McNabb High School


The History of McNabb High School

McNabb (population 285) is located in north central Illinois. McNabb is situated in the east-central portion of Putnam County. Illinois Route 89 takes you along the east side of town. County Road 500, also known as McNabb Blacktop Road, travels through the center of town. Illinois Route 18 passes by about 3 miles south of McNabb. McNabb is located about 10 miles south of Spring Valley and 19 miles southwest of LaSalle.

The Geneology Trails web address of provides the following information regarding McNabb’s origin. The information comes from a book titled The Past and Present of Marshall and Bureau Counties, 1907, Page 81.

“The coming of the I, I. & I. Railroad in 1900 brought to the county an additional village. In Magnolia township one of the principal local promoters of this road was Hon. J. M. McNabb, at that time county judge. The railroad company felt that it was to its interest to establish a station somewhere in Magnolia township, so they bought Judge McNabb’s farm at the highest price that was ever paid for land in the county, and laid out a little town which they rightly named McNabb.

Its development has not been up to expectations, but what the future holds for it we may not yet discover. It is already a social and business center for the community. It has two or three good stores, two elevators, a lumber yard and a hotel. It also has two rural mail routes emanating from its office. A banking house under the name of the “Farmers’ Bank of McNabb” is managed by Judge McNabb, cashier and one of the proprietors. There is a thriving Danish church in the village, and a new school building to two stories and two teachers. The Toluca, Marquette & Northern Railroad also runs through the town.

McNabb can boast of one feature that no other town in the county possesses. They have a regular sale stable where public sales of fancy and blooded stock take place. They have a commodious hall in which social and literary entertainments are held. Taking all in all, the village has made an interesting social center.”

We have very little information regarding the the school system in McNabb. We know that in 1907 there was a two-story school building in town, likely for grades 1 – 8. We were told in speaking with a local citizen that McNabb school once offered a two-year course of high school study as well. Our source’s father attended the two-year high school in McNabb and then had the choice of continuing his education in either Granville or Swaney high schools.

If you have any further information to add regarding McNabb High School please contact us at

McNabb High School Quick Facts


Year Opened:        Possibly early 1920s

Year closed:          Possibly early to mid 1940s

Course of study:    2-year high school, could finish last two years at Granville Hopkins High School

                              or Swaney High School.

Team nickname:   Needed

Team colors:         Needed

School Song:        Needed





Very little information is available regarding the former McNabb High School. There are no listings on the IHSA website. It is possible basketball and other sports were offered at the school. It is also possible that plays, student government, band, chorus, and other activities were a part of the experience for the students of McNabb High School.




One basketball score involving McNabb High School playing in the IHSA State Tournament was located on a website titled “Illinois High School Postseason Basketball Scores.”


1918-19                   Peoria District Tournament                  Coach’s name & record needed

                                1st Rd lost to Washburn 39-14

                                Peoria Central Beat Averyville in the title game.


Always Looking for More Information


If you have ANY more information you would like to share regarding the history and successful accomplishments of McNabb High School we hope you will write to us so we can share it with others.  We are especially interested in a photo of the original McNabb High School building.  You can e-mail information and photos to us at or you can write to us at:


Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631

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