost the game by 1 run. Delbert Doehring was the losing pitcher and Darrell Rothrock the winning pitcher for Stewardson. Doehring was the losing pitcher in the second meeting of the two teams and Paul Stitt the winning pitcher.  Baseball records are incomplete.

The last official run of the Wabash Railroad was a northbound freight train through Strasburg on Thursday, November 10, 1938.  The abandoned tracks were torn up in 1939.  During 1947, the Strasburg American Legion started construction on the present ball park on the abandoned Wabash Railroad right-of-way.  The George E. Kull and Alvin Kearney families donated use of the land the park is located on.  Under the supervision of Coach John T. MiddlesworthOscar Hood and others, the high school boys were allowed to leave school and work on the field, mostly scrape and haul off the cinder roadbed. With the efforts of York Café owner Dale York, the installation of a 21,000-watt, class C lighting system was installed on six new poles by C.I.P.S. on May 21, 1948.  Aditional improvements were made in April 1949 when new fences were erected in front of the stands. Baseball players on the first SCHS baseball team, 1945-46, were: Dwight Lading, Clarence Fisher, Lloyd Spannagel, Forrest Gene Risser, Robert Ragan, John Dale Webner, Wayne Kearney, Howard Wirth, Gene Hiatt, Loyd Rincker, Delbert Stremming, Butch Doehring, Max Tate, Robert Nippe, Kermit Radloff and George Terry.

The 1947-48 SCHS Cardinals finished the spring with a record of seven wins and one loss.  They played their entire schedule on the road and entered the Bethany Sub-District Tourney having won five consecutive games. Their first opponent was Mattoon, who scored five runs in the fourth to take a 6 to 3 lead, but the Cardinals came back with four runs in the top of the fifth, Mattoon tied it at 7-all in the sixth, but Strasburg took a 9 to 7 lead in the seventh when Bob Nippe was hit by the pitcher, the catcher tipped Howard Wirth’s bat, Gene Rosine pounded one through the shortstop’s legs and Delbert Stremming singled.  Mattoon scored a run in the bottom of the seventh, but the Cardinals held them off for a 9 to 8 upset victory.  In the championship game Monday, May 17, Charleston defeated the Cardinals, 7 to 5, on four runs in the ninth inning.

The first SCHS Cardinals baseball game on the renovated Strasburg American Legion field was on Tuesday, April 12, 1949.  They won the spring opener defeating the Stewardson Tigers 5 to 2. Stewardson out hit the Cardinals, 7 to 6, but Gene Rosine kept the Tigers hits well scattered.  Lloyd Allsop went the route for Stewardson.  The big blow of the game was a triple by Kenneth Von Behren, Strasburg’s sophomore third baseman.

The 1949-50 baseball season, SCHS’s final season was highlighted by the pitching of right handed Gene Rosine. On Monday, April 24 at Strasburg, Gene Rosine struck out 27 batters as the Cardinals topped Sullivan, 1 to 0, in 11 innings.  Rosine won the game in the eleventh with a hit that scored Dick Ulmer, who had singled.  Rosine faced 40 men, walked none, and gave up only three hits, he had a no-hitter until the sixth inning.  His strikeout total by innings:   First-2;  second-4;  third-3 in a row;  fourth-1;  fifth-3 in a row;  sixth-2;  seventh-1;  eighth-2;  ninth-3;  tenth-4 in a row;  eleventh-2.

On Tuesday, May 16 at the Shelbyville Sub-District Tourney, Rosine fanned 21 Shelbyville batters in 14 innings, got on base six of his seven time at bat, and drove in two runs, the tying run in the seventh and the winning run in the last of the fourteenth as he led the Cardinals to a 4 to 3 victory over Shelbyville in the district semifinals.  The next day the Cardinals were blanked by Lovington, 6 to 0 to win the Shelbyville Sub-District Tourney, Rosine threw five innings of relief. Coached by John T. Middlesworth with players;  Howard Schlechte, Gene Rosine, Walter Keller Jr., Richard Ulmer, Wayne Reel, Glen Spannagel, Derry DaleYork, Don Haskell, Kenneth Von Behren, James Stremming, Guy Juhnke, Omer Thomas, Bill Boyer, George Schlechte, Glenn Pieper and Steve Baumgarten.


From our good friend Brad Friese:

In May, 1950, it was decided by the students what the athletic teams of the combined Stewardson-Strasburg would wear, green and white, and that they would be known as the Comets.  Don Moran of Stewardson and Don Haskell of Strasburg met with faculty representatives and selected

three color combinations.  These three were voted on by the eighth graders and the first three years of high school at the Stewardson and Strasburg schools. The selection at each school was the same.

On Thursday, May 25, 1950 the final Strasburg Community High School Commencement was held, at which Arthur C. Bell of the WLS dinner bell program spoke.  The following seniors graduated:  Marilyn Bauer, President, Richard Ulmer, Vice-President, Howard Schlechte, Secretary & Hourglass Editor, Ruth Storm, Treasurer, Walter Keller Jr., Melvina Mueller, Eugene Rosine, Ann Sapienza, Margaret Staehli, Cardinal Editor, Vivian Stremming, Jo Ann Weber and Mary Ann Weber. 

Following commencement exercises, the last seniors of SCHS left for Chicago.  They made their headquarters at the Palmer House, right in the heart of the loop. Friday morning they attended Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club, and then went to the Museum of Science and Industry.  Most of the group went to Comiskey Park Friday night, and saw Bobby Feller pitch the Cleveland Indians to a 2 to 1 victory over the White Sox. On Saturday they visited some of the city’s large buildings, stores, radio stations, Riverview amusement park and shows.

During the 1950-51 basketball season home games for the newly consolidated Stewardson-Strasburg Comets were split between Strasburg and Stewardson.  The first Stew-Stras Comets game was played at Windsor on Friday, November 17, 1950 and they were defeated 45-39 by the Blue Devils. John T. Middlesworth was the head coach, Strasburg players were starting forwards, George Schlechte and Jim Stremming and Don Haskell off the bench. Stewardson players were starting guards Don Friese and Joe Moomaw, center Don Moran and Dick Renshaw off the bench.  Jim Stremming, Glen Spannagel, Glenn Pieper, Kenneth Von Behren, Lee Allsop and manager Edwin Kessler.

The first victory was Tuesday, November 21, 1950, 54-45 over Effingham St. Anthony, at Duling Gym, Strasburg.  This was the only victory for the Comets at Strasburg, losses to Altamont, Windsor and Cowden.  The last high school basketball game played at Strasburg was a 66-58 loss to Cowden, Friday, February 16, 1951.

Strasburg High School

Boys Basketball Cheerleaders

1938-39      Grayce Schroeder and Juanita Young

1939-40      Juanita Young and Harlan Renshaw

1940-41      Joyce Reel and Stelma Volkman

1941-42   Joyce Reel and Stelma Volkman

1942-43   Lela Doeding and Lila Kull

1943-44   Lela Doeding and Lila Kull

1944-45   Donna Kull, Audrey Engel, Doris Reel,

                 Pat Kull and Dorothy Reel

1945-46       Ramona Schlechte, Warren Schlechte and Ruth Dearman

1946-47   Dorothy Reel, Ramona Schlechte and Doris Reel

1947-48   Dorothy Doeding, Emily Mulvaney and Shirley Kelsheimer

1948-49   Emily Mulvaney, Jo Ann Weber, Melvina Mueller and Ruth Storm

1949-50   Lela Mulvaney, Melvina Mueller, Ruth Storm and Emily Mulvaney

Strasburg Community High School Carnival Queen and King

1945-46         Ruth Stuckemeyer and Delbert Stremming

1946-47    Ruth Hirtzel and Bob Nippe

1947-48    Myra Engel and George Terry

1948-49    Ann Bridges and David Lloyd

1949-50    Beulah Stremming and Richard Ulmer

1950-51    Emily Mulvaney and David Elam (Stew-Stras)

Strasburg High School Valedictorian and Salutatorian

1938-39       Grayce Schroeder    Hazel Bingaman

1939-40       Ruth Reel                 Majorie Engel

1940-41       Boyd P. Bridges       Wanda Maye Young

1941-42       Joyce Reel               Stelma Volkman

1942-43       Jane Hood                Mervin Ruff

1943-44       Helen Luce               Earl Lenz

1944-45       Pat Kull                    Verena Lading

1945-46       Gail Spannagel        Dorthy Wilson

1946-47       Doris Reel                 Ruth Hirtzel

1947-48       Richard Lading         Ruth Stuckemeyer

1948-49       Noel Nippe                Ann Bridges

1949-50       Marilyn Bauer           Howard Schlechte

Strasburg High School Administrators

1938-39       Leonard O. Hewitt, Supt.

1939-40       Leonard O. Hewitt, Supt.

1940-41       Leonard O. Hewitt, Supt.

1941-42       Leonard O. Hewitt, Supt.

1942-43       Leonard O. Hewitt, Supt.

1943-44       Leonard O. Hewitt, Supt.  (1st semester) Walter H. Wilson (2nd semester)

1944-45       Walter H. Wilson, Principal

1945-46       Walter H. Wilson, Principal

1946-47       Walter H. Wilson, Principal

1947-48       Walter H. Wilson, Principal

1948-49        Lloyd T. Elam, Principal   J. Harold Diel, Supt.

1949-50        Lloyd T. Elam, Principal   J. Harold Diel, Supt.

In addtion to Strasburg Grade School, the high school’s enrollment also included students from St. Paul’s Lutheran School, Elm Grove School, Mayflower (Wildcat) School, Whitlatch School, Turner School, Rockford School, Prairie Hall School, Richland School and Hiatt School.

Special Gratitude to Brad Friese

Brad Friese conducted most of the research for this page.  He gathered material from 1939 to 1944 REMINISCENCER Yearbooks loaned by;

Neva (Dieplotz) Buesking, Dorothy (Reel) Stremming  and Ralph Buesking.  From 1945 to 1950 HOURGLASS Yearbooks loaned by; Patsy (Kessler) and Larry Lenz,  Doris (Reel) and Delbert Stremming, Betty (Frede) and Don Vogel. Shelbyville Democrat-News microfilm Shelbyville Public Library.


Copied from the web address

“As the need for more schooling became apparent, it was decided to establish a two year high school, and the upstairs of the building was used by these older students. First graduates from the two year school in 1907 were Nellie Metzler,
Bruce Curry,
 and Walter Wiandt.

Some students graduated from the eighth grade at the parochial school and were confirmed, and then they attended eighth grade at the public school, preferring that to entering high school. Perhaps it was as Bill Faster used to remark, “The folks would send the kids back to school for another year mostly because there wasn’t much else to do.”

By 1920 Strasburg boasted a three year high school. The two teachers on the staff were C. F. Sheets, principal and teacher, and Wade Steel. English, algebra, civics, and history were the courses offered.

The four room building was bulging at the seams by 1923. More and more people were prolonging their education through the eleventh grade. To solve the problem, a temporary white frame building was constructed on the west side of the
school. That fall the high school students moved into the new building promptly dubbed “The Sheepshed.”

Within two years the old brick school had completely disappeared, and in its place stood a new one which would solve (hopefully) all future overcrowding problems. Down with the sheepshed! Everyone moved into the fine new building
with its basement floor consisting of two playrooms, a furnace room, and two restrooms. On the first floor were three classrooms and a teacher’s workroom. The high school occupied the top floor with a large assembly, three classrooms, and a principal’s office.

In 1927-28 J. C. Lucas was listed as principal and teacher. Mr. H. T. Jackson and a Mr. Schafer also taught at this time. Ruth Nippe and Bertha
 taught the fifty-two elementary students. There were thirty-three in the three year high school.

In 1930 students graduated from the three year high school, but during the summer the fourth year of schooling was added. Some 1930 graduates returned to school in the fall and were graduated again in 1931 , this time from a four year high school. Graduation ceremonies were held in various town buildings and halls, or in churches. Prior to the four year high school, students wishing to continue their education had to board in nearby Shelbyville, Sullivan, or Windsor, and attend classes there, or ride “Green’s Train” to school. Enrollment in 1934 was  fifty-eight in the high school, and forty-three in the grades, with John DeLaurenti serving as superintendent of both.

Despite the handicap of no gym, Strasburg boasted a fine basketball team. Practice was held in a field north of the school. Ballgames were played, not at night, but after school in the great outdoors “gym.” Transportation to other games was difficult. When playing Windsor, our players often boarded the Wabash, played the game, and then walked back home.

As a W.P.A. project in 1939, a fine gymnasium was constructed and the athletic program was expanded. This gym was named “Duling Gymnasium” after Alf Duling, who had been school board president for years and was instrumental in obtaining this structure for the district. Board members when the gym was dedicated were Dick Storm, Orville Engel, and G. C. York.

Class of 1931 -First four year high school graduates:

Marie Weber, Charles Bingaman, Beulah Renshaw. Pearl Schroeder,
Eugene Rankin, Beulah Williams, Basil Metzler, Lorene Diepholz, Donald Storm, Virginia Stern.

Upper grades of Strasburg Public School, 1922:

Bernadine Burkhart, Dorothy Hicks, Fred Gill, Raymond Schwartz, Agnes Bingaman, Vera Metzler. Lois fvlartin, Andrew Bullerman, Geneva Kull, Gervase Duling, Fredia Bullerman. Helen Bonnet, Clarence Ruff, Floyd Weber, Joe Rawlings, Mary Burkhart. Teacher: Mrs. Nona Munson.

1923 Basketball team:

Clifford Stilabower, Howard Kearney, Everett Renshaw, Maurice Buesking, Leonard Mueller. Floyd Weber, Everett Richards, Kenneth York, Arlie O. Brien.

Strasburg School District’s first school bus driver Carl Buesking-1943.

Ball team of 1928-29. Coach Leroy Baker with players Ralph Lading, Dale York, Harold Russell, Donald Storm, Morris Griffith, Basil Metzler, Charles Bingaman.

Staff of the 1936 Reminiscencer, Strasburg high school year book.
Woodrow Wilson, Ruby Doeding, Ruby Culver, Olin Wirth, Grayce Schroeder, Evelyn Ruth Storm, and Lawrence Krile.

The first schoolbus was purchased in 1941, and in December of that year students were transported to school for the first time. Carl Buesking, first bus driver, picked up pupils east of the highway, dropped them off at school, and then ran a western route. Before this time, many students attended rural centers of learning, and the town students, naturally, walked to school.

In 1941 board members now numbered five:
Lauren Hamm, Orville Engel, Everett Storm, Fred Rincker, and Glen Radloff. Leonard Hewitt was the principal.

Principals following Hewitt include Walter Wilson and L. T. Elam.

Some of the teachers in the Strasburg High School in the 1940’s were:
Sylvia Diel, Dorthy Anderman, John T. Middlesworth, Marie Weber, Jack Young, Thelma Thompson, Nona Bell Cruise, Paul Barnes, Mrs. Porter, and Charles Kell (who was drafted during the school year.)

Graduates of 1944 remember that some boys in the class quit to go into service, and so did not graduate. During this period, seventh and eighth grade pupils had a fine course of study, including shop for the boys and home economics
for the girls.

County superintendents always paid unannounced visits to the classes two or three times during the schoolyear. Each teacher and his room tried to put their best foot forward when “visitors” came. J. Kenneth Roney, county superintendent from 1939 to 1951, recalls Strasburg as a school which never had serious problems as some of the others did.

In the late 1940’s the high school that had seemed so large was becoming pretty crowded. State regulations made consolidation necessary among smaller school districts, and Strasburg was faced with a difficult decision. The entire community was concerned. Should we combine with another town to form a new district, or lose our own territory completely to encroaching districts?

Some discussed combining with Windsor schools. A decision was finally reached. We would unite with Stewardson and Mode to form a unit to be known as Stewardson-Strasburg Unit District 5A. Some local linguists suggested we combine the name into either Stewburg or Strasson, but the long, unwieldy name is still used, although the common title is shortened to S-S.

A bond issue for a new school building carried in November of 1949. Twenty acres of land was purchased midway between the two towns, and the cornerstone for the new S-S Community Unit High School was laid September 22, 1950. The
first superintendent of this consolidated unit was 
J. Harold Diel.

For a time the high school students were divided, with the freshmen and sophomores attending a temporary center in the old Stewardson school building, and the juniors and seniors of the district housed at Strasburg. The hot lunch program began now in 1951, with Martha Hood and Effie Wheat hired as first cooks at Strasburg. A modern kitchen was made in the south dressing room near the stage.

The move to the new school building was finally made, and the entire high school was united in October, 1951. Now the unit junior high attendance center, with Roscoe Hash as principal, was at Strasburg in the top floor of the building, while grades one through six attended school in their own towns. A lower grade school was maintained at Mound School until about 1950, and Mode was used until 1960.

The first Strasburg school boards consisted of three members, and some of the earliest members include Reuben Spannagel, Rol Bartlett, Harry York, Martin Pfeiffer, and Alf Duling.
Strasburg’s schools have a history filled with many outstanding teachers and dedicated board members. The names mentioned in this writing are but a few of these. A love of learning has always been a gift of the school system to the children of Strasburg throughout the years.”


If you wish to share any information regarding Strasburg High School please contact us at You may also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva Ave.

Chicago, Il.     60631


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