The History of Kemper High School
Kemper (population 50) is located in southwestern Illinois in the far northeastern portion
of Jersey County. Illinois Route 267 is the main roadway leading to and from Kemper. County Highway 3 also leads into
town as doees County Highway 20 and Appletree Road. Accordding to www.mapquest.com, Kemper is about 2 blocks from north to south and 2 blocks from east to west. Kemper is located about 15 miles northeast
A very nice history of the town of Kemper can be read at the web address of
The area in which Kemper is located was first settled in 1816. Ruyle Township, in which
Kemper is situated, was established by Col. WIlliam Ruyle in 1877. The small hub of Kemper was first known
as Palmer's Prairie and then Delaware. However, when a train line was being laid through the area the land was donated
by WIlliam Kemper, under the condition that the town be named Kemper. Though the railroad was instrumental
in the town's early growth, there does not appear to be a railroad line traveling through the area today.
Kemper residents established schooling for their children very early on. A grade
school was built in Kemper in 1889. This school was open through 1953. The school had two rooms, one for grades 1 - 4, and
the other for grades 5 - 8. The article states the following about high school courses being taught in Kemper:
"Then in 1914 and 1915 Mr. Austin Cope taught the 9th
and 10th grades and had a nice class to graduate in 1916. Then it was discontinued, and the 8 grades were taught
The article is full of fascinating information. It was written in 1975 by Mrs.
Monroe Elliot from her personal experience. When the grade school closed in 1953 the students attended school in
nearby Medora. It is believed that when Medora School District was consolidated into Piasa Southwestern, the Kemper kids followed.
Kemper High School Quick Facts
Year opened (2-year HS): 1914
Medora HS, now Piasa Southwestern
Athletics not offered