New Canton High School "Bulldogs"

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New Canton High School
newcantonhs.jpg
Courtesy of Tom Fox

The History of New Canton High School
 
New Canton (population 417) is located in far western Illinois in the northwestern portion of Pike County.  The town is located about 12 miles southeast of Hannibal, Missourri.  Illinois Route 96 is the main roadway through New Canton.  The Kiser Creek flows to the east of town.  The Mississippi River is both six miles west and six miles south of New Canton.  
 
The history of the town of New Canton and its former high school are in need of research.  We do know that New Canton suppoprted its own high school for several years.  We believe the high school was established in the late 1800s. In a book titled "The Past And Present of Pike County" published in 1906, a passage regarding a man named Henry Card states the following:
 
"Henry Card pursued his education in the schools of New Canton and was graduated from the high school with the class of 1877."
 
  New Canton High School served the community and surrounding farm kids for about 5 decades.  In 1948 the school districts of New Canton, Hull, and Kinderhook agreed to consolidate their educational assets.  The result was the forming of the West Pike School District.
 
The following timeline regarding the formation of the West Pike School District was provided by long-time Hull resident Dixie Ward:
 
In 1945 the Hull High School building was destroyed by fire.
 
  •     1947-49  Community meetings were held to organize West Pike Community Unit District #2
  •     1948-49  Bonds were approved and renovation began at New Canton to build suitable facility for elementary students
  •     1949-50  Construction begins on Hull Elementary School building.
  •     Midterm 1950  All 27 rural schools in the district close.  Students move to the Hull High School Gymnasium which is a separate building from the school that burned.  New Canton High moves to Kinderhook High School.  Kinderhook grade school students move to New Canton High building.
  •     1950-51 Hull area students leave old gym at Christmas bread and move into new Hull elementary building for opening January 2.
  •     1951-52 Hull Elementary School houses grades 1-8 and 1-3 from Kinderhook. New Canton Elementary houses grades 1-8 and 4-6 from Kinderhook. Grades 9-12 continue to go to Kinderhook High School.
  •     1952-53 Kinderhook High School closes.  West Pike High School opens for grades 7-12.  New Canton houses grades 1-6 from the southern part of the district.  Hull houses grades 1-6 from the northern part of the district.  
  •  
    To view the pages of the 1941 yearbook of New Canton High School, check out http://pages.mhlearningnetwork.com/barrybookman/1941newcantonbulldogshighschoolyearbook/ .
    This information was provided by our good friend, B. Waters.
     
    The high school for the new district was built in or near Kinderhook.  The fate of the New Canton HS building is a good one.  The building now serves as a community center for the town.
     
    New Canton High School Quick Facts
     
    Year opened:                                      Late 1800s
    Year closed:                                       1948
    Consolidated to:                                 West Pike School District (Kinderhook)
    New Canton HS team nickname:          the "Bulldogs"
    NCHS team colors:                             Red & White
    School Fight Song:                            "Cheer, Cheer For Old N.C. High"
                                                                                University of Notre Dame Fight Song Tune
     
                                                             Cheer, Cheer for old N.C. High
                                                             Wake up the echoes with mighty cries.
                                                             Send a volley cheer on high,
                                                             Shake down the thunder from the skies!
     
                                                             What though the odds be great or small.
                                                             Old N.C. High will win over all!
                                                             While our loyal sons are marching
                                                             Onward to VICTORY!!
     
                                                             School Cheer:
     
                                                             Ship ahoy, Ship Ahoy!
                                                             We're from New Canton Illinois!
                                                             That's no lie, that's no bluff
                                                             We're the team that has the stuff!!

    New Canton Bulldogs of 1925-26
    newcantonbball1946dav1.jpg
    Courtesy of Tom Fox

    Athletics
     
    Like most small communities of its day, it is a good bet that basketball was the pride of winter nights in New Canton.  The boys probably competed in baseball and track as well.  Team fight song, records, and coach's names are all items we are searching for.
     
    The basketball team pictured above was coached by Brooks Terrell.
     
    Boys Basketball
     
    New Canton had some excellent basketball teams in the late 1940s.  The following paragraph was provided by Tom Fox regarding the Bulldogs of 1946-47 as copied from the 1947 New Canton HS yearbook:
     
    "The New Canton, Il. "Bulldogs" completed the most successful year of basketball New Canton has ever had.  Their record of 26 victories against 4 defeats was one of the best in this part of the state.  The Bulldogs won the Pike County Conference with 13 wins and 1 defeat.  The Bulldogs first five were Otis Burge, forward; Tommy Fox, forward and Captain; Emmit Horton, center; "Bing" Hart, guard; Junior Beavers, guard; Jerry Wernowski, Charles Stone, and Walter Klitz filled in at any position." 
     
    1940-41      13 - 9                                                     Coach Morris 
    1946-47      26 - 4      Pike County Champions         Coach John Codd 

    Pike County Champions of 1946-47
    newcantonbball194647dav1.jpg
    Provided by Tom Fox

     
    Boys Track & Field
     
    New Canton High School boys of 1947 were a special group.  The thinclads of 1947 followed their basketball championship by claiming the Pike County Track & Field Championship as well.  Emmett Horton led the Bulldog tracksters with four first place finishes!  Emmett would also qualify for the IHSA State Meet his junior and senior years.  Emmett continues running even today, at the age of 78.
     
    1947   Pike County Champions
     
              Individual Medalist
              Emmett Horton    High Hurdles        County Champion (set new county record)
                                         220 Yd Low Hurd. County Champion (set new county record)
                                         Broad Jump          County Champion
                                         880 Yd Relay         County Champs (ran anchor leg)           
     
    Extra-Curricular Activities 
     
    Class trips were a part of the NCHS experience as well. In 1947 the Junior and Senior classes took a field trip to Chicago.  Photos of each class and their pre-trip photo of boarding the bus are shown below.
     
     

    New Canton HS Field Trip - Classes of 1946 & 1947
    newcantonclassof19461947dav.jpg
    Courtesy of Tom Fox

    A caption under these photos from the New Canton HS yearbook of 1947 reads:
     
                                                  "Our Trip To Chicago"
     
    "One of the outstanding projects of our school this year was the educational tour the Juniors and Seniors and their teachers took to Chicago on May16 - 19.  The trip was planned by the members of the classes and over $200 was raised by various class projects throughout the year.
     
    While in Chicago the group visited the Union Stock Yards, Field Museum of Science and Industry, Chinatown, Tribune Tower, Adler Planatarium, Field Museum of Natural History, Shedd Aquarium, N.B.C. Studios, Board of Trade, Airport, Zoo, Maxwell Street, and other places of interest.
     
    The trip was planned so that every minute was filled with interesting and educational sight seeing. It was a trip the group will long remember."

    The New Canton High School Basketball Team of 1917
    newcantonbball1917dav.jpg
    Submitted by Sara Kamos (Merritt Irwin Kendrick on far right)

    Special Thank You
     
    Thank you to Thomas Fox (Class of 1947) for providing nearly all of the information for this page. Also for his support of the Glory Days site.
     
    Seeking Your In-Put
     
    If you have any further information you can offer regarding the town of New Canton and its high school please complete a School Submission or Guest Commentary Form.  We are especially interested in a photo of the school building, gym, or great teams.  You can also e-mail information to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or write to us at:
     
    Illinois HS Glory Days
    6439 N. Neva St.
    Chicago, Il.   60631

    New Canton War Memorial
    newcantonveteransmemorialdav.jpg
    Photo Provided by Tom Fox

    New Canton Alumni List
    newcantonalumnidav.jpg

    New Canton Alumni List Continued
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    New Canton Alumni List Continued
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