Cabery High School "Cardinals"

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Cabery High School Building
caberyhsbldngdav.jpg
Submitted by Donna Quayle Anderson

Cabery HS Building under construction
caberyhsbldgconstructiondav.jpg
Courtesy of Donna Quayle Anderson

The History of Cabery High School
 
Cabery (population 263) is located in the east-northeastern portion of Illinois.  Cabery is unique in that it lies in two counties, Kankakee and Ford.  Illinois Route 115 will take you to and from Cabery and crosses paths with County Road E 4100 North in Cabery.  The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad lays its tracks through town. The Crane Creek flows by the southeast side of town.  A larger town near Cabery is Kankakee which is 15 miles northeast of Cabery.
 
 
 
The history of the town of Cabery is in need of research.   
 
The high school served the town's children proudly for over four decades. According to research conducted by Sherree Benoit, we know that the Cabery School District ceased offering high school courses in 1946.  At that point students who graduated from 8th grade in Cabery would attend high school in nearby Kempton.  It was in 1958 that the school districts of Kempton and Cabery officially merged.  This act officially recognized Kempton-Cabery High School.  
 
The one factor that ultimately doomed Cabery School District was the battle with neighboring Districts for area.  Cabery was late in offering a school bus system which also led to the school's low enrollment and ultimate demise.  In 1969 Kempton-Cabery High School merged with Cullom to create the Tri-Point School District.

Front View of Cabery HS - 2002
caberyhsfront1997.jpg
Photo Taken by Gerry Halpin

 
In 1972, the Cabery school building was closed for classes for the final time.  The school building was converted to apartments for a few years, then left abandoned.  It was razed in December of 2002.     
 
 
The following history of the Cabery school system was found and submitted by Mary Swearingen.  It was taken from the book titled:
 
 
"Out of the New World...Into the Old  Cabery, Il  1881-1981":
 
"Cabery's school building made of brick was built in 1913 to accomodate the first eight grades and four years of high school.  This was the only four year high school in the area.  Consequently, students wanting more than two years of high school came from neighboring towns to complete their schooling.  The first class to complete four years and to be graduated in 1915 consisted of Peter Boesen, Charles Miller, and Bruce Riggs.  The last class to be graduated from the four year high school in 1946 included Norma Olson and Logan Meadows.

In 1937 a gymnasium was added to the building. When consolidation began in 1946, the Cabery High School students attended Kempton High School and the first eight grades were at Cabery. There was an attendance of 100 or more.  In 1958 Kempton and Cabery united to form the Kempton-Cabery Unit 6 for both grade and high school.  In 1969 Kempton, Cabery and Cullom merged to form Tri-Point Unit 6 for both grade and high school. In 1972 the Cabery building was closed and Cabery children were bused to Kempton and Cullom.  This required two school buses.

Cabery High School
caberyhsandgym.jpg
Photo Taken in February of 2002 by Gerry Halpin

Today in 1981 the operation continues in the same way.  A shuttle bus comes to Cabery every morning to take the grade school children to Kempton and the high school children to Cullom.  There are 42 grade school children and 22 high school children riding the shuttle bus each morning at this time."
 
In 1943-44 there were a total of 33 students at Cabery High School.  When the school merged with Kempton in 1946 a total of 15 students transfered to Kempton High School to begin the new consolidation effort."
 
The high school building, pictured on this page, was razed in December of 2002.
 
Cabery High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                 1912?
Year closed:                  1946
Consolidated to:             Kempton-Cabery School District    
Cabery team nickname:  the "Cardinals"
School colors:                Red & White
School Fight Song:         unavailable

Athletics
 
Cabery High School had success on a "State" level in the sports of basketball and track & field.  The boys definitely competed in football too.  It is possible that baseball was also offered at the school.  We are in need of the school's fight song and conference affiliation.
     
Boys Basketball
 
The Cabery High School basketball program won a District title in 1944.  However, the team record and coach's names of these and other great Cabery High School teams are not available. Scores of IHSA tournament games played by Cabery High School as found on the website titled "Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores" are listed below. 
 
It is remembered by Cabery student and cheerleader for the 1943-44 team Eileen Walsmith that the boys of this year were quite good.  In fact, the team ended the season on a 13 game win streak which was halted with a loss in the Regional. The team members were Lawrence Smicker, Durwood Hummel, William Paradise, Jack Colthurst, and Bob Bouk. Cheerleaders that year were sisters Pauline and Eileen Walsmith and Yvonne Down
 
Lawrence Smicker, Durwood Hummel, and William Paradise all joined the Navy for World War II before their senior year (1944-45) leaving only two girls in the graduating senoir class that year.
 
1935 Dwight District Tournament
1st Round - Reddick 27, Cabery 20
 
1936 Kempton DIstrict Tournament
1st Round - Cullom 25, Cabery 15
Cullom placed 2nd in District tourney.
 
1937 and 1938 no scores for Cabery HS were available.
 
1939 Dwight Regional Tournament
1st Round - Pontiac 67, Cabery 22
Pontiac lost in semi-final round.
 
District scores for Cabery High School from 1940 - 1948 not available.
 

Cabery High School Basketball Team 1942-43
caberyhsbbasketball1943dav.jpg
Submitted by Donna Quayle Anderson

Above Photo - Front Row, L to R: Jack Colhurst, John Corn, Ben Corn, Mitch Sasser, Lawrence Smicker, Bob Bonk
Back Row L to R:  Gordon Sadler, ??, Richard Canham, James Donaghue, Fox Paradise, Bud Hummel, ??, Coach ??
 
1943-44          District Champions             Coach Henry Clay  (Also the Principal)
 
1944-45

Cabery High School Basketball 1944-45
caberyhsbbasketball1945dav.jpg
Submitted by Donna Quayle Anderson

Above photo Front L to R:  Jack Colthurst, Lawrence Smicker, Bob Bonk
Back Row L to R:  William "Fox" Paradise, Bud Hummel
  
1945-46                                                     Coach Adams (Also the Principal)
  
Boys Track & Field
 
One male trackster won a medal at the IHSA 'B' Track Meet. In 1915, C. Miller placed 2nd in the Long Jump. 
 
1914-15B    Charles Miller        Long Jump         2ND Place
 
**From Bruce Samoore:
"in 1915 , a student from Cabery High School  named  C.  Miller placed second in the Long Jump.  In a story submitted by Mary Swearingen, she states, “The first class to complete four years and to be graduated in 1915 consisted of Peter Boesen,  CHARLES  MILLER, and Bruce Riggs.”    That Charles Miller has to be the young man who placed in the Long Jump in May of 1915 at the State meet.  He is on the 1900 Census June 1st for Cabery , Rogers Twp., Ford Co., Illinois, as a 5 year old male, born Dec. 1894, living with his father William M. Miller, a Physician, his mother Alice, sisters Hazel , Genevieve and brother Clayton. The 1910 Census April 18th shows the family in the same location, Charles is listed as Charles E. Miller  and 15 years of age. So, in May of 1915 he would have been 20 years 5 months of age,  and eligible to compete by being under 21 at that time.  Now Charles E. Miller can have his full name entered on IHSA medal winners site."
      
Boys Football
 
Research conducted by Sherree Benoit confirms that football was once a part of the Cabery High School athletic program.  At least in the 1920s it was.  There is mention of a football team in 1925 at Cabery High School that was coached by Charles E. White, who was also a teacher and the school's Principal that year.
 
1925-26             Coach Charles E. White

Cabery HS Football Team of 1925
caberyhsfballteamof1925dav.jpg
Submitted by Sherree Benoit

School Band
 
The Cabery High School Students were the benefactors of a well-rounded education. We know that band was an extra-curricular activity offered at the school. The below photo is of Pauline Walsmith practicing the trombone on the side of the Cabery School building, circa 1943.

Cabery HS Trombone Player Pauline Walsmith
caberyhstromboneplayer1944dav.jpg
Submitted by Donna Quayle Anderson

Extra-Curricular Activities
 
The Cabery High School students enjoyed all the pleasures of any other high school in Illinois. Plays, student elections, and dances were all a part of the Cabery HS experience. Students identafied in the photo below to the left include:
Back Row:  Lawrence Smicker, J. Colthurst, Ben Corn
Front Row: Maxine Nass, Polly Walsmith, Yvonne "Blondy" Downs

Cabery Cardinal Cheerleaders 1946-47
caberycheerleaders1947dav.jpg
Courtesy of Sherree Benoit

Cabery High School Cheerleaders 1944
caberyhscheerleaders1944dav.jpg
Submitted by Donna Quayle Anderson

Cabery HS Prom Photo 1943
caberyhsprom1943dav.jpg
Submitted by Donna Quayle Anderson

Cheerleader Photo Above Center:
L to R:  Yvonne "Blondy" Downs, Pauline Walsmith, Eilene Walsmith
 
Cheerleader Photo Above Right:
L to R:  Yvonne "Blondy" Downs, Peggy Massion, Eilene Walsmith
    
Personal Memories
 
**Mary Swearingen attended school at a country school near Cabery and eventually became a student of the Cabery School District.  Mary had these fond memories to share of her school days in upper-eastern Illinois:
 
"Cabery became a grade school in 1946 when the country schools were closed.  I was in second grade and it was a frightening experience joining classes of 20 or more.  My country school was the Downs School and there was one other person in my grade.  I think the Downs school had around 12 students and all eight grades were schooled in one room.
 
Cabery may have schooled gradeschoolers prior to the high school closing.  That I'm uncertain about.  But my years at Cabery Grade School were wonderful.  We had hot lunches and great cooks.  A master teacher was Amelia Majorowicz.  Two grades were housed in one room - The "upper classes" 5,6,7,and 8th were in the second level.  Again two classes shared rooms and teachers.  One of the best things of being an upperclassman was the fire-esacpe which was hooked to the school and made of metal.  Older kids went down first and caught the younger ones coming out of the opening during fire drills.
 
We had great "dodge ball games" during lunch hour.  I understand that's not a nice game to play anymore - but gee it was fun.  We also played baseball and fox and goose in the winter.  
 
We were the Cabery Cardinals.  Basketball was big - We had a first and second team and cheerleaders.  The Cabery School had a wonderful gym with a well-cared for hardwood floor.  There was also a "stage" and music room.  A hallway under the school connected the lunch room and the entry to the gym.  Trophies of the past were displayed in glass cases.  Baseball was played with surrounding schools during afternoons. The school is no longer standing.  I believe it was sold as apartments and later abandonded.  People helped themselves to that hardwood floor - a few pieces at a time.
 
Amelia Majorowicz was an unmarried school teacher and probably in her 40s when I had her.  We thought of her as ancient.....but what a teacher.  Other  classmates have reflected on how fortunate we were to have her - in spite of her strict control of the classroom.
 
I graduated in 1952 from Cabery - and attended Kempton High School.  Kempton later combined to form Tri-Point when attendance was dwindling."
 
**From Donna Quayle Anderson:
 
"I just got done looking at the old Cabery School....many, many memory's.  I started first grade there in 1955.  And lived just one block from the school."
Semi-Pro Athletics
 
**Sherree Benoit found this bit of information to share about the town of Cabery:
 
"The town of Cabery had a semi pro football team that was quite famous from 1910 into the 1930's. Their records are unreal. They even played games with Joliet prison inmates. They also had really good baseball teams."
 
**From Elizabeth Boesen Wood:
 

Peter Boesen was born in 1896 and was raised one mile north of Cabery, IL.  His class was the first to graduate from Cabery High School.  In 1911, Peter got a camera which used glass plate negatives.  He took pictures of the family farm and activities.  These are some of the pictures he took.  One is a double exposure he took of himself at the piano.  In the second photo,  he is dressed in farm wear standing with a younger friend, and third is a photo of him and his family on their farm after hunting rabbits.

After graduating from Cabery High School, Peter Boesen attended the University of Illinois at Urbana.  He worked summers in re-engineering;  one as a surveyor on the Illinois River Road at Peoria,  the next at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington D.C.  He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1920 at the top of his class in electrical engineering. 

He was responsible for much of the engineering work for the creation of the Chicago Transit Authority.

Elizabeth Boesen Wood  (Granddaughter of Peter Boesen)

Photos courtesy of Peter Boesen’s  son; George F. Boesen

Boesen Family Rabbit Hunting 1911
caberyhspeterboesenrabbithuntingdav.jpeg
Taken by Peter Boesen, Submitten by Elizabeth Boesen Wood (click on photo for larger version)

Peter Boesen & Friend - 1911
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Taken by Peter Boesen, Submitten by Elizabeth Boesen Wood (click on photo for larger version)

Peter Boesen Double Exposure - Playing Piano
caberyhspeterboesendav.jpeg
Taken by Peter Boesen, Submitten by Elizabeth Boesen Wood (click on photo for larger version)

Searching For More Information
 
If you have any information you can add regarding the history of Cabery and its former high school, please write to us via e-mail.  We are especially seeking a photo of the former high school building.  Our e-mail address is ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net .  You can also write to us via real mail at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago,  Il.   60631

Cabery Grade School Students of 1936
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Submitted by Donna Quayle Anderson

Donny Quayle - Senior at CHS
caberyhsdonquayledav.jpg
Submitted by Donna Quayle Anderson

Cabery High School Class of 1916
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Submitted by Sherree Benoit

caberygradeschoolpicture1921dav.jpg
Submitted by Opal (Fagan) Sorensen (Her father, Wesley Fagan, is back row center)

CHS Payers 1943 / John & Ben Corn
caberyhs194243cornbrsdav.jpg
Courtesy of Donna Quayle Anderson

CHS Basketball Starters 1943
caberyhsbbasketball1943startersdav.jpg
Bob Bonk,Ben Corn,John Corn,Lawrence Smicker,Jack Colthurst, Coach ??

CHS Player Lawrence Smicker - 1944
caberyhsbbasketball1943smickerdav.jpg
Courtesy of Donna Quayle Anderson