The History of Kenney High School
Kenney (population 374) is located on IL Route 54 about eight miles southwest
of its neighbor, Clinton. This places Kenney in southwestern DeWitt County about 35 miles west of Champaign. An
interesting fact concerning Kenney (founded in 1871 by John Kenney) is that two lines of the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad
intersect in town.
Kenney High School existed as a four-year school from 1921 through 1955. It was started as a
three-year school in 1906 with classes held in the Kenney Opera House. When the "new" high school building was built
in 1921 designed by architect A.L. Pillsbury, Kenney High School became a four-year high school. Kenney High
School served the town of Kenney for 34 years when the class of 1955 was the last senior class that graduated
from KHS. Kenney was then annexed into the Clinton School District. We have learned, however, that Kenney High School
may have been open through the 1956-57 school year.
The Kenney High School building served as a junior high and grade school for the Clinton school system
through 1972. It was then vacated as a school and purchased by a private citizen. The building has sadly fallen
into a sorry state of disrepair. It is said to be a still-proud building with a majestic look to it. Jon
Wheat, who took the photos shown at the bottom of this page said he could see this once great buidling
as far as two miles away before he reached the town of Kenney.
However, the Kenney Opera House (the original home of the high school) still remains in operation today
as a pipe organ factory. Kenney alums still gather once a year in late March for a reunion and there is some memorablia
of the high school located at the Kenney Community Center in the downtown district.
Kenney High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1906
(as a three-year school)
Became a 4-yr school: 1921
Year closed: 1955
Last graduating class: 18 students
School nickname: "Hornets"
School colors: Blue
& White (1920's to mid-1930's)
Green & White (mid-1930's to 1955)
Name of Yearbook: The "K" Echo
Name of paper: The "Pupils' Pantagraph"
School Fight Song: Hornet Cheer Song
To Kenney High,
the school we love
sing a song of praise
Tell of her
many victories won
her banners raise.
our dead old school
And work for
her with zest
To show all
the world around
High's the best
So let's join
in a cheer
all gathered here
Cheer for old
For the Green
(Blue) and White
For dear old
Kenney High (rah-rah-rah!)
For her honor
And her glorious
We shall stand
in a royal band
So let's cheer,
All out for