Union Hill High School

Union Hill School Building
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Submitted by Sherree Benoit
Union Hill Classroom in the Late 1940s
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Submitted by Sherree Benoit, Ed &Maggie Noffke

The History of Union Hill High School

Union Hill (population 66) is located in northeastern Illinois in the west-central portion of Kankakee County.  County Highway 11 leads you to Union Hill and connects the town to Illinois Route 17 which passes by a quarter mile to the north. The Conrail Railroad line passes through the southside of Union Hill.  According to www.mapquest.com Union Hill is about 3 blocks from west to east and 2 blocks from north to south. Union HIll sits about 12 miles west of the city of Kankakee.

According to research submitted by Sherree Benoit from books written by Jim Ridings (“County West,  A Sesquicentennial History of Kankakee County West” , and “County West Companion, A Further History of Western Kankakee County”):

Union Hill was first settled in 1854 by its credited founder, John E. Schobey. The first post office was established in 1861.  Due to the civil war starting up and Mr. Schobey’s loyalty to the “Union”, Mr. Schobey chose to name the town something with the word Union in it.  Union Hill was chosen after an earlier name had already been taken.  The Indiana, Iowa, and Illinois Railroad line laid tracks through the town, which became a source of rest for weary travelers heading to the west from the eastern part of the country.

A school house was built in the 1870s. First built in town, the school was later moved north of town near what is now Illinois Route 17.  At first the school offered grades 1 – 8 with two years of high school.  As time passed on, the school eventually offered only grades 1 – 6.  In 1950 Union Hill consolidated with Reddick, Essex, and Clarke schools to form the R.U.C.E. School District. Dwindling enrollment eventually forced the closure of the Union Hill School in 1966.

Our guess is that Union Hill School offered two-years of high school courses from the late 1800s possibly through the 1920s to early 1930s.  We do know that the school definitely was closed in 1950 with the consolidation effort which landed the R.U.C.E. High School in Reddick.

The fate of the Union Hill School building is being sought.

Union Hill High School Quick Facts

Year opened as two-year HS:    late 1800s?

Year closed:                            late 1920s, early 1930s

Consolidated to:                       R.U.C.E. School District (Reddick)

Union Hill HS team nickname:   unknown if sports were offered

Athletics and Extra-Curricular Activities

We currently do not have evidence that Union High School participated in inter-scholastic athletics.  If you are able to provide this information please contact us via the means we have outlined below.

The closeness of the kids and families of a small town and its school system such as Union Hill had to be very close.  The school probably had a chorus, band, school plays, clubs, and other activities to make the education at Union Hill a well-rounded one.

If You Have ANY Information…..

….regarding the many successes of Union Hill High School please forward it to us so we can share it on this page. You can e-mail photos and information to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.  You can also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva. St. 

Chicago,  Il.   60631

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