Washburn High School

Washburn High School
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Photo Courtesy of Gerry Halpin
Washburn HS Building 1907 Postcard
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Submitted by Richard Savage

The History of Washburn High School

Washburn (population 1,147) is located in far northern Woodford County, along the Woodford County/Marshall County line. The town is situated along the GM & O Railroad and on IL Route 89 10 miles north of Metamora or 25 miles northeast of Peoria. The Snag Creek runs through the center of town and the Snag Creek Golf Course was built on the southeast side of town.

Washburn’s school system has a great history of educating the kids of the town.  It is believed the school system started in the 1800’s. It is known that the high school became involved in consolidation talks in the early 1950’s with nearby Lowpoint High School. The consolidation effort became a reality in 1952 with the deactivation of Washburn and Lowpoint High Schools and the formation of the Lowpoint-Washburn School District. LaRose High School was deactivated in 1960 and joined the L-W School system.

Washburn High School Quick Facts

Year opened:             unavailable

Year closed:              1952

School nickname:      unavailable

School colors:           unavailable

School fight song:      unavailable

Original Washburn High School
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Now Low Point-Washburn Grade School

Washburn has a great history of tough athletes and solid athletic programs. The most incredible accomplishment by the school was in 1948 (1948-49 school year) when the Washburn Boy’s Cross Country team finished 2nd in the IHSA State Cross Country Meet!  This was a true team effort as no individual brought home a medal, however, all five top finishers placed high enough to warrant the 2nd place finish.

What truly makes this so unbelievable was that the Cross Country meet was a one-class system. Washburn’s boys beat the likes of Elmhurst York, Chicago Lane Tech, East St. Louis Senior, and Chicago Heights Bloom!  The only team to finish better than the WHS was Paris. Washburn also had some success in Boy’s Basketball and Boy’s Track & Field. These successful seasons and individuals are listed below.

Boys’ Cross Country

1948-49       Team Finished 2ND in the State Meet 


                   Final Standings

Paris  –  23

                   Washburn – 73

Elmhurst York – 105

Chicago Lane Tech – 110

East St. Louis Sr.  –  123

Erie  –  123

Chicago Heights Bloom – 144

Streator  –  220

Christopher –   224

Talk about a near Hebron story!

Boys’ Basketball

The Washburn boys were competitive in the Woodford County Tournament in the late 1920’s, finishing as the runner-up in consecutive years, and it won back to back District titles in the early 1940’s.


1927-28                 Woodford Co. Tourney Runners-up   Coach unknown

1928-29                 Woodford Co. Tourney Runners-up   Coach unknown

1929-30  18-  7                                                           Coach George Doak

1930-31                 Woodford Co. Tourney Runners-Up  Coach unknown

1943-44   N.R.A.    District Champions                       Coach unknown

1944-45   N.R.A.    District Champions                       Coach unknown

Boy’s Track & Field

The Washburn boy’s tracksters were not to be out done as four individuals brought home five medals from the IHSA State Track Meet.

1904-04    F.E. Owens     Pole Vault          3rd Place

1905-06    F.E. Owens     Pole Vault          2nd Place

1918-19    Barnes            440 Yard Dash    2nd Place

1918-19    Safford            50 Yard Dash     3rd Place

1929-30    Boon               Discus                4th Place

Seeking More Information

We are seeking your help in providing more information regarding Washburn and its school system. We especially enjoy photos of the old school buildings, great teams, and great coaches. If you have information to share you may complete a  CONTACT US form, or you may e-mail us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or write to us at::

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, IL  60631

Former Washburn High School gymnasium
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Now part of Low Point-Washburn Grade School

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