Percy High School "Blackhawks"

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The History of Percy High School
 
Percy (population 942) is located in southwestern Illinois in the eastern portion of Randolph County. The town sits on Illinois Route 4 about 50 miles southeast of East St. Louis.  Two railroad lines, the Illinois Central Gulf and the Missouri Pacific, intersect in Percy.  A branch of the North Fork of the Cox Creek flows to the west of Percy. 
 
According to http://www.randolphcountyillinois.net/sub79.htm the area of Percy was first settled in 1819 and was first called Short's Prairie after the family who lived there. As the railroads eventually came so did the population rise.  Mining was the principle source of employment.  Plans were made to incorporate the town in the 1880s with the plans being finalized in 1887.  The town name of Percy was taken either from the superintendant of the nearby coal mine, Percy Kampen, or it was the name of the engineer of the first train to travel through town.  One famous landmark that still stands in Percy is the Hahn House. Built in 1875 it is well-kept even today and is said to have things that go "bump" in the night among those who live there.
 
Education would be a concern of the early settlers of Percy.  A high school would probably have been established in Percy in the late 1800s or early 1900s.  In the early 1940s consolidation talks began with nearby Willisville.  This effort became a reality in either 1946 or 1947 with the creation of the Willisville-Percy School District.  Willisville-Percy lasted for a short while before another consolidation effort was realized with several area communities. This resulted in the creation of the Trico School DIstrict which is located in a country setting near Campbell Hill.
 
Percy High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                               late 1800s / early 1900s
Year consolicated with Willisville:  1946 or 1947
Consolidated to:                           Willisville-Percy School District
Percy School team nickname:       "Blackhawks"?
Percy team colors:                       Red, Black, & White
School Fight Song:                       unavailable
Athletics
 
Percy High School participated in boys basketball as is evidenced on the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org).  We believe the athletic program also included track and baseball.  We are in need of several items of interest including the PHS school nickname, school colors, fight song, and conference affiliation.
 
Boys Basketball
 
The Percy High School boys basketball team had some great success in the early to mid 1940s. Three teams won District titles in this short time frame.  Unfortunately the team records and coaches names of these and other Percy High teams are not available.
 
1941-42        District Champions
1942-43        District Champions
1945-46        District Champions
 
MEMORIES
 
From Gwenith Podeschi:
 
"I grew up in Percy and my dad grew up in the Ava school district area.  I'll talk to my grandma and my dad and see what they can tell me.  The Percy grade school team in the 1960's (Percy, Willisville, Ava, Campbell Hill, and Cutler had individual grade schools until circa 1980) was called the Percy "Blackhawks" and the colors were a combination of black and white and red.  I don't know yet whether this was a holdover from a high school or not.  The school building was razed in the 1980's after Trico consolidated its grade schools.  I think that the two-story brick building I attended from 1964 to 1970 would have been where any high school classes were held.  Its gymnasium was new construction (ca. 1930-1950, I think) and still stands as a community center."   
 
If You Have ANY Further Information..
...regarding the history and achievements of Percy High School please contact us via e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net..  We are especially seeking a photo of the original high school building.  You can also write to us via real mail at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago,  Il.   60631