The History of Sublette High School
Sublette (population 446) is located in northwestern Illinois in the south-central portion of Lee County. U.S. Route 52 is the main roadway taking you to and from Sublette. The Lee County Highway known as Sublette Road also leads to and from town. Sublette is 7 miles southeast of Amboy and 9 miles northwest of Mendota. The Illinois Central Railroad line was a great factor in the early growth of Sublette.
According to a booklet written by Father Anthony Becker titled “Sublette Illinois, Our Bit of U.S.A. Sublette Centennial August 17-18, 1957″ in the very early history of the area in which Sublette is now located, the Pottawatomie Indians occupied the land. The town of Sublette was originally named Hanno. The name “Sublette” is believed to be traced to honor a soldier named Thomas Sublett. Mr. Sublett was cited for his bravery during a Black Hawk War battle on June 23, 1832 in the area known as Kellog’s Grove. Thomas Sublett was killed in the battle along with 22 other soldiers.
Sublette has enjoyed a steady population of around 450 residents for the past 50 years or so. The land surrounding the town is best known for its many public campgrounds. (http://www.subletteweb.com/).
In the booklet mentioned previously there is an exerpt from an autobiography of a gentleman named William E. Barton. In this article (page 37) Mr. Barton states the following:
“By the time I was 16 I had graduated Sublette High School. There were no graduating exercises, but I am supposed to be in the class of 1878, and in that capactiy I have addressed the school in recent years...”
Local historian of Sublette, Don J. Dinges, tells us that noted educator Elmer Ellsworth Brown, former head of the U.S. Department of Education under President Theodore Roosevelt, attended Sublette High School in the middle-1870s as well, for certain in 1874. To read more about Mr. Brown check out the following web address:
Elmer Ellsworth Brown – Sublette High School 1874 – http://dlib.nyu.edu/findingaids/html/archives/brown/brown.html
We know that Sublette High School existed in the 1870s, We are not certain, however, when high school courses ceased to exist. We could not find any evidence of a high school in Sublette in the 1900s. A quick view on the IHSA website and a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores” also came up empty in reference to Sublette High School.
If you have any information to share regarding Sublette and its former high school, please contact us via the means at the bottom of this page.
Sublette High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800s
Year closed: early 1900s(?)
Consolidated to: Amboy High School
Sublette HS team nickname: unknown if athletics offered at Sublette HS
Sublette HS team colors: unknown if athletics offered at Sublette HS.
Sublette HS fight song: unknown if athletics offered at Sublette HS.