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 Campus 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