Roodhouse High School "Railroaders"

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Roodhouse High School - 1928
Photo Submitted by John Strain

Washington High School Building, Roodhouse, Il.
Submitted by John Strain

The History of Roodhouse High School
Roodhouse (population 2,214) is located in northern Greene County at the intersection of Illinois Rt. 267 and County Road 2.  The Seminary Creek and Illinois Central Gulf Railroad run through the center of town.  The town was named after its founder, John Roodhouse, and was at one time, in the late 1800s, one of the most important railroad centers in the midwest.  A town of note for reference would be Springfield located 40 miles northeast of Roodhouse.
The Roodhouse school system was probably started in the late 1800s.  Roodhouse supported its own school system for many years until consolidation talks with its neighbor to the southwest, White Hall, took place in the early 1960s.  This effort was completed in 1963 with the creation of the North Greene School District.  The high school was located in White Hall with the junior high school remaining in Roodhouse.  The junior high school, in fact, is still based in Roodhouse.

Roodhouse HS Building - 1932
Courtesy of John Strain

Roodhouse HS Front View - 1928
Submitted by John Strain

The photo at the bottom of this page is of the North Greene Junior High School in Roodhouse.  Our good friend Louise Rawlings Buhlig tells us:
"There were two High School buildings on that property before the last one was demolished to make way for the newer grade school structure pictured below. The original High School housed not only the high school students, but also grades one through eight, another small grade school (still standing) on the other side of the railroad tracks accomodated grades one through four.".
Roodhouse High School Quick Facts 
Year opened:                 mid to late 1800s
Year closed:                  1963
Consolidated to:             North Greene School District
School nickname:          The "Railroaders"
School colors:               Red & White
School Fight Song:        Tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad"

Roodhouse HS Gymnasium - 1930
Submitted by John Strain

The Roodhouse High School Railroaders had many great sesons in boys athletics, competing in the I.V. (Illinois Valley) Conference.  IHSA hardware was won in boys basketball and track.  It is believed baseball was also offered.  Another interesting fact about Roodhouse was the success of their drama, debate, and speech programs.  Those areas will be touched on later.  The success found on the IHSA web site for athletics are listed below.  Roodhouse was a member of the Illinois Valley Conference from 1928-1962.

Roodhouse HS Gym - 1930
Sent to us by John Strain

Boys Basketball
The Roodhouse boys basketball team had a long and sotried history of successful teams.  The team brought home four regional titles, one District title, and one sectional title.  Their lone Sweet 16 appearance came in the 1938-39 season when the team finished 26 - 2 and lost to Ziegler in the Super Sectional! The best seasons of Roodhouse basketball are listed below.
1929-30     19 - 9       (good record)                                      Coach Foster Keagle
1935-36     20 - 7       District Champions                           Coach's name unavailable
1938-39     26 - 2       Regional / Sectional Champions      Coach Maynard "Pat" O'Brien
                                Sweet 16 in "One-Class" format
                                Lost  21 - 11 to Ziegler
1939-40     19 - 7       (good record)                                      Coach Mason Campbell
1940-41     17 - 7       Regional Champions                        Coach Mason Campbell
                                Lost in 1st Rd. of Sectional
                                to Hillsboro 35 - 26
1941-42     20 - 8       (good record)                                      Coach Mason Campbell
1942-43     21 - 8       Regional Champions                        Coach Mason Campbell
1946-47     22 - 5       Regional Champions                        Coach Mason Campbell
                                East St. Louis Sectional
                                Semifinal- Collinsville 60 Roodhouse 33
                                Collinsville went on to lose in the
                                2nd Round at the state tournament
                                in Champaign
1948-49     17 - 7       (good record)                                      Coach Mason Campbell
1958-59     12 - 12     (last .500 or better record)                    Coach Alex McKnight
The Winchester Invitational Tournament
Roodhouse had some nice success in this annual basketball tournament as researched by Mark Jurenga:
1935- 4th Place; Lost to Winchester
1942- Champions over Murrayville            Coach: Campbell
1943- 2nd Place; Lost to Murrayville
1948- Champions over Winchester           Coach: Campbell 
1953- 4th Place; Lost to White Hall
1959- 4th Place; Lost to Griggsville
1960- 4th Place; Lost to Griggsville
Roodhouse had an excellent football program in the 1920s and 1930s. Evidence of the earliest football game can be traced back to as far as 1928, defeating Jerseyville 12-7. Roodhouse competed in the Ivy Conference.  The better team records and successes are liste below.
1955  5-4      3rd place Illinois Valley Conference                     Coach Bill Pauley 
1956  6-3      4th place Illinois Valley Conference                     Coach Jack Jordan
1957  5-4      4th place Illinois Valley Conference                     Coach Jack Jordan
1958  9-0       Illinois Valley Conference Champs                    Coach Jack Jordan
1959  9-0       Illinois Valley Conference Champs                    Coach Jack Jordan
Roodhouse won 19 straight games starting with the last game of the 1957 season
1960  7-2       2nd place Illinois Valley Conference
Boy's Track & Field
Three athletes brought home seven medals from the state track meet.  One male athlete, M. Husted, single handedly led Roodhouse High to consecutive team finishes of 7th and 4th in 1913 and 1914.  In 1914 M. Husted brought home two first place finishes and a second place finish in the three weight - field events offered!In 1911 an athlete simply named Husted (M. Husted's older brother?)  brought home a state championship in the long jump and in 1939 a kid named Wimberly placed 5th in the 100 yard dash. The finishes and results of the State meets are listed below.
1911    E. Lynn Husted               Long Jump      State Champion!!
1913    Roodhouse Finished 7th Overall at the State Track Meet
           Individual Placer
           Merle R. Husted          Discus              State Champion!!
           Merle R. Husted          Shot Put           4th Place
           Final Team Standings
           1.)  Oak Park - River Forest        -  34
           2.)  Chicago University HS          -  24
           3.)  Raymond                            -  12
           4.)  McLean                              -    8
                 Ridge Farm                         -   8
           6.)  LaGrange                            -   7
           7.)  ROODHOUSE H.S.             -    6
                 Springfield H.S.                   -   6
           9.)  Harvey Thornton, Rock Island, Virgina, Oregon
                 and Sullivan all tied with 5 points
1914B   Roodhouse Finished 4th Overall at the State Track Meet
            Individual Placer
            Merle R. Husted        Discus           State Champion
            Merle R. Husted        Shot Put        State Champion
            Merle R. Husted        Hammer        2nd Place
            Final Team Standings
            1.)  LaGrange                    -  28
            2.)  Harrisburg                   -  16
            3.)  Centralia                     -  14
            4.)  ROODHOUSE H.S.     -   13
            5.)  Aurora West               -   11
            6.)  Kewanee                    -    9
                  Tuscola                      -    9
            8.)  Pittsfield                     -    8
            9.)  Momence, Jacksonville, Fair Field, all tied with 7 points.
1938   District Team Champions
1939   District Team Champions
          1939 Individual Placer at State Meet
          Harold D. Wimberly      100 Yard Dash         5th Place
(Harold Wimberly went on to play football at Illinois Weslyan and serve our country in World War II.  He also taught science and coached football and track at Jachsonville HS for many years. He had a great sense of humor and always had a story to tell. Wimberly's young high school athletes were often impressed with his speed and how he could jump. To his students, he was Coach Wimberly or Mr Wimberly, but to adults he was known as " Hal ". Thank you to his former student-athlete Bruce Samoore for providing this information)  
Great Job Roodhouse Thinclads!!
Drama, Speech, Debate
Truly an incredible job by the Roodhouse english department here!  One State Team Championship as well as numerous individual and team IHSA hardware winners.  Nice job.  Sarah Martin Neely tells us the "coach" of this incredible program was Mrs. Thel Wilkinson. She was assisted by Miss Opal Story.  The great success in the above listed categories are listed below.
Drama Team
The Drama Team of Roodhouse High School had great success in the 1940s and early 1950s.  In fact, the Drama Team earned Roodhouse High a STATE CHAMPIONSHIP in 1943!!.  The Coach's and team member names are not available.  The Drama Team also placed 2nd in 1946  and won their Sectional, qualifying for the state competition in 1951!!! 
1943     STATE CHAMPIONS!!!                                          Mrs. Thel Wilkinson
1946     STATE COMPETITION 2ND PLACE!!                      Mrs. Thel Wilkinson
1951     Sectional Champions                                           Mrs. Thel Wilkinson
Debate Team
The Debate Team at Roodhouse High also had some State Competition success.
1957    Sectional Champions                                          
Speech Sweepstakes Competition
In this category, Speech Sweepstakes, the Roodhouse High School speech team also excelledThe team finished 8th in the State in 1946 and earned District Titles in 1953 and 1955! 
1946   Team Finished 8th in State Competition!           Mrs. Thel Wilkinson
1953   District Champions
1955   District Champions
Individual Events
Five Roodhouse students brought home individual medals from State Competition. Gordon White was crowned State Champion in one category in 1955!  The individual medal winners for Roodhouse are listed below.
1947   Bill Sawyer        Original Oratory      2ND PLACE
1951   Philip Smith       Original Oratory      5th Place
1952   Sarah Allen        Comedy                  2ND PLACE
1953   Olga Mayberry    Verse                      2ND PLACE  
1955   Gordon White     Extemporary           STATE CHAMPION!!
Memories & Items of Interest
From Roodhouse Class of 1951 graduate Louise Rawlins Buhlig:
"My parents were both graduates of just Roodhouse High School, Class of 1924, the first class to publish an Annual, The Legend, and the first class to wear cap & gown (I don't believe the colors then were red & white, as that came into being with the addition of Community High School, depicting the Railroaders -Roodhouse is a railroad town and at one time the biggest hub between Kansas City & Chicago). The addition of Community would have been because some of the outlying smaller towns had three-year high schools, i.e., Patterson, Manchester, Hillview, necessitating the transfer of those graduates to spend their Senior year at Roodhouse, White Hall, or Murrayville."
Need your Assistance
If you have any information, including photos, stories, facts, names, ect., regarding the many successes of Roodhouse High School, please e-mail us at  You can also write to us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days 
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.   60631    

Roodhouse Junior High School
Roodhouse, Illinois

Roodhouse vs. Jerseyville - 1930

1930 Ivy Conference Standings - Railroaders are in FIRST PLACE!