Shawneetown High School "Indians"

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Shawneetown High School Building 2010
shawneetownhs2010dav.jpg
Submitted by James Horaz

Shawneetown HS Bldg Inscription
shawneetownhsinscriptiondav.jpg
"District No.58 Shawneetown High School 1927" (Courtesy of James Horaz)

The History of Shawneetown High School
 
Shawneetown (population 1,410) and "Old" Shawneetown (population 287) are located in far southeastern Illinois in eastern Gallatin County.  Illinois Route 13 is the main roadway through both towns and is paved alongside the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. The original Shawneetown sits on the banks of the Ohio River. There is a lot of history about Shawneetown on the RootsWeb website at http://www.rootsweb.com/~ilgallat/gch.htm .  
 
The original or "Old" Shawneetown was established in 1800 (only 24 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence!!) .  It is considered Illinois' first eastern settlement. The first bank in Illinois was built, and stands today, in the original Shawneetown.  The town was projected to be one of the most important cities in the United States due to its central location (at that time) and proximity to the main waterway connecting the midwest to the east, the Ohio River.  In 1833 it s said that a delegation of businessmen came to Shawneetown for advice and were told that Chicago was way to far north to ever be anything more than a small village! 
 
Shawneetown grew and flourished, however so did the rest of the country.  Transportation became less reliant on the rivers and more reliant on the railroads.  It is believed Shawneetown offfered a school system for its children in the early to mid 1800s.  A high school was probably established in the late 1800s. 
 
A tragedy and threat of living on a major river caught up to Shawneetown in the mid-1930s.  In 1937 the Ohio River is said to have crested 21 feet over its normal waterline. The devistation to the scenic and historic Shawneetown was such that most of the town's residents found it unreasonable and unsafe to attempt to rebuild.  A new town location was mapped out on higher ground to the west of the original Shawneetown.  It was simply named Shawneetown and it has since been occupied by about 1,500 people. Some residents of "Old" Shawneetown moved back, but the location never recovered.  The original bank building still stands, however the population never rose much above 300 again.

Old Shawneetown High School
shawneetownoldhs.jpg
Old Shawneetown, Illinois

The original school building in Old Shawneetown was razed in the early 2000s.  Some excellent photos of Old Shawneetown can be viewed at the following website:   http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/il/shawneetown.html . Even more photos and information can be viewed on the Gallatin County School District website at http://www.lth6.k12.il.us/schools/gallatin/communities.htm .
 
Shawneetown residents were resilient and supported their new town and newly built high school for several more years.  In, what appears to be, 1991, Shawneetown residents entered into consolidation talks with other Gallatin County towns including Ridgeway, Equality, and Junction.  This effort led to Shawneetown joining the already created Gallatin County School District.  The school was located near the town of Junction. 
 
The former Shawneetown High School building is no longer used as a public school.  It was sold to a resident and is believed to be used in a private capacity. 
 
Shawneetown High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                   late 1800s
Year closed:                    1991
Consolidated to:              Gallatin County School District (Junction)
Shawneetown nickname:  the "Indians"
School colors:                 Orange & Black
School Fight Song:          (Sung to Washington Lee & Swing)
                                     (Tune courtesy of Barbie Deitz)

shawneetownhs.jpg
Credit: Lake County Discovery Museum/Curt Teich Postcard Archives

Athletics
 
Shawneetown High School offered the boys sports of basketball, baseball, and track & field. The girls also competed in basketball and track & field as well as volleyball. We are searching for the Indian's school colors and fight song, as well as conference affiliation.

Shawneetown HS Gymnasium 2010
shawneetownhsgymsideview2010dav.jpg
Submitted by James Horaz

Boys Basketball
 
The Shawneetown High School Indians boys basketball team had an incredible run in the mid-1950's. After winning their first District title in the late 1930's, there were several quiet years at SHS. Back-to-back District titles in 1953 and 1954 shook things up a little bit. Then came the season some high school enthusiasts still remember for Shawneetown High School, the 1954-55 Indian squad!
 
The Shawneetown Indians fought their way to a Regional and then a Sectional title after going undefeated in the regular season. Making their way to Champaign for their Sweet 16 matchup with a suburban Chicago team from Park Forest, the Indians showed they were no fluke, winning the game 61-56. This brought the Indians to an Elite 8 match-up with Princeton. The Indians had met their match and lost to Princeton 66-48. Tiny Shawneetown High School was one of many small Illinois high schools who proved they could play with the big boys.
 
Ardent fan of this website, Gary Spicer, had this to say about the Shawneetown Indians of 1955 and 1956: 
 
"As this site becomes more read you probably will get a wealth of info about the Indians. They were kinda the Cobden of their day. So many of their games were "heart stoppers." In 1955 they went to Champaign and the Sweet Sixteen. They were 31 - 0 when they arrived and won their first game at the State tourney.
 
"Shawneetown was a member of the Greater Egyptian Conference. [Ridgeway, Golconda, Cave-In-Rock, Equality, Rosiclare, etc. Their nickname was Indians. In 54-55 and 55-56 their accumulative record was 62-2. I believe Carmi beat them in the finals of Sectional in 1956 and that game was also a real 'heart stopper.'"
 
No other seasons or information are listed on the IHSA website www.ihsa.org . Scores located on a website titled "Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores" are listed below as well. Season records and coaches' names are being sought.
 
1921-22 through 1932-33  Postseason scores, record, and coaches' names needed.
  
1933-34                  Harrisburg District Semi-finalist      Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd Beat Broughton 44-17
                               2nd Rd Beat Galatia 14-13
                               Semi-final lost to Equality 60-22
                               Equality beat Eldorado in title game
                               Equality placed THIRD in IHSA State Tourney!
   
1934-35                  Eldorado District Semi-finalist        Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd Beat Carrier Mills 29-27
                               2nd Rd Beat Elizabethtown 31-27 (O/T)
                               Semi-final lost to Eldorado 53-32
                               Eldorado beat Carmi in title game
    
1935-36                  Harrisburg Regional Tournament  Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd lost to Harrisburg 41-31
                               Harrisburg lost to Carrier Mills in semi-final
                               Carrier Mills beat Marion in title game
   
1936-37                  Eldorado Regional Tournament     Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd lost to Broughton 30-25
                               Broughton lost to Harrisburg in semi-final
                               Harrisburg lost to Marion in title game
      
1937-38                  Ridgway District Champions      Coach's name & record needed
                               Early Rd Scores Needed
                               Title Game Beat Ridgway 40-16
                               IHSA Regional Tournament
                               Regional Scores 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.
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                  Ridgway District Tournament         Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd lost to Broughton 44-30
                               Broughton lost to Equality in semi-final
                               Equality lost to Ridgway in title game
   
1946-47                  Shawneetown District Tourney      Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd lost to Cave-In-Rock 61-26
                               Cave-In-Rock beat Equality in title game
   
1947-48                  Equality District Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd lost to Equality 53-47
                               Equality lost to Cave-In-Rock in semi-final
                               Cave-In-Rock beat Ridgway in title game
  
1948-49                  Shawneetown District Tourney      Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd lost to Equality 52-43
                               Equality lost to Cave-In-Rock in title game
  
1949-50                  Norris City Regional Tournament  Coach's name & record needed.
                               1st Rd lost to Equality 74-49
                               Equality lost to Eldorado in title game
  
1950-51                  Thompsonville District Tourney      Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd Beat Valier 75-48
                               Semi-final lost to Equality 59-52
                               Equality lost to Crab Orchard in title game
   
1951-52                  Thompsonville District Tourney      Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd lost to Equality 44-34
                               Equality lost to Thompsonville in title game 
   
1952-53                  IHSA District Champions             Coach's name & record needed
                               District Scores Needed
                               McLeansboro Regional Tourney
                               1st Rd lost to McLeansboro 84-68
                               McLeansboro lost to Harrisburg in semi-finals
                               Harrisburg lost to Mt. Vernon in title game
      
1953-54                  IHSA District Champions             Coach's name & record needed
                               District Scores Needed
                               Mt. Vernon Regional Tourney
                               1st Rd Beat Eldorado 50-42
                               Semi-final lost to McLeansboro 71-58
                               McLeansboro lost to Mt. Vernon in title game
                               Mt. Vernon won IHSA State Championship! 
     
1954-55   32 - 1     Undeated Regular Season!           Coach Barney Genisio  
                              Norris City Regional Champs       
                              1st Rd Beat Ridgway 58-32
                              Semi-final Beat Carrier Mills 66-58
                              Title Game Beat Eldorado 69-57
                              Marion Sectional Champions
                              Semi-final Beat  Herrin 39-35 (O/T)
SHAWNEETOWN (39): Nolen 13, Spottsville 12, Joyner 6, Newsom 4, Gunzel 2, Ellis 2.
HERRIN (35): Lawrence 15, Jones 8, Gray 4, Thomas 4, McPherson 2, Hamilton 2.
                              Title Game Beat Anna-Jonesboro 58-49
SHAWNEETOWN (58): Nolen 21, Spottsville 14, Newsom 14, Gunzel 6, Joyner 3.
ANNA-JONESBORO (49): Sauerbrunn 15, Coffman 13, Bittle 11, Jobe 4, Haire 4, Meyer 2.
                              Sweet 16 Champions
                              Beat Park Forest 61 - 56
                              Elite 8 Finalist
                              Lost to Princeton 66 - 48
                              Princeton would finish 4th
1954-55 IHSA State Finals All-Tournament Team
Dave Cadwallader 6-4 So. Lincoln
Nolden Gentry 6-7 So. Rockford (West)
Jim Lazenby 6-0 Jr. Pinckneyville
Joe Ruklick 6-8 Jr. Princeton
Garrison Newsom 5-10 Jr. Shawneetown

1955-56   30 - 1     Undefeated Regular Season        Coach Darwin Valter
                              McLeansboro Regional Champs        
                              1st Rd Beat Ridgway 83-43
                              Semi-final Beat Harrisburg 86-67
                              Title Game Beat Carrier Mills 91-70
                              Harrisburg Sectional Tournament 
                              Semi-Final lost to Carmi 49-48
CARMI (49): Winter 19, Hankins 8, Bell 8, Emery 7, Brashier 3, McCombs 2, Myers 2.
SHAWNEETOWN (48): Nolen 15, Gunzel 10, Drone 9, Stewart 8, Ellis 6.
                              Carmi lost to West Frankfort in title game 48-47
                              West Frankfort lost in Elite 8 Rd to State Champ Rockford West
 
Memories **From "JKD":
"I was a freshman in the 1954-55 year, and our coach Barney Genesio left at the end of that year, and accepted a coaching position at Benton, IL.  The coach of the 1955-56 winning season was Darwin Valter, a resident of Ridgway, IL."
    
1956-57                  Norris City Regional Tournament  Coach's name & record needed.
                               1st Rd lost to Carrier Mills 81-34
                               Carrier Mills lost to Harrisburg in title game
  
1957-58                  Eldorado Regional Tournament     Coach's name & record needed.
                               1st Rd lost to Carrier Mills 77-44
CARRIER MILLS (77): Rollins 22, Taborn 22, Keene 19, Manier 6, Smith 6, Davis 2.
SHAWNEETOWN (44): J. Brazier 12, Cox 11, Hunsaker 8, Potter 7, Pierson 6.
                               Carrier Mills beat Ridgway in title game
   
1958-59                  McLeansboro Regional Tourney    Coach Billy Joe Young
                               Season record needed.
                               1st Rd lost to Ridgway 77-49
                               Ridgway lost to Harrisburg in title game
   
1959-60   25 - 1      Harrisburg Regional Runner-Up Coach Billy Joe Young
                               Undefeated Regular Season
                               Ranked 14th in State at end of Regular Season.
                               1st Rd score needed
                               Semi-final Beat Harrisburg 86-64
                               Title Game lost to McLeansboro  65-58
MCLEANSBORO (65): Sloan 23, Reed 16, B. Threlkeld 11, S. Threlkeld 9, Lee 6.
SHAWNEETOWN (58): Brazier 27, Cox 11, Ellis 9, Potter 8, Charleton 3.
   
1960-61                  Norris City Regional Tourney         Coach Billy Joe Young
                               Season record needed.
                               1st Rd lost to Eldorado 81-46
                               Eldorado lost to Carrier Mills in semi-final
                               Carrier Mills lost to McLeansboro in title game
  
1961-62                  Eldorado Regional Tournament     Coach's name & record needed.
                               1st Rd Beat Eldorado 58-53 (O/T)
                               Semi-final lost to McLeansboro 58-46
                               McLeansboro beat Harrisburg in title game
                               McLeansboro placed 4th in IHSA State Tourney
   
1962-63                  Norris City Regional Tournament  Coach's name & record needed.
                               1st Rd lost to Carrier Mills 72-61
                               Carrier Mills lost to Harrisburg in semi-final
                               Harrisburg lost to McLeansboro in title game
   
1963-64    18 - 6     Harrisburg Regional Tournament  Coach Bobby Lane
                               1st Rd lost to McLeansboro 65-58
                               McLeansboro lost to Harrisburg in semi-final
                               Harrisburg beat Carrier Mills in title game
   
1964-65      6 - 15  Norris City Regional Tournament   Coach Bobby Lane.
                               1st Rd lost to Harrisburg 67-55
                               Harrisburg lost to McLeansboro in title game
   
1965-66  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
  
1966-67                  Harrisburg Regional Tournament  Coach's name & record needed.
                               1st Rd lost to Ridgway 50-26
                               Ridgway beat Harrisburg in title game
   
1967-68                  Norris City Regional Tournament  Coach's name & record needed.
                               1st Rd lost to Eldorado 107-49
ELDORADO (107): Thurman 20, Kaid 17, Via 17, Plunkett 14, Tison 13, Kotner 8, Cotter 5, Menzie 5, McGill 4. Oliver 4.
SHAWNEETOWN (49): Kanady 16, Ellis 10, Adams 10, Collins 6, Thompson 5, Oldham 2.
                               Eldorado beat Carrier Mills in title game
   
1968-69                  Harrisburg Regional Tournament  Coach's name & record needed.
                               1st Rd lost to McLeansboro 69-45
                               McLeansboro lost to Eldorado in title game
   
1969-70                  Norris City Regional Tournament  Coach's name & record needed.
                               1st Rd Beat Harrisburg 86-79
                               Semi-final lost to McLeansboro 69-66
                               McLeansboro lost to Carrier Mills in title game
   
1970-71                  Harrisburg Regional Tournament  Coach's name & record needed.
                               1st Rd lost to McLeansboro 77-69
MCLEANSBORO (77): Rivin 23, Douglass 22, Webb 16, James 10, Hamilton 6.
SHAWNEETOWN (69): Rister 25, Winters 18, Flahardy 12, Hise 5, Bard 4, Gamblin 3, Blair 2.
                                McLeansboro lost to Carrier Mills in semi-final
                                Carrier Mills lost to Harrisburg in title game
   
1971-72                   Norris City Class 'A' Regional       Coach's name & record needed
                                1st Rd Beat Ridgway 70-68 (O/T)
                                Semi-final lost to McLeansboro 67-62
                                McLeansboro lost to Eldorado in title game
  
1972-73 through 1990-91  Postseason scores, records, and coaches' names needed.   
     
       
Girls Basketball
 
The Shawneetown Lady Indians had a great run of their own in the mid-1970's.  The girls of 1977 won the school's only other Regional besides boys' basketball. Coach Mary Dalluge led the girls to their title in the old one-class system for girls. Coaches names and the better team records of other Lady Indian teams are listed below.
 
1976-77   15 - 4       Regional Champions          Coach Mary Dalluge
1977-78   12 - 5                                                     Coach Mary Dalluge
1978-79                                                                 Coach Diane Woolfolk
1979-80                                                                 Coach Diane Woolfolk
1980-81                                                                 Coach Janet Bell
1981-82                                                                 Coach Mickey Pankey
1982-83                                                                 Coach Teresa Nussbaum
1983-84                                                                 Coach Teresa Nussbaum
1984-85     8 - 7                                                     Coach Teresa Nussbaum
1985-86   11 - 8                                                     Coach Teresa Nussbaum
1986-87                                                                 Coach Teresa Nussbaum
Seeking Further Information
 
If you have ANY further information you wish shared on this page about Shawneetown and its former high school please write to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.  You can also write to us via real mail at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.  60631