Fairmount Community High School "Eagles"

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Fairmount High School
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Fairmount, Illinois

Fairmount High School Building Postcard
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Submitted by Mark Biggerstaff (Early Fairmount School Building)

Fairmount School Driveway 2015
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Building Razed / Private Residence Constructed on Site

The History of Fairmount Community High School
 
Fairmount (population 640) is located in eastern Illinois in southwest Vermillion County.  This places Fairmount about 15 miles southwest of Danville on County Roads N 600 East and Homer - Catlin Road.  The Norfolk & Western Railroad travels through the center of town and was instrumental in its early growth and establishment.  The Jordan Creek flows east of town.
 
Fairmount was first settled in 1850 along the Great Northern Railroad. The first name chosen for the village was "Salina." The town name was changed to Fairmount in 1857, likely after a town of a similar name in the eastern United States (Place Names of Illinois / Edward Callary).
  
The history of the Fairmount school system is in need of research.  It is probable, as with most small towns on this site, that Fairmount began an educational system for its children in the mid to late 1800s.  A high school was probably established in the late 1800s. Fairmount Community High School served the town of Fairmount for at least five decades.  Talks of consolidation arose in the early 1950s between the towns of Fairmount, Sidell, and Indianola.  This effort was finalized in 1955 with the creation of the Jamaica School District.  A high school was established in the country south of Fairmount with a Sidell address.

Farimount High School
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1940-41 School Board

The original Fairmount Community High School building has been razed.  A portion of the half-circle driveway remains. However the grounds where the building once stood now is the property of a private residence.

Farimount School Sidewalk 2015
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Fairmount School Playground 2015
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Fairmount Baseball Diamond 2015
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Fairmount Community High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                    late 1800s
Year closed:                     1955
Consolidated to:               Jamaica School District (Sidell)
School nickname:             the "Eagles"
School colors:                   Purple & Gold
Grade school colors:        Red & White
School Fight Song:           unavailable
 
 
Athletics
 
Fairmount High School competed in boys basketball as well as, quite likely, track and baseball.  We are seeking information regarding the better teams, athletes, and coaches in Fairmount High's history.  We are also seeking the nickname, school fight song, and conference affiliation of Fairmount High School.
 
Boys Basketball 
 
The only sport listed with results on the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org) for Fairmount High is the sport of boys basketball.  The Fairmount boys brought home a total of three District titles during their existence.  The last title came just two years before the school's closure.  Unfortunately the team records and coaches names of these and other Fairmount High School teams are not available.  A fan of this site and Fairmount High alumnus Mary M. Ellis (Class of 1941) advises the coach during the late 1930s and early 1940s was Walser E. Harms.
 
1931-32              IHSA District Champions        Coach's name & record needed
                           District Scores Needed
                           Danville Sectional Tournament
                           1st Rd Beat Thawville 19-16
                           Semi-final lost to Fairbury 31-15
                           Faribury lost to Rantoul in title game
                           Rantoul lost in Elite 8 Round
 
1932-33              Danville District Runner-Up   Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd Beat Catlin 20-18
                           2nd Rd Beat Ridge Farm 34-30
                           Semi-final Beat Georgetown 25-12
                           Title Game Lost to Danville 28-23
                           Danville lost in 1st Rd of Sectional
 
1933-34              Westville District Tournament    Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd lost to Chrisman 27-19
                           Chrisman lost to Catlin in 2nd Rd
                           Caitlin lost to Georgetown in title game
                           Georgetown lost in 1st Rd of Sectional
     
1934-35              Westville District Tournament    Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd Beat Oakwood 23-14
                           2nd Rd lost to Westville 28-27
                           Westville lost to Danville in semi-final
                           Danville won District, lost in Sweet 16 Rd
    
1935-36              Westville District Champions Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd Beat Bismarck 34-20
                           Semi-final Beat Ridge Farm 30-23
                           Title Game Beat Oakwood 33-27
                           Westville Regional Tournament
                           1st Rd lost to Georgetown 12-10
                           Georgetown lost to Catlin in semi-final
                           Catlin lost to Danville in title game
                           Danville lost in State Title Game to Decatur
  
1936-37  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1937-38  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1938-39  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1939-40  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1940-41  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.


Fairmount High School Eagles
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Basketball Team 1940-41

1941-42  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1942-43  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1943-44  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1944-45  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
    
1945-46               Sidell District Tournament                Season record & coach's name needed.
                            Lost to Allerton 66-28
                            (Unknown what round) 
 
1946-47               Sidell District Tournament                Season record & coach's name needed.
                            1st Rd Beat Scottland 51-18
                            Semi-final lost to Indianola 50-34
                            Indianola beat Allerton in title game
 
1947-48               Sidell District Tournament                Season record & coach's name needed.
                            1st Rd lost to Sidell 39-31
                            Sidell lost in 2nd Rd
                            Hume beat Allerton in title game
 
1948-49               Sidell District Tournament                Season record & coach's name needed.
                            1st Rd Beat Scottland 51-25
                            Semi-final lost to Hume 64-52
                            Hume lost to Indianola in title game
 
1949-50  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
 
1950-51               Hume District Tournament               Season record & coach's name needed.
                            1st Rd Beat Scottland 62-51
                            Semi-final lost to Indianola
                            Indianola lost to Allerton in title game
 
1951-52               Metcalf District Tournament             Season record & coach's name needed.
                            1st Rd lost to Young America 59-44
                            Young America lost to Indianola in semi-final
                            Indianola beat Allerton in title game  
    
1952-53               Ridge Farm District Champions   Season record & coach's name needed
                            1st Rd Beat Scottland 63-47
                            Semi-final Beat Ogden
                            Title Game Beat Sidell 52-50
                            Westville Regional Tourney
                            1st Rd lost to Georgetown 92-59
                            Georgetown lost to Schlarman in title game
 
1953-54  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1954-55  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed. 

Fairmount High School
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Yearbook Staff of 1940-41

School Yearbook
 
Mary M. (Howard) Ellis (FHS Class of 1941) provided this bit of information about the Fairmount High School yearbook:
 
"The FAIR-HI, the school's first yearbook, was published in 1940.  Eleanor Bjelland, our commercial teacher, was in charge.  Our commercial class typed the stencils, ran them on a mimeograph, and had a company in Danville add picture pages. The company then bound the books in purple leather with gold lettering."
 
In the photo above, Mary (Howard) Ellis is seated at the typewriter.  The information she provided was all accomplished without computers!
 
Other Extra-Curricular Activities
 
The following activities were also enjoyed at Fairmount High School.  Thank you to Mary M (Howard) Ellis for supplying this information. 
 
School newspaper:  "The Eagle's Eye"
 
FUTURE FARMER'S OF AMERICA

HOME EC CLUB

GIRL'S GLEE CLUB

BOYS GLEE CLUB

PEP CLUB`` 
The idea of this club was to arouse school spirit by helping the cheerleaders at pep sessions with pep talks ... hoping to have a very active cheering section for basketball games.

There was a yearly "Gym Circus" as well.
 
Memories
 
The Following memories of Fairmount High School were offered by Arlene (Howard) Jaynes (FHS Class of 1949). Hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
 
"I remember the beautiful marble floors in the halls and staircase.....We had hardwood floors in the classroom.

There was a double staircase going upstairs....the boys had to use the one on the left and the girls the right one......We had to use the correct stairway or we would get into trouble..

There was no hot food program unless our Home Economics class made chili or soup and offered it to the students.  Some walked several blocks to Hucks Cafe or brought their lunch.  There were no pop machines, candy machines or anyplaces where we could get an extra goodie.

The seniors initiated the freshmen.  When I was a freshmen, the seniors blindfolded us, led us into the gym, had us step on a SHOCKING MACHINE for a second, and fed us "worms" which we later found out was spaghetti....This was scary, I thought.

Boys sports were important and had schedules.  Our girls basketball team only played a few games with other schools and could only play 1/2 COURT.  We felt that was a bummer.

The janitor for years was Pete Kizer and he did all the maintenance, all of the mowing, all of the cleaning and in the summer refinished the gymnasium floor and painted the classrooms..  I never saw him with a helper.

In the late thirties, FCHS only had two large cars to pick up the rural students. Later they bought a school bus.  I was one of the first to get on the bus in the AM and the last to get off after school.  I was on the bus about an hour each way.  The state made a ruling that a student could only ride a certain amount of time each day.  Then they bought the second bus.  Was I happy.

An alumni group is planning a reunion this summer for all the students who attended any Fairmount school....Plans are being formulated at this time."
 
Here's to hoping for a great turnout for the Fairmount High reunion...I hope you send us photos!!
 
Special Thank You
 
Special thank you goes out to the Howard sisters, Mary M. Ellis and Arlene Jaynes, for their personal stories and researched contributions to this page. 
 
Seeking More Information
 
If you have any further information regarding the history and successes of Fairmount High School, especially a photo of the former high school building, please e-mail us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net .  You can also write to us at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.    60631