Vermilion High School

The History of Vermilion High School

Vermilion (population 225) is located in far east-central Illinois in the woutheastern portion of Edgar County. Vermilion sits about 5 miles east and 2 miles south of the town of Paris. County Highway 1 is the main roadway to and from Vermilion and connects the town to U.S. Route 150 just 2 miles due north. The Conrail Railroad line also passes through Vermilion.

A book titled “The History of Edgar County, Illinois” found at the web address of  provides a brief history of the village of Vermilion.

The village was incorporated in April of 1872 and is named after the person who loaned the land for its inception, James S. Vemilion. A railroad line was the principle reason for the town’s early and quick growth. Grain and livestock made Vermilion a shipping port for the area.

An excellent history of the Vermilion School District including Vermilion High School, is found in a book titled “History of the Schools of Edgar County” located at the web address of .

The first school in Vermilion was built in 1870.  It was a brick structure that cost $5,000 to construct. In 1911 a new school was built and a 4-year high school was established.  From 1918 – 1924 a total of 31 students graduated from the high school. Vermilion High School was known as District 116.

In 1923 Vermilion High School became a 2-year high school. The District offered classes from grades 1 – 10 until 1947.  In 1949 the Vermilion School offered grades 1 – 8.  In 1955 this was reduced to grades 1 – 4.  From 1923 – 1947 the high school students of Vermilion completed their final 2 years of educaton in Paris.  The students now attend Paris High School as part of the Paris School District.  We are not certain if the Vermilion School is still open.

Vermilion High School Quick Facts

Year opened as 4 year HS:   1918

Year became 2 year HS:       1923

Year HS closed:                   1947

Consolidated to:                    Paris High School

(Unknown if sports offered)


It is quite probable that Vermilion High School competed in basketball through the early 1940s.   It is not known what other sports may have been offered at Vermilion. Team records, coach’s names, school colors, fight song, team nickname, and any other items regarding the history of Vermilion High School would be welcome.

Other Activities

The smaller high schools always seemed to try and keep up with the times and offer many activities that one might think could only be offered at the bigger schools.  Was there a chorus, band, FFA, FHA, school plays, school field trips, and other activities at Vermilion High? If you have this information please send us an e-mail.

**From Brett Creech:

“Back in December, I purchased several old yearbooks from Paris High School (Paris, IL) for my parents as a gift.  When looking though the yearbooks, I noted that several of the students had attended their first two years of high school at Vermilion High School.

What I do know is that Vermilion is a very small town (population of about 200) in Edgar County, east of Paris, so I have to assume that Vermilion High School was a two-year high school located in that town.  The years I saw it listed in the Paris yearbooks was 1941-1943.”

Seeking Further Information

If you have any additional information you can share regarding Vermilion High School please write to us via e-mail at, or write us a note to the below listed address.

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 n. Neva. St.

Chicago, Il.  60631

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: