The History of the Toulon Township High School “Trojans”
Toulon (population 1,400) is located in north-central Illinois in the center portion of Stark County. Illinois Route 17 and Illinois Route 91 intersect in Toulon. The town of Toulon is located about 25 miles northwest of Peoria and approximately 13 miles south-southeast of Kewanee. Toulon is the county seat of Stark County.
The origin of the school system is has been thoroughly researched by John Ballentine. The current high school building in Toulon was built in the 1920s by a man by the name of Oscar Schneider. The research conducted by John Ballentine is reprinted with John’s permission and is as follows:
The History of Toulon Township High School
by John Ballentine (TTHS Class of 1970)
The origins of the Toulon High School system dates to 1847 when a public educational program was established. Various locations around Toulon have served as the school between 1847 and 1875. In 1874, a new school building was constructed and opened in February, 1875 which housed both the elementary and high schools of Toulon until 1912.
Toulon High School Building 1912 – 1922
Courtesy of John Ballentine
The Toulon Academy was organized in 1883 which offered college preparatory classes beyond the high school courses. In 1884, the Academy and Toulon High School merged, but separated again 1 year later. In 1896, the Academy Association purchased 6.67 acres of land at Prairie Avenue and Franklin Street for the purpose of constructing a new Academy building and sports facilities for football and track. This structure opened in february, 1897 and continued as the Academy until 1912, when the Academy permanently closed.
The Franklin Street property and building was offered by the Academy Association to the Toulon High school board which accepted in mid-1912. The high school transferred locations from the 1875 school building to the Academy building, leaving the entire use of the 1875 school for the grade school’s use. During this transfer, the high school was reorganized and renamed ToulonTownship High School and its’ first class graduated in 1913.
back Leslie Hodges, Walter Hall, Will Carter, Harold Trimmer, Robert Green
Left Click on Photo for Larger Version
By 1922, increased enrollment at the high school precipitated the construction of a new and larger high school building which was located next to the 1896 Academy structure. The new facility was first occupied in February, 1923 and continues in use today as StarkCounty High School.
On June 2, 1970 Toulon Township High School graduated its’ fifty-eighth and last class. Toulon Township and LaFayette Highs were consolidated beginning with the 1970-71 school year. Toulon-LaFayette High continued utilizing the Township High school building in Toulon until 1992 when Stark County High School was formed from the Toulon-LaFayette, Wyoming, and elective students from Bradford High schools.
The transformation of the current school facilities in Toulonbegan one hundred and thirteen years ago in 1896. The desire for a new Academy school building was expressed during a June 18, 1896 graduation ceremony. Three weeks later, the Executive Committee of the Academy Association chose a site at the intersection of Prairie Ave. and Franklin St. as the location.
An agreement between the Association and landowners Mrs. R. A. Turner and son, Chester M. Turner (first Toulon High graduate 1879), exchanged 6 2/3 acres for $667. The Turners then donated $350 of this amount to the Academy for the land purchase with the $317 balance provided by community citizens.
Quick funding for this project allowed construction to begin immediately on the new Academy building. By Jan. 1897, plans were in place to transfer school locations. A ‘for sale’ ad appeared in the Jan. 1, 1897 issue of The Stark County News for the old Academy building and lot. The transfer was completed and a dedication ceremony performed on Feb. 4, 1897.
The Academy, organized in 1883, discontinued operating in the spring of 1912. Discussions about the property transfer from the Academy to Toulon High School continued for several weeks prior to a 1912 vote on the issue. A favorable vote in July enabled the transfer and Toulon High was renamed Toulon Township High School. Speculation occurred in early September about the possibility of an athletic program.
Toulon High School Bldg. – 1922
Submitted by John Ballentine
The Academy building became overwhelmed for classroom space when enrollment at TTHS increased. Downtown buildings supplemented for the required classrooms which emphasized the need to construct a new high school building. In 1922, the new Township High School building was completed and classes began in Jan. 1923. A dedication was held on May 31, 1923 as the school year finished. Demolition of the 1896 Academy building of only twenty-seven years began the next month and by July was nearly completed.
In early 1948, William E. Lehman [1886-1970], grandfather of Jeanne (Al) Harland, Mary (Tim) McMillen, Carol (Sam) Rice, and the late William C. Lehman, sold 9.9 acres of farmland to the high school for $5,000. This land runs from Franklin St. on the west to the fence line east of the present school facilities, and from the fence line south of same to the north conjoining with the original 6.67 acres.
Mr. Lehman’s decision to sell this land initiated a sequence of events and construction that altered Stark County’s and Toulon’s school history. One result was a proposal to eliminate many of the rural one room schoolhouses in surrounding townships. Township voters passed this consolidation measure with the exception of West Jersey township.
Construction plans began for a Toulon Consolidated Elementary School to be located adjacent to the high school at Franklin Street. The high school sold 4 acres east and north of its building for $1.00 and the exchange of the then grade school property. West Jersey township residents procurred funding for construction of their new consolidated grade school a month later. The chosen site was across from the West Jersey Methodist church on Route 78.
Completion of Toulon’s grade school occurred in Feb. 1950. Classes commenced Feb. 20, 1950 and the previous school building which had served as the combined high school and grade school prior to 1912 was closed. It was located at the intersection of N. Olive and E. Thomas streets until it was demolished in late 1956.
West Jersey’s new grade school neared completion 2 months later and on April 23, 1950 a dedication was performed. This building was the West Jersey 1-8 grade school from 1950-70, then the 5th and 6th grades of Toulon-LaFayette consolidated during 1970-79, and finally the Toulon-LaFayette Junior High from 1979-85. The 35 year use of this building ended in June 1985 when it permanently closed as a school. Bryton Technology, Inc. now utilizes the structure ”
The Schools at S. Franklin St. in Toulon
Part 2 : 1950-2007
by John A. Ballentine (TTHS Class of ’70)
As part of the 4 acres sold to the grade school board, Toulon High School’s football field, dirt track, and baseball field had to be relocated. Construction began on the new sport arenas in Aug. 1948 with availability expected in 1 year. The new baseball field was ready in May 1949. The football field and cindered track were completed during that summer and dedicated on Sept. 30, 1949.
Paul Unruh (TTHS Class of ’46) and Jack Winans were speakers at this ceremony. Asked about the track having been under construction again in 1957, Carl Bland stated ” It wasn’t reconstructed, but the original 1949 cinders were of such poor quality they had to be replaced. ” New cinders were put down in early ’57 and allowed to settle for a year. The track was usable the following spring of ’58 for the new track and field season.
In Feb. 1950, with the new grade school being utilized, the next construction project discussed was a gymnasium to be located between the high and grade schools. It was noted that the new gym should be larger than the one inside of the 1923 high school which had a limited capacity for spectators. Additionally, strategically located entrances would allow both schools access, thus reducing the need and cost of separate gyms.
These discussions and plans did not come to fruition and for decades there remained an open space of unused land between the schools. This failure to agree upon a singular facility generated plans to build separate gymnasiums.
The grade school gym was completed in late 1955 and the ‘all-purpose’ (gym) room at the grade school was first used on Dec. 9, 1955. This additional structure to the grade school became derisively known as “the cracker box” due to its approximate 3/4 size of a standard gym. A cafeteria hot lunch program was also begun at this time according to Chris McMillen. An annex room off of the gym served as the first kindergarten beginning in January, 1958 with Mrs. Jeanette (Johnson) Slygh (TTHS Class of ’35) as the new teacher.
The high school’s first add-on construction since 1923 began in 1959 with its new gym. It was completed in time for the 1960-61 school year. The spectator capacity increased to twelve hundred from the old gym’s several hundred. This new gym and agricultural shop were located on the ground where the Academy building had stood from 1896 to 1923.
Major additions to both schools stagnated for nearly 35 years, although there were numerous reconfigurations of existing rooms. An example was modifying the 1923 gym into a band-music room. A tennis court was installed south of the high school parking lot during the mid-1960s, but has since been removed to extend the parking lot.
In the past decade, an above ground ‘tunnel’ was added which connected both schools. It was located between the 2 gyms to allow students dry passage from building to building. Unfortunately, a recurring leak prone roof bombarded students with a gauntlet of drops as they travelled its length. This problem made the tunnel expendable for a recent project.
Relocation of the 1949 baseball field, made possible through community volunteers of time and services, commenced in 2003. The field has been offset approximately 20 yards to the northeast. This extensive project was completed in 2005 and 1 game in May inaugurated the updated facility. Its first full season of use occurred in the spring of 2006. Added ammenities included infield grass, raised pitching mound, a warmup bullpen, a fence enclosing the outfield, and a scoreboard behind it in left field.
One of the latest construction ventures at the schools began in the 2005-06 school year. The void between the 2 gyms has been filled by a 2 story brick structure which functions as the new cafeteria and music room. It was ready for use in the 2006-07 school year. The 2 schools are now merged into 1 contiguous conglomeration. This addition replaced the leak plagued tunnel. Plus, the old grade school cafeteria has been converted into a library. The 1923 high school continues as Stark County High, while the grade school building is now the Junior High. The grade school is currently located in Wyoming.
Toulon’s school facilities at Franklin Street have gone through many changes during the past one hundred and thirteen years. The pasture land of 1896 and 1948 has nearly reached its capacity for more additions to the school property. As these structures age, additional land will be sought or demolition will be required to construct the new buildings of the future.
When this future change does occur, perhaps the diagonal sidewalk, which runs from the street corner to the high school’s north entrance, will be preserved. Photos show this section of sidewalk traversing to the 1896 Academy building’s front entrance. If it remains, this would be a tribute to our ancestors who realized the values of education and provided us with the means to obtain that knowledge in suitable surroundings.
Contributors: TTHS graduates: John Cover (’45), Jack Winans (’50), Carl Bland (’58), Galen Ballentine (’61), Chris McMillen (’61), Don Schmidt (’61), Jeanne Harland (’70); LaFayette H.S. graduate and TTHS/T-L educator Al Harland (’60) ; Stark County High administration- Michael Domico, Jay Melton, and Scott Paxton.”
In 1970 Toulon Township High School was consolidated with La Fayette High School. This resulted in the renaming of Toulon High School to Toulon-LaFayette High School (located on a separate page on this site). It does not appear that any other information about the school changed.
Several years later (1992) Toulon-LaFayette HS and Wyoming HS consolidated to form Stark County High School which is currently the only high school in the county. High school-aged students from Bradford are also a part of this consolidation effort.
Stark County High School is situated today in the Toulon Township High School building.
Toulon Township High School Quick Facts
Year of first HS graduating class: 1879
Year name changed: 1912 (Toulon Township High School)
School nickname: the “Trojans” (originally the “Tigers”)
School colors: Red & Black
School Fight Song: (Excellent Research Below Provided by John Ballentine!)
Prior to the consolidation of Stark County schools that began in the 1992-93 school year, Toulon High (renamed Toulon Township High 1912, renamed Toulon-LaFayette 1970) utilized the ‘ TROJAN MARCH ‘ for approximately 5-1/2 decades as the school’s fight song. Yet, 2 songs existed before it became thelong time standard.
The first song is ‘ THE SCARLET AND THE BLACK ‘, and its verses can be found on page 48 of the 1924 Tolo, the school yearbook. It’s uncertain how it is sung. The lyrics are :
The Scarlet and Black we’ll wear,
Aloft the flag we’ll raise,
We’ll sound our shouts and sing our song,
For dear old Toulon’s praise.
Let every heart with joy be filled,
And flash with fire, each eye;
We’ll do our duty man by man,
For dear old Toulon High.
Then hail to the Scarlet and Black boys,
The colors we love so well,
Thy loyal sons now salute thee,
As thy folds on the breezes swell.
Then hail to the Scarlet and Black boys,
No homage shall she lack,
May the flag of dear old Toulon wave,
The Scarlet and the Black.
The second song which replaced the first is found on page 21 of the March, 1930 Tolo. It’s uncertain as to what the title is for it.
[ To the tune of “On Wisconsin” – push play button above left]
On to Victory, on to Victory,
For old Toulon High,
We will beat them, we won’t cheat them,
When the end draws nigh ;
RAH ! RAH ! RAH !
We’ll be leading, we’ll be leading,
It won’t be a tie,
Fight boys and make those points,
For Toulon High.
The third song was the fight song of Toulon Township and then Toulon-LaFayette Highs from 1937 until 1992 when Stark County High School was formed from the high schools of Toulon, LaFayette, Wyoming, and elective students from Bradford.
The original copyrighted version was shortened by removal of the first 4 lines. From The Stark County News, Wed., April 24, 1940 : “Certificate of copyright registered from the Library of Congress for the “Trojan March”, official song of Toulon Township High School, was received this morning, according to Superintendent A. R. Wetzel. Words and music were written by Robert A. Leigh in 1937 (TTHS Class of 1937) and the song was first sung at commencement that year, with arrangements being worked out for all band instruments later for its adaption as the official school song. Copyright is in the name of Robert A. Leigh and Toulon Township High School.”
The musical arrangements were accomplished by Miss Jimmae Fisher, English teacher at TTHS during that period.
From page 50 of the 1937 Tolo :
TROJAN MARCH (original)
Eleven men with hearts on fire,
Plunge down the field with one desire.
To win the game in a fighting way,
And do their best on every play.
Come on, you crashing Toulon Trojans,
Go in and fight to win that game.
You’re fighting for the fame of Toulon,
And all the glory of her name.
All Toulon High School stands behind you,
So do your best on every play.
Come on and fight, you Toulon Trojans,
Win that game today.
Within a few years, a shortened version with word changes ( because: 1. football games were played at night after field lightswere installed in 1938, for example, and 2. the revised wording then covered all sports, not just football) became the song that many of the TTHS/Toulon-LaFayette students sang, and was usually followed by a standard cheer :
TROJAN MARCH (revised)
Come on you crashing Toulon Trojans,
Come on and fight to win that game.
You’re fighting for the fame of Toulon,
And all the glory of her name.
All Toulon High School stands behind you,
So do your best on every play.
Come on FIGHT!, you Toulon Trojans,
Win that game tonight !
TOU — LON
Toulon High School Gymnasium
Home of the
The Toulon Trojans competed in the Blackhawk and Lincoln Trail Conferences, bringing home many titles. The boys offered football, basketball, and track. The girls competed in volleyball, basketball and track.
An early history of the Toulon Township High School athletic program was provided to us by John Ballentine:
“A high school athletic association was formed (in 1912) starting organized sports at the high school which continues today at Stark County High. In the fall of 1912, a football team was formed and uniforms ordered. Mr. Carl Dille McClenahan [1877-1961], long time local Toulon pharmacist, purchased and donated a football which enabled the players to practice and play games.
The first football game in Toulon Township High’s history was at Wyoming. TTHS won 18-0 over Wyoming High on Oct. 4, 1912. The next week on Oct. 11, TTHS hosted its first home game defeating LaFayette High by a 45-3 decision. Charles E. Griffith [1880-1952] was TTHS’s first coach. He served as an educator and principal at the school and later as Stark County school superintendent from 1922-47.
The first TTHS baseball game was played at Wyoming with Toulon winning 21-6 on April 16, 1913. On April 25, 1913, Kewanee and Toulon held a dual track meet at Toulon with Kewanee winning. This was TTHS’s first track meet. Obviously, these sport facilities pre-existed and were part of the Academy’s property.
Were these sports fields the same TTHS utilized until 1949 ? Historical photos indicate the Academy building was just east and slightly offset north of the high school that was built in 1923. The fact is, there would have been no additional land in which to relocate these sports arenas, so they probably were the same ones.”
John also provided a newpaper article from the Stark County News published on Wednesday, November 18, 1936 which explains how the nickname Trojans came about for Toulon Township High School:
WE are the TROJANS !
” YES TROJANS !”
“That is what football fans will hear Friday at Galva where Toulon and Galva will battle for the Blackhawk Conference championship. The name “TROJANS” was chosen this week by the students of Toulon Township High School to represent all their athletic teams — football, basketball, and track.
One of the largest caravans of football fans ever trailing a local athletic team to another city will follow Coach W. J. Metzger and his Trojans to Galva Friday afternoon. Toulon followers will be pulling not only for the Blackhawk Conference championship trophy, but also for the first undefeated and untied football record in the history of Toulon Township High School.
Opening kick-off will be at 2:30 p.m.”
(Toulon would win the game 26 – 0 to capture the Blackhawk Conference championship.)
Toulon High’s Historic 1930s
by John A. Ballentine
Toulon Township High School instituted many changes during the decade of the 1930s, some of which became traditions. Additionally, improvements at and around the school influenced the progression of events held at the campus. A few of these remain a part of Stark County High.
A need for pavement became apparent as the horse and buggy era fell way to motorized vehicles. The dirt roads surrounding the school became rutted due to increased and repetitive grooving by vehicle tires. Rains transformed the ruts into miry traps, so the city streets were paved at the school in order to alleviate this problem.
In the spring of 1930, the original Academy’s three-sixteenths mile track was expanded to one-quarter mile in conforming to the State sports regulations. Records set on this and other schools’ dirt tracks become more impressive because faster times would have occurred on harder surfaced courses. A complete cindered track was not installed at T.T.H.S. until 1949.
Homecoming at Toulon High premiered on November 17, 1933 with Aledo as the opponent on the field. Toulon won their first homecoming football game with a 14-0 shut out. T.T.H.S. also won its’ final homecoming game October 24, 1969 by a 28-12 score over Walnut. After the Blackhawk Conference became established in 1933, the 5 charter members of Bradford, Galva, Toulon, Wethersfield, and Wyoming commenced league competition during the fall of 1934.
Toulon’s only undefeated teams in school history were the 1936-37 and 1937-38 football squads. These teams achieved identical 9-0 seasons, with 4-0 conference records. In those 2 years, Toulon swept the Blackhawk in football, basketball, and track for 6 championships. Baseball did not become a Blackhawk sport until 1956.
The T.T.H.S. 1936-37 basketball team compiled an 8-0 conference record while finishing at 16-4 for the season. One year prior in 1935-36, the basketball squad had 4-4 Blackhawk standing during their 19-8 season. This team won in the State tournament play, the district tournament, placed second in regional play, and won their first sectional game. At one point that year, Toulon Township High held a 64th State ranking of all Illinois schools.
” WE ARE THE TROJANS ! ” was the column headline in a 1937 issue of The Stark County News. T.T.H.S. adopted the official team name which the voting student body chose that fall. The copyrighted TROJAN MARCH was soon written and performed as the new school fight song. It remained the song generations of students sang at and for Toulon High and Toulon-Lafayette High through the spring of 1992.
The music department became vastly improved and transformed by Mr. C. P. Patterson, who began his nineteen year tenure at the school in September of 1939. He presented to the public, a uniformed and marching band complete with Majorettes and The (baton) Twirlers. This musical corps first performed under the newly installed football field lights at T.T.H.S. The band competed later in the first Blackhawk conference band festival on April 24, 1940. Mr Patterson’s high school musicians and choruses competed on a State level amassing numerous awards during his years at Toulon.
Toulon’s track and field teams won the Blackhawk conference meet 4 times in a row from 1936-39. Nine Blackhawk championships were won, 7 of those consecutively in 3 sports, during those 4 years. In comparison, the 1970s T.T.H.S. and Toulon-Lafayette High teams captured 8 championships in 4 sports over a 7 year period.
Toulon High’s award cases bristled with medals, silver cups, plaques, and trophies earned during those years between 1929-40. A guideline of measurement which the future Trojan teams and musical bands were inspired to reach, had been established in Toulon High’s historic 1930s.”
For more information on the Blackhawk Conference check out John Ballentine’s article on the GREAT CONFERENCES page of this site.
The better athletic teams at TTHS, according to the IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org), are listed below.
The following informaton was provided to us by John Ballentine:
Toulon Township High School’s basketball program began on January 17, 1919 in a rented second floor hall of a downtown building. Basketball was a part of the TTHS history for the fifty-two years through 1970. TTHS won 5 Blackhawk Conference championships in 1936-37, ’37-38, ’38-39, ’44-45, and finally in 1960-61.
In 1935-36, Toulon’s team achieved a 19-6 season record, yet oddly finished third in the conference with a 4-4 mark. This team won district in the State tournament, second in regional, and won the first game of sectional against the Blackhawk Conference champions Wethersfield Flying Geese. The Trojans were defeated in the second sectional game by a strong Moline Maroon squad who eventually lost to State runner-up Danville.
In 1945-46, TTHS’ basketball team put together a winning streak without defeat which earned them a 40th ranking in the State during the first week of January 1946. The Trojans managed a State ranking of 34th before losing a few games which removed them from the State’s list. Quite an accomplishment for a small school which averaged about 200 students.
One of the players on this team was Senior Paul Unruh, who continued his playing career at Peoria’s Bradley University helping that team into the national rankings and tournament. Paul eventually acquired the status of All-American in college basketball and is perhaps one of the best known and revered players from Osceola, Illinois and TTHS.
The 1955-56 season produced Toulon Township High School’s only 20 game winning season in its’ history. Six of the nine losses that season were to conference opponents which placed the Trojans in 3rd place in the conference standings. Post season play brought the 19th and 20th wins of the season, but a loss to the Kewanee Boilermakers for the regional championship playoff game ended a brilliant season.
After the 1961 championship season, TTHS experienced a 43 game losing streak during 3 seasons which thankfully ended on a cold January evening in 1964 against the conference rival Bradford Panthers.
TTHS joined the Inter-County Athletic Conference beginning with the 1968-69 school year, which participated in basketball and track only. Members of the conference included the Brimfield Indians, Elmwood Trojans, Glasford Tigers, LaFayette Panthers, Toulon Trojans, Williamsfield Bombers, and Yates City Eagles .
Several postseason scores involving the Toulon HS Trojans participating in the annual IHSA Tournament were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scorers.” These scores are reprinted below. Also listed below are the Trojan’s coaches and team records who hit the hardwoods each Tuesday and Friday night!!.
**Final basketball game as Toulon Township High School. Toulon Township and LaFayette high schools merged for 1970-71.
Toulon High School Football / Track Field
Toulon High School has a long, storied history of Friday night football games. There is limited information on the IHSA web site that records their successes. The following information was provided to us by ardent Toulon and Stark County schools fan John Ballentine:
“Toulon Township High School’s first football game in its history occurred at Wyoming Highs field on October 4, 1912. TTHS defeated WHS by an 18-0 score. In a unique twist of fate, TTHS’ final football game occurred on November 7, 1969 against WHS in Wyoming. The Trojans won 14-6 over the Indians.
TTHS football continued each fall from 1912 to 1969 for a total of fifty-eight seasons until the consolidation of Toulon and LaFayette Highs. In those fifty-eight years, TTHS captured 3 Blackhawk Conference championships in 1936, 1937, and 1957. Each season and conference records are listed below along with the coaches and assistants who directed their teams on those crisp autumn Friday evenings.
TOULON TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACHES
Year Record Head Coach Assistant Coaches
1912-13 6-1 Charles E. Griffith
1913-14 4-3-2 Eugene L. Mendenhall Fred Brown
1914-15 7-2-1 L. A. McKean
1915-16 4-4 ” Eugene L. Mendenhall
1916-17 5-3-1 ”
1917-18 4-3 ”
1918-19 1-1 *** ” *** (Influenza epidemic shortened the season)
Toulon Township High and LaFayette Highs merged for 1970-71
*In 1930, in their second week of play, TTHS defeated soon-to-be-state power Geneseo by the score of 2-0. This is according to a 1931 Geneseo yearbook.
The following THS thinclads took home IHSA medals from the state track meet. In addition, conference team championship winners are listed as well.
1935-36 Blackhawk Conference Champions
1936-37 Blackhawk Conference Champions
1937-38 Blackhawk Conference Champions
1938-39 Blackhawk Conference Champions
1941-42 Blackhawk Conference Champions
1943-44 Blackhawk Conference Champions
1944-45 Paul Unruh 440 Yard Dash 4th Place @ State Meet
Blackhawk Conference Champions
1945-46 Paul Unruh 440 Yard Dash 3rd Place @ State Meet
1956-57 Blackhawk Conference Champions
1957-58 Blackhawk Conference Champions
1969-70 Blackhawk Conference Champions
In addition to individual accomplishments, the Toulon High School boys won a few Stark County High School Track Meets over the years. The following information regarding this meet was provided to us by John Ballentine:
“The Stark County track/field and declamatory meet was a major event for decades. It was fiercely fought in order to win that particular year and claim county bragging rights. Businesses and schools, even the grade schools, were closed early in order to attend the afternoon meet. Main streets resembled ghost towns because a majority of the county’s population was at the contest.
Records were kept and trophies, plaques, ribbons, etc. were awarded. Yet, in 1990 the county meet could no longer be held. Castleton High no longer existed, Toulon and LaFayette Highs were consolidated, and Bradford began co-opting with Tiskilwa to form a track team. Since Tiskilwa was not part of Stark County, this eliminated Bradford’s participation leaving only Toulon-LaFayette and Wyoming as the competitors from the original 5 schools. Therefore, the meet was permanently discontinued after 1989.”
Toulon High School boys reigned as champions of this once annual event during the following spring seasons:
Toulon Township and LaFayette Highs merged for 1970-71
The Trojans had some nice seasons on the ball diamond too. The conferenece championship team of Toulon High School, listed below, is proof of this success. John Ballentine provided the remaining coach’s names for the Toulon HS baseball program.
Toulon Township and LaFayette Highs merged for 1970-71
It has been noted that the earliest Cross Country meets took place in halftimes of football games as far back as the 1930s.
There is said to have been some excellent performances and accomplishments by the school’s band program in “sweepstakes” competition. The IHSA website only covers this information beginning in 1973. If you have any items you can share about the Toulon Township High School Band that enjoyed many successes in the 1940s and 1950s, please write to us so we can share them on this page.
Mr. Patterson, the music director at TTHS 19 years, started the marching band and the “Twirlers”.
Honor Students of T.T.H.S.
by John A. Ballentine
A total of 80 graduation ceremonies were conducted from 1913 to 1992 for Toulon Township and Toulon-LaFayette high schools. Valedictorians and salutatorians of their class delivered speeches during graduation, as well as the featured speaker. The principal speaker for TTHS’ first and last classes were Dr. Benjamin Otto, pastor of Peoria’s Baptist church, who addressed the class and audience in 1913 and James D. Nowlan, a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from Toulon, who spoke to the audience and Class of 1970.
Research has yet to discover if Toulon High recognized honor students between 1879 and 1912, inclusively. Beginning in the spring of 1913, The Stark County News recognized the top 2 students of the graduating class each year with a front page item of interest. In addition to the following lists, Margaret Hazen was the high honor student of the Toulon Academy’s final class in 1912. The Academy merged with Toulon High to form Toulon Township High, beginning with the 1912-13 school year. In 1971, the first class of Toulon-LaFayette High graduated and continued through 1992 until Stark County High was formed for 1992-93.
The 1985 Alumni booklet partially covered the years (1943-1986) and left most years 1913-1942/1987-1992 without the names of the class valedictorian and salutatorian. Maiden names for the ladies are not listed because of possible name changes since 1985, and the dedication of time required involved with collecting/obtaining the corrected last names. If you definitely know someones present last name, please contact Mary and Tim Milroy or The Stark County News office at 309-286-4444 or use email — email@example.com.
TOULON TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL
Year Valedictorian Salutatorian
1913 Harold J. Trimmer Pauline Murray
1914 Enolia Worley Miles A. Newton
1915 Jean E. Jackson Elsie Fleming
Helen M. Nicholson
1916 Marilla Dewey Anna Farley
1917 Blanche C. Fuller Sarah A. Chase
1918 Francis B. Kinney Mary L. Sorenson
1919 Miles Hartley Ruth Leigh
1920 Helen Kinney Ruth Oliver
1921 Mary Walker Carolyn Chase
1922 Dorothy Price John R. Jackson
1923 Esther Armstrong Bessie Hankins
1924 Nona D. Miller Melva L. McKee
1925 Florence Bangson Geneva Ham
1926 Alberta Welch Arthur Pierson
1927 Helen Jackson Ruth Schmidt
1928 Lucy Griffith Maude Davis
1929 Ruth Fuller Dorothy McClellan
1930 F. Keith Brown Thelma I. Ward
1931 Elizabeth Tomlinson Eleanor Rist
1932 William McClellan Lucile Fritz
1933 Pauline A. Addis A. Pauline Crow
1934 Marjorie O’Keefe Bernice Heaton
1935 Dorothy Henderson Pauline Durbin
1936 Kathlene Ham Frances Berfield
* Anna Lee Fuller had the highest grade average, but was a transfer student and therefore not allowed to be valedictorian.
1937 Mary A. Berfield Alice Bennett
1938 Ruth Shearer Dorothy Appenheimer
1939 Margaret C. McManus Dale Addis
1940 Dorothy Brian Margaret Edlin
1941 Patricia A. Cover Doris Cobb & Velma A. Eckley
1942 Phyllis Nelson Hazel Cobb
1943 Ruth Hedges Lee Turnbull
1944 John McWilliam Winston M. Murray
1945 Gwendolyn Caverly Jane Trimmer
1946 Phyllis Armstrong Doris Hutchens
1947 Joyce Carter Lillian Gingrich
1948 David Fouts Ellen Milburn
1949 Virginia Whitten Donna J. Kidd
1950 Eloise Franklin Charles Howell
1951 Dean Milburn James Briggs
1952 Diane Elliot Marjorie Dunn
1953 Shirley Berfield Mary Dutton
1954 Margery Heaton Shirley Dunn
1955 Alice Nowlan Keith Failon
1956 Karen Field Kerry Newman
1957 Raymond Thompson Leuetta Schmidt
1958 Ronald Schmidt Ted Hocking
1959 James D. Nowlan Wayne Nowlan
1960 Lee Dutton Michael Newman
1961 Donald Schmidt Lynn Shearer
1962 Mary Luckett Richard Colver
1963 Anne Shearer Barry Warren
1964 Sharon Witten Alexis Schmidt
1965 Nancy Streitmatter David Doden
1966 Theresa Ham Roger Whittaker & Larry Williamson
1967 Martha Creasey David Daum
1968 Mary Matson Beth Witte & Gail Witte
1969 William Ebert Kenneth Jackson
1970 Leila Mowers Eldon Ham
Toulon High School Enrollment (Grades 9 – 12) in the Mid-1950s
Seeking Further Information
We are seeking a photo of the old high school building as well as any other information you would like to share. Please write to us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us via USPS at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il. 60631
Toulon Township High School Class of 1952
Submitted by John Borto
Toulon Township HS Football Team of 1914
T.T.H.S. 1914 football team
frontClarence Appenheimer, Traverse Durbin, Roy Walker, coach’s son McKean, Raymond Long, John Walker, Ralph Cover
backCoach L. A. McKean, Williard Eltzroth, Earl Dunlap, Lawrence Foster, Eddis Johnson, Joseph Chase, Harry Lloyd, Neil Leitch, Supt. Eugene L. Mendenhall
Toulon Trojans Basketball 1927-28
T.T.H.S. 1927-28 basketball team
front Paul Bragg, Paul Walker, John Gibson, Charles Hackwith, Gerald Sweat
backMarion Burcham, Keith Brown, Joseph Claybaugh, Coach Vernon ‘John’ Askew
Toulon Track Team of 1915
T.T.H.S. 1915 track & declamatory team
front Victor Armstrong, Williard Eltzroth, Traverse Durbin, Eddis Johnson
backSupt. E. L. Mendenhall, Florence Anderson (declamatory speaker), Ray Porter, Neil Leitch, Raymond Long, Lawrence Foster, Marvin Linker, Milo Nowlan (declamatory speaker)
Toulon HS Class of 1950 Parade Float
Courtesy of Jack Winans
Toulon HS Class of 1950 Reunion
Submitted by Jack Winans (Left click on photo for larger version)
Class of 1950 Reunion September 16, 2000
(Photo is above to the left)
Front row seated left to right:
Bob Turner, David Biba, Jim Eadie, George Eierman, Ann Heaton, Joyce (Behnke) Daehler, Nancy (Chamberlain) Tracy, Mildred Hillard