The History of Westfield High School
Westfield (population 678) is located in lower-eastern Illinois in the far northwestern corner of Clark County. The town sits about five miles southwest of Charleston. Illinois Route 49 is the main roadway to and from Westfield. The Mill Creek flows through the north side of town. According to the website address of http://genealogytrails.com/ill/clark/communities/westfield.html , Westfield was named because of its extreme location in the northwest corner of the county. The town was platted in 1839 and was officially incorporated in 1875.
Education played a major role in Westfield’s early development. The town was one of a handful of small towns in Illinois that established a college in the 1800s (http://genealogytrails.com/ill/clark/history/college/college.html). Westfield College (pictured above) served the town from 1861 through 1914. The building then served as the Westfield High School building from 1914 until it burned down in 1917.
Sharon Karpinski provides the following information about Westfield Academy:
“I’m not sure that Westfield had a four year high school before Westfield Academy, the college, closed around WWI. My great-grandfather and my great-great aunts and uncles attended the academy in the 1880s—and in fact, at all family gatherings for fifty years thereafter fought about who got the highest grades while they were there! My understanding from their commentaries was that “the academy” was actually a combination high school and college, probably two years of high school (called “prep”) and then college.”
The following information was provided by Ryan D’Arcy regarding the history of the Westfield school system:
“The Westfield High School building served as the Westfield Elementary school from 1986-1994. It was then demolished in 1994. The Village of Westfield owns the grounds and gym and operate them as a park. Attached is a picture of the Westfield High School and the Westfield Public School. The first school was operated in a log cabin by Charles Redman in 1831. The schools functioned until the late 19th century as one-room schools until the “graded” system was introduced. The public school served from the 1880s through 1935. It served all grades until the high school separated in 1915 with the closure of the college. The high school took over the college athletic facilities, i.e. track, football field, baseball diamond, tennis courts, and gymnasium. The school was allowed use before, but interscholastic sports didn’t arrive on the scene until the local roads became reliably passable (ca. late 1920s).”
The mid-1980s brought consolidation talks between Westfield High School and its neighbor to the south, Casey High School. The year was 1986 when the towns agreed to merge their efforts. The result was the formation of the Casey-Westfield School District.
The high school for Casey-Westfield is located in Casey. For more information on Westfield High School’s history check out http://c-waa.org/History.htm .
Westfield High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800s
Year closed: 1986
Consolidated to: Casey-Westfield School District
Westfield HS team nickname: the “Eagles”
Westfield HS team colors: Maroon & Gold
School Fight Song: “Cheer, Cheer for Old Westfield High”
Notre Dame University Fight Song Tune