The History of Troy McCray-Dewey High School
Troy (population 8,524) is located in southwestern Illinois in the south-central portion of Madison County. Illinois Route 162 and U.S. Route 40 take you to and from Troy. Interstate Highway 55 runs just to the west of town while Interstate Highway 70 runs to the north of town. Troy sits about 15 miles northeast of East St. Louis.
According to the town’s official website http://www.ci.troy.il.us/History.htm, the area of Troy was first settled in 1819. The town’s population and importance to the area grew by the mid-1850s. In 1857 Troy was officially recognized by the state of Illinois as a town. Schools and businesses soon littered the area.
The late 1800s brought a forward-thinking Doctor and his wife to the forefront of the community of Troy. Dr. John S. Dewey and his wife, Angeline McCray-Dewey saw the need for advanced education for children in the area. It was in 1883 that a house which they owned became home to McCray-Dewey Academy which offered high school courses to kids from the Troy area.
This arrangement lasted until 1917 when it was decided to establish a township high school. The land where the Academy stood was sold to the developers of the new school district. The original Academy building was razed and, eventually, in 1929, a new high school building was built on the land. The new building was named Jarvis Township High School as the name of the township it was built in was named Jarvis.
The 1930s brought another change for the school in name only. It was decided at some point to change the name of the school to McCray-Dewey Township High School to honor the Doctor and his wife.
Consolidation talks then began with the towns of Marine and St. Jacob. The effort resulted in the creation of the Triad School District in 1954 (http://www.triad.madison.k12.il.us/). The Troy McCray-Dewey High School building served the community and surrounding township as a high school through the 1958-59 school year.
The high school for the Triad District landed in the town of Troy. A new building has since been built. The building in the photographs at the top and bottom of this page (sent to us by Douglas Combs) show the building built in 1929. It was home to McCray-Dewey Junior High School, part of the Triad School District through the 2007-08 school year.
The final fate of this grand school building has recently been sealed however. Our good friend Mark Jurenga sent us the following information:
“Triad to Demolish Historic School.”
(Highland News-Leader Pg. A1, A3. Thursday, January 31, 2008).
“The Triad Schoo Board voted 7:1 on January 28, 2007 to tear down the old McCray-Dewey School in Troy.The school building was constructed in 1929 and served as a township high school. After St. Jacob (Triad) was built, it became Troy Junior High. As of the 2007-2008 school year it is a 5th grade center.”
Read a news article on this information at http://www.bnd.com/living/story/246523.html .
Troy McCray-Dewey High School Quick Facts
Year McCray-Dewey Academy opened: 1883
Year McCray-Dewey Academy made township HS: 1917
Year Jarvis Township HS building built: 1929
Year name changed to McCray-Dewey HS 1930s
Year McCray-Dewey HS closed: 1959
Consolidated to: Triad School District (Troy)
Troy M-D HS team nickname: “Trojans”
TM-D HS team colors: Royal Blue & Orange
School Fight Song: Sung to Notre Dame University Fight Song Tune