Waynesville High School "Braves"

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Waynesville High School

                               The History of Waynesville High School
The town of Waynesville (population 452) is located in the northwest corner of De Witt County on county roads 1300 North and North 100 East Road (also County Rd. 17). The Illinois Terminal Railroad runs through the center of town. A branch of the Kickapoo Creek crosses the northeast side. This places Waynesville approximately 15 miles northeast of Lincoln.
The history of Waynesville is in need of further research. The Waynesville school system was set in place in the 1891 when it opened as Waynesville Academy. Classes were first held in the Waynesville Opera House, then moved into the building you see at the top of this page until 1911 when it closed. During that time, Professor W.H. Smith was the head of the school and saw 74 people graduate.

Waynesville HS Cornerstone - Addition of 1942

The school building was leased to the township and reopened as Waynesville Township High School in the fall of 1911. A gymnasium and additional classroom space were added in 1940. Three people graduated in the first class (1912), and four people made up the final graduating class in 1955.
The townspeople were very proud of and supported their schools for at least five decades. A consolidation effort with McLean took place in 1955. This information was provided to us by our own Kev Varney:
"In 1955, residents in Waynesville closed their schools and sent their children to McLean, forming McLean-Waynesville, and that school would remain in session in the McLean HS building until the spring of 1972. At that time, McLean and Waynesville along with six other communities (Armington, Atlanta, Danvers, HopedaleMinier, and Stanford) officially banded together to open the present-day Olympia HS in rural Stanford, as the result of a November 1966 vote." 
The children of current-day Waynesville still attend school as part of the Olympia School District, whose High School is located in nearby Stanford. The grade school children attend school in McLean. 
The Waynesville High School building sits on the northwest edge of town. Andy Garrett gives us the following insight on the former Waynesville HS building today:
"The School currently still stands and is being used as a place of storage. It is owed by a former resident of the town, who purchased the School building and property after it closed in 1986. A recent storm did damage to the roof of the Gym and stage area.
"I attended the school for grades K-4. It was then closed in the summer of 1986 and we were moved to the McLean Grade School for my 5-6 grade years. The fall of 1986 is when the Olympia School district added the Middle School to the High School location just outside Stanford, IL. Grades 7th and 8th that had previously been at the individual grades schools were now being bused to the High School."
Waynesville High School Quick Facts
Year opened as Waynesville Academy:    1891
Reopened as Waynesville Twp. HS:         1911
Year closed:                                          1955
Year consolidated into Stanford Olympia: 1972
School nickname:                                   "Braves"
School colors:                                        Maroon & Gold
School Fight Song:                                 unavailable
Name of yearbook:                                 "Waynola"

Waynesville Gym Wall - 2010

The "Brave" on the Gym Wall in Waynesville

It is known that Waynesville High definitely offered basketball and baseball. Former player and alumnus Henry Winebrinner often touted his former WHS teams in these sports to his family. Mr. Winebrinner was extremely proud of being a Waynesville "Brave," and we are sure there are many other alumni from Waynesville High School who feel the same. 
The former baseball field still has some reminants standing including a few light poles and the original backstop. Track & Field was also offered to the Waynesville boys, as was girls' basketball.
The Warriors had a successful program during the 1920's, but did not bring home any IHSA hardware from state tournament play. The school was also involved in the Logan-DeWitt Conference, which included Beason, McLean, New Holland, Middletown, Atlanta, Hartsburg, EmdenKenney, and Elkhart. The following information is the result of taking time to read thru copies of the school yearbook Waynola at the Waynesville Library: 
1920-21                                               Coach Carl Cross
1921-22   18-  8                                    Coach Carl Cross
1922-23   18-  9                                    Coach Carl Cross
1923-24   18-12                                    Coach Carl Cross
1924-25   18-  6                                    Coach Hosea Tillotson  
1925-26                                               Coach Carl Cross
1946-50                                               Coach Loyd Webber
1950-51   11-16                                    Coach Loyd Webber
1951-52                                               Coach Loyd Webber
1952-53   11-16                                    Coach Morrison
The Warriors took on all comers when the numbers were there to field a team. We were only able to find three teams with records listed in the school yearbooks.
1924-25    3- 2                                     Coach Carl Cross
1925-26    4- 2                                     Coach Carl Cross
1946-47    1- 4                                     Coach Loyd Webber
The Warrior gals played some hoops in the early 1920's and compiled a competitive record in the two years that information was found.
1920-21    8-14                                     No coach--players coached themselves
1921-22    4-  3-1                                  No coach--players coached themselves
During the 1920's, Carl Cross was able to field a track team and they won a meet in two of the seven years that yearbooks were located. The Warriors won a 1921 meet against Wapella 77-44 and took a 62-46 meet from Atlanta in 1926.
If you have ANY information regarding WHS and their athletic program please share it with us before it is lost forever. Special thanks go to Margie Rich at the Waynesville for her generosity in locating the yearbooks found to provide further details about Waynesville HS.
**From former student Ron Hicks:
"Grades 1-4 attended the Elementary School--now a church, I believe.  Mrs. Miller taught 1st grade, Mrs. Yates 2nd, Mrs. Green 3rd, Mrs. Blakely 4th.  There was a Mrs. Shedone in there somewhere.  Some of my friends included Dennis Rich, Jimmy Taylor, Jana Adair, Debbie Adair, Greg Ladeau, Stewart (can't remember last name), David Wampler, George Taylor, Steve Taylor, and others.  I played on the basketball team in 5th grade.  The coach was Mr. Miller."
**From Vernon "Pete" Troxell:
"I played basketball for neighboring Wapella from 1942-1946.  If may memory stands, at 83 it may not, The new gym was opened at some time during that period.  I recall playing in the old gym.  If memory is correct, it was one of those that had seating on only one side and also served as a stand for music, dances, and such.  It was rather dreary.  The new gym was really impressive--regulation length, bright lighting, and parquet flooring.  Sometime during that period.  Waynesville beat us rather soundly in the district tournament.  They had several years of good teams.  My parents and I were frequent visitors in Waynesville.  Miss Melda Booth had taken my father in after he was orphaned."
Please Help Us Out
If you have any information regarding the town of Waynesville and its educational history, please complete a Guest Commentary Form. We are also interested in the accomplishments of the athletic program at Waynesville High. You can e-mail us direct at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or write us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.   60631 

Waynesville Gym East Wall
Flag and Mascot Still Holding Strong!