Watson High School

Watson High School Building & Gymnsasium 1941
A large building with trees in front of it

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Submitted by Jane Rios
Watson School Gymnasium 2015
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Now Watson Civic Center
Watson Civic Center Sign 2015
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“Watson Area Civic Center”

The History of Watson High School

Watson (population 729) is located in south-central Effingham County about six miles south of the city of Effingham.  The road leading into Watson is Illinois Route 37. Two major roadways, Interstate Highway 57 and U.S. Route 45, run to the west and east of Watson respectively.  The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad cuts through the center of town as does a branch of the Salt Creek. The town is named after an executive, George Watson, of the Illinois Central Railroad which passed through the area in the 1860s.

The amount of information regarding Watson sparse.  It is known that Watson at one time supported its own high school.  The origin of the high school, or any schooling in Watson, is not available. The last mention of the school on the IHSA web site (www.IHSA.org) is of the boys basketball team of 1945.  A guess would be that Watson probably closed in the late 1940s as many small town schools did.

Jane Rios, who provided the photo of the Watson High School building above and the photo of the WHS basketball team of 1940-41 below, had this to add regarding Watson High School:

“My father attended Watson High School when it was a 3-year high school. His last year there was 1940-41 after which he attended Effingham High School for his senior year. He did play basketball at Watson. The photo below is of him and his team during his junior year (1940-41). In the photo of the basketball team my father, Richard W. “Dick” Loy, is in the front row to the far left.

The school building remained active as a grade school through the 1977-78 school year. Today only the gymnasium remains and has been sided over.”

The children of Watson now attend school as part of the Effingham School System.  The fate of the original Watson school building appears to be a good one. On the north side of Watson sits the building pictured at the top of this page. It appears to be an older school building protected by aluminum siding. The building and gym are now known as the Watson Civic Center.

Watson High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                  late 1800s?

Year closed:                   1945?

School nickname:           unavailable

School colors:                 unavailable

School Fight Song:         unavailable

Athletics

The Watson High School athletic program definately included boys basketball and probably included track and baseball.  If you have any information regarding the athletic program and other great programs offered at Watson High please write to us so we can share the information with other readers.

Watson School Gym 2015
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Boys Basketball

Watson High School boys basketball had a real nice run in the late 1930s / early 1940s winning three District titles in five years.  Including was a back to back title accomplishment in 1942 and 1943.  The team records and coaches names of these and other great Watson teams are not available.  The years of the District titles are listed below. Several scores involving Watson High School in the IHSA State Tournament were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason High School Basketball Scores.” These scores are listed below as well.

1920-21          Centralia District Tournament         Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Vandalia 45-15

Trenton beat Salem in title game

1921-22          Olney District Tournament               Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Grayville 28-20

1932-33          Effingham District Tournament        Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Kinmundy 45-11

Effingham beat Kinmundy in title game

1933-34          Effingham District Tournament        Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Altamont 46-17

Effingham beat Altamont in title game

1934-35          Effingham District Tournament        Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Edgewood 22-21

2nd Rd lost to Altamont 31-13

Salem beat Teutopolis in title game

1935-36          Effingham District Runner-Up      Coach’s name & record needed

                       1st Rd Beat Mason 42-9

                       Semi-final Beat Dietrich 28-19

                       Title Game lost to Montrose 34-30

1936-37  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1937-38          Watson District Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

Early Rd Scores Needed

Teutopolis beat Shumway in title game

1938-39          IHSA District Champions              Coach’s name & record needed

District Scores Needed

                       Effingham Regional Tournament

                       1st Rd lost to Effingham 23-18

St. Elmo beat Altamont in title game

1939-40          Watson District Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

Early Rd Scores Needed

Teutopolis beat Toledo in title game

1940-41          Dietrich District Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Montrose 49-24

2nd Rd lost to Teutopolis 53-15

Toledo beat Teutopolis in title game

Watson High School Basketball Team 1940-41
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Submitted by Jane Rios

1941-42          Dietrich District Champions         Coach’s name & record needed

Early Rd Scores Needed

                       Title Game Beat Strasburg 39-24

                       Effingham Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Greenup 44-26

Effingham beat Windsor in title game

1942-43          Watson District Champions         Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Lakewood 53-24

                       Semi-final Beat Toledo 64-24

                       Title Game Beat Strasburg 47-34

                       Effingham Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Neoga 38-32

Windsor beat Effingham in title game

1943-44  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1944-45          Dietrich District Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Edgewood 31-28

**Semi-final lost to Toledo 56-24

Strasburg beat Toledo in title game

**Last game listed on the Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores site for Watson.

Do You Have ANY Information To Offer…

…regarding the above listed teams and other great accomplishments of Watson High School?  We are especially interested in photos of the old school building and great teams, coaches, and characters of WHS’ past.  You can e-mail these items to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or you can write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631

Watson School and Gym 2015
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Now the Watson Civic Center
 


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