Brocton High School "Purple Martins"

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Brocton HS Building 1924-1952
broctonhsbuildingdav.jpg
Submitted by Tim Apgar

Brocton High School Building - 2008
broctonhighschooldav.jpg
Photo Courtesy of Gene Ogden

The History of Brocton High School
 
Brocton (population 322) is located in lower-eastern Illinois about 20 miles northeast of Charleston, home of Eastern Illinois University.  The road leading to and from Brocton is Illinois Route 49.  County Road 8 also leads to Brocton. The Norfolk & Western Railroad travels through town as does the Hog Branch of the Embarrass River.  Brocton sits quietly in west-central Edgar County. Brocton was established along the lines of the Toledo, St. Louis, & Western Railroad. It was named after Brocton, Mass., a town where many of the railroad workers originated from. The post office for Brocton was set up in 1882. 
 
The history of Brocton High School is in need of research. A high school curriculum most likely was established by the early 1900s.  We do know that Brocton High School served the town for about five decades, possibly longer. The late 1940s saw the consolidation effort in Illinois take place. This brought the neighboring towns of Brocton and Redmon together for consolidation talks.  The result was the formation of the Brocton-Redmon School District.  This effort was finalized for the 1952-53 school year.

Brocton HS Building History
broctonhsbldghistorydav.jpg
Submitted by Tim Apgar

Brocton-Redmon High School was located, we believe, in Brocton.  Brocton-Redmon HS served the area for 20 years before consolidation led to its closure in 1968.  The Brocton school building was still standing in 2008.
 
Brocton High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                                      late 1800s / early 1900s
Year closed:                                       1952
Consolidated to:                                  Brocton-Redmon High School
Brocton HS team nickname:                 the "Purple Martins"
Brocton HS team colors:                      Purple & White (?)
School Fight Song:                              unavailable

Athletics
 
Brocton High School, like most small town schools, embraced its basketball team.  Baseball and track were probably offered as well.  School team nickname, team colors, school fight song, team records, and coach's names are among the many items we are searching for.
 

Brocton "Midgets" Basketball Team - 1933
broctonhsmidgets1933dav.jpg
Coach Pete Van Horn, Ray Witt, Max Turnipseed, Jacob Housely, Paul Kiley, Gene Ogden, Roy Patchett

Boys Basketball
 
The basketball program at Brocton High was a force to be reckoned with in their neck of the woods.  A Regional title in the 1936-37 season was the hi-light of the school's athletic history.  BHS followed this with a pair of Distict titles (www.ihsa.org).  All three titles were won in three consecutive seasons.  Great job Brocton High School boys of the late 1930s!!  Team records and coach's names of these and other great BHS teams are being sought. Several scores from the IHSA Tournament involving Brocton were located on a site titled "Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores." These scores are listed below.
 
Coach Pete "PJ" VanHorn was said to be the leader of several great teams in the 1930s at Brocton High School.  Coach VanHorn can be viewedin the picture to the right with his "midget" basketball team of 1933.
 
1921-22               Charleston District Tournament            Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd lost to Westfield 25-15
                            Westfield lost to Kansas in semi-final
                            Kansas beat Charleston in title game
                            *Atwood HS lost in State Title Game to Centralia this year!
   
1922-23 through 1932-33  Postseason scores, records, and coaches' names needed.
   
1933-34               Tuscola District Runner-Up               Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd Beat Atwood 26-14
                            2nd Rd Beat Newman 38-9
                            Semi-final Beat Tuscola 35-23
                            Title Game lost to Longview 25-24
                            Longview lost Sectional Title Game to Champaign HS
    
1934-35               Tuscola District Tournament                 Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd lost to Arthur 22-20
                            Arthur lost to Villa Grove in semi-final
                            Villa Grove beat Tuscola in title game
    
1935-36               Paris Regional Runner-Up                 Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd Beat Metcalf 45-13
                            Semi-final Beat Kansas
                            Title Game lost to Paris 25-23 
 
1936-37              Tuscola Regional Champions            Coach Pete "PJ" VanHorn 
                           1st Rd Beat Hammond 33-24
                           Semi-final Beat Cerro Gordo 29-20
                           Title Game Beat Bement 26-22
                           Casey Sectional Tournament
                           1st Rd lost to Charleston 21-19
                           Charleston lost to Vandalia in semi-final
                           Vandalia beat Paris in title game
                           Vandalia lost in Elite 8 Rd.
    
1937-38              IHSA District Champions                    Coach Pete "PJ" VanHorn
                           District Scores Needed
                           Paris Regional Tournament
                           Title Game lost to Paris 43-18
                           Paris placed 3rd in IHSA Tournament
    
1938-39              IHSA District Champions                    Coach Pete "PJ" VanHorn
                           District Scores Needed
                           Matoon Regional Tournament
                           1st Rd lost to Windsor 42-28
                           Windsor lost to Charleston in semi-final
                           Charleston beat Matoon in title game
  
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              Ashmore District Tournament                Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd lost to Newman 26-24
                           Newman beat Oakland in title game
  
1945-46              Kansas District Tournament                  Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd Beat Ashmore 46-35
                           Semi-final lost to Kansas 53-33
                           Kansas beat Redmon in title game
   
1946-47              Brocton District Runner-Up                Coach's name & record needed
                           Early Round Scores Needed
                           Title Game lost to Kansas 33-28
   
1947-48  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
  
1948-49              Brocton District Tournament                  Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd Beat Westfield 51-49
                           Semi-final lost to Chrisman 43-40
                           Chrisman lost to Redmon in title game
  
1949-50              Newman District Tournament                Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd lost to Longview 56-41
                           Longview lost to Newman in semi-final
                           Newman beat Chrisman in title game
  
1950-51  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
  
1951-52              Newman District Tournament                Coach's name & record needed
                           **1st Rd lost to Chrisman 51-46
                           Chrisman lost to Kansas in title game
**Final game as Brocton High School, became Brocton-Redmon High School in the summer of 1952. 
      
Need Your In-put
 
If you have any information regarding the Brocton High School athletic program and other school programs offered there, please share them with us. We are especially interested in sharing photos of the old high school building and great teams and coaches.  Please share with us by completing a School Submission Form or a Guest Commentary Form.  You can also reach us by the following means:
 
    
Written -  Illinois HS Glory Days
                6439 N. Neva St.
                Chicago, Il.  60631

Alumni of Brocton High School
 
The following names of Brocton High School alumni were submitted to us by our good friend Gene Ogden:
 
Class of 1933
 
Esther England
Irma Witt
Waneta Vaught
Helen St. Clair
Robert Patchet
Kathleen Hickey
Della Gillis
Bruce Calvin
Ken Gardner
 
Class of 1934
 
Thomas Kelly
Merna Elliot
Everett Duncan
Dorothy Delap
Neva Babb
Fred Wilson
Alice Weis
Charles Bailey
Robert Tucker
Robert Payne
Rosalee Miller
Mary Kearns
Thomas Heggerty
Sylva N. Hall
Naomi Geiling
Mary Fortune
Paul Cummins
Gleason Bailey
James Ashbaugh
 
Class of 1935
 
Thelma Bray
Helen Calvin
Hazel Church
Myrtle Fite
June Howe
Theda Humphry
Waneta Miller
Veda York
Weldon Snider
John Richeson
Max Turnipseed
Mary Shoot
Robert Walker
Gene Ogden
 
Class of 1936
 
James Cooley
Virginia Daugherty
Gene Foster
Martha Hall
Kerrick Helton
Georgann Luttrel
Izola Lycan
J.R. McHenry
Dora Martin
Sarah North
Jacob Housely
Roy Patchet
Hannah Roll
Louise Thornton
Charles Wendell
Pauline Williams
Mary Alexander
Barbara Marquewit
Gene Pigg