The History of Alexander County Central High School
Tamms (population 1,043) is located on far southern Illinois in the east-central portion of Alexander County. Illinois Route 127 is the main roadway that leads you to and from Tamms. A county road titled “Tamms Rd.” will also lead you into town. The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad passes through town as does another unidentified railroad line. The Amber creek flows to the east of Tamms.
Tamms was first named Idlewild in 1893. The name was changed to Tamms in 1900. The town is named after Theodore and Oscar Tamms, who originally owned the land the town was platted on.
Tamms Community High School likely was established in the early 1900s. We know that a high school building was erected in Tamms in 1924. This building was destroyed by fire in 1953. A new building was erected in 1954 and the name of the high school was changed to Alexander County Central High School.
Alexander County Central High School continued in this capacity until a vote in 1963 changed the name of the school district to Egyption School District. The high school for the new district remained in Tamms. Thebes High School joined the Egyptian School District in 1968.
Alexander County Central High School competed in boys basketball for certain. We believe that baseball and track were offered as well. We are in need of information such as school fight song. We are also searching for season records, individual accomplishments, and coaches’ names for each sport.
Alexander County Central High School Gymnasium
Photo Courtesy of Howard Thomas
Alexander County Central High School had many great basketball teams, two of them which won District Championships in 1957 and 1958 according to the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org). ACCHS did win the Regional title in basketball making the sectional twice during Charles Vaughn’s career. ACCHS missed the Sectional championship game by a whisker, losing an overtime battle to Herrin.
1953-54 Wolf Lake Regional Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd lost to Anna-Jonesboro 76-49
A-J lost to Mounds Douglass in semi-final
Mounds Douglass beat Vienna in title game
1954-55 Anna Regional Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd lost to Anna-Jonesboro 98-75
A-J beat Mounds Douglass in title game
1955-56 Shawnee Regional Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd lost to Mounds Douglass 83-72
M-D lost to Mound City in semi-final
Mound City beat Shawnee in title game
Sectional Tourney Newspaper Article for Tamms HS
Submitted By Phineas Moore
1956-57 Anna Regional Champions
Coach Scottie Lynch
1st Rd Beat Cobden 95-67
Semi-final Beat Cairo Sumner 70-60
Title Game Beat Mounds Douglass 86-79
Herrin Sectional Tournament
1st Rd lost to Pickneyville 81-48
Pickneyville lost to Herrin in title game
Alexander County HS Basketball Team 1956-57
Submitted by Phineas Moore
Front Row (starting 5), L to R: Mike Cox, Paul Dean Honey, Charles Vaughn, Richard Rogers, Phineas Moore
Back Row, L to R: Coach William S. Lynch, Glenn Honey, Gary Poole, Johnny Smith, James DeJarnett, George James
1957-58 Anna Regional Champions Coach Scottie Lynch
1st Rd Beat Cobden 87-75
Semi-final Beat Anna-Jonesboro 79-71
Title Game Beat Mounds Douglass 60-56
Pickneyville Sectional Tournament
Semi-final lost to Herrin 82-78 (O/T)
Herrin beat East St. Louis in title game
Herrin lost in Elite 8 Round
Tamms Alexander County Central High School
Basketball Team of 1957-58 District/Regional Champs
Back row: Bill Powless, Johnny Smith, Richard Rodgers, Charles Vaughn, Gary Poole, and Jerry Miller.
Front row: Coach Scottie Lynch, George James, Jim DeJarnett, David Newell, Kenny Webb, and Joe DeJarnett.
Note: Charles Vaughn, later to be known as “Chico,” went on to play for Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and for the NBA
Tamms’s claim to fame in the Illinois High School Basketball world is that they had the state’s all-time leading scorer with 3,358 points. His name is Charles “Chico” Vaughn, a 1958 graduate. He scored 377 points as a freshman in 1954-55, 844 points as a sophomore in 1955-56, 1,085 points as a junior in 1956-57 and 1,052 points as a senior in 1957-58. He sits 198 points ahead of second place (Andy Kaufmann of Jacksonville). His point total as a junior is sixth-best in Illinois and his senior point total is ninth-best in Illinois.
On December 11, 1956 “Chico” Vaughn scored 46 points in the second half of a game against arch-rival Thebes, which is fourth best in state history. His 30 points in the fourth quarter of that game is also fourth best in state history. In 105 games played in his four years, 100 of those were games he scored ten points or higher!Ninety-two of those games were consecutive efforts dating from January 18, 1955 to March 13, 1958. On four occasions Vaughn scored over 50 points in a game. The December 11th game saw him score67 points, going 23-41 from the field and 21-26 from the charity stripe. He scored 53 points in a January 8, 1957 game against Karnak (18 field goals, 17 free-throws), 51 points in a February 15, 1957 game against Thebes (24 field goals, three free-throws) and 50 points in a January 14, 1958 game against Ullin (20 field goals, 10 free throws).
Vaughn was also an excellent free-throw shooter. In the February 17, 1956 game against Thebes, Vaughn made 22 free-throws, fifteenth-best in state history. He also made 21 free-throws in his December 11th game against Thebes as well.
His scoring average of 32 PPG is also best in Illinois, as well as his 2,583 field goals and 1,134 free-throw attempts.
1958-59 Anna Regional Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd lost to Anna-Jonesboro 89-53
A-J beat Mounds Douglass in title game
1959-60 Anna Regional Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd lost to Wolf Lake 72-41
Wolf Lake lost to Cairo Sumner in semi-final
Sumner lost to Mounds Douglass in title game
1960-61 Anna Regional Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd lost to Anna-Jonesboro 79-57
A-J lost to Shawnee in semi-final
Shawnee beat Cairo in title game
1961-62 Anna Regional Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd lost to Mound City 80-66
Mound City lost to Anna-Jonesboro in semi-final
A-J beat Shawnee in title game
1962-63 Anna Regional Runner-Up Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd Beat Mound City 43-42
Semi-final Beat Shawnee 74-57
Title game lost to Cobden 76-64
**School became Egyptian High School (Tamms) in the summer of 1963.
Charles “Chico” Vaughn
Tamms Alexander County Central High School 1957-58
Charles Vaughn (’58):
Illinois High School’s all-time career scorer played collegiately at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and played for the Hawks, Detroit Pistons and the Pittsburgh/Minnesota Pipers of the American Basketball Association (ABA). He was an ABA all-star with the 1967-68 Piper team.
**From Phineas Moore (Class of 1957):
“I was born and raised in Hodges Park, Illinois, three miles south of Tamms. My freshman year at Tamms was 1953. I graduated from Alexander County Central High School in 1957. I had two sisters who graduated from there also, one in 1954 and the other in 1955. The name of the high school was changed in 1954 after a fire occurred in the school building during the 1952-53 school year. I was a member of the basketball team of 1956-57. Charles Vaughn, George James, Johnny Smith, and I all lived in Hodges Park, Illinois.
We had a great basketball team my senior year (1956-57). We had a lot of fun that year. We were undefeated in regular season games. We lost to Vienna (66-65 O/T) in a Christmas Holiday Tournament. The school wanted to give the team a banquet because of our winning season. There were only two restaurants in Tamms at the time. One owner said that no Blacks could be served in his restaurant. The other said ‘yes’ but with stipulations. The restaurant was closed to the public that night and only the team, cheerleaders, and school administrators were allowed to attend.”
A very sad and different era for certain. Thank you for sharing this with us Phineas.
Seeking More Information
More information is being sought about Alexander County Central High School. Corrections are welcome as well. If you have more Information about ACCHS, including photos of the school, nickname, other great basketball and other sports athletes and other great teams and high school memories you would like to share, please e-mail us at email@example.com . You may also write to us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, IL 60631