The History of Hardin High School
Hardin (population 959) is located in lower-western, some may even say southwestern, Illinois. Hardin
is the County Seat of Calhoun County and sits about 25 miles northwest of Alton and about 35 miles northwest of St. Louis,
MO. Illinois Routes 16 and 100 lead you to and from Hardin. Hardin sits on the banks of the Illinois River and
is only four miles east of the Mississippi River.
"Hardin is named in honor of Col. John J. Hardin, who was killed leading a charge of the
First Illinois volunteers at Buena Vista during the Mexican Civil War. The town's original name was Child's Landing but was
changed when the county seat was relocated from Gilead in 1847. With several restaurants having riverfront views, Hardin is
a popular lunch spot for Bald Eagle watchers in the winter."
The history of Hardin High School is found on the Roots Web address of
"The Hardin High School, which was started in 1917, was operated by District
20. More than half of the students were from rural areas, their tuition being paid to District 20 by the Non-High School Board.
In 1937 a new gymnasium was completed and the old grade school re-modeled. The school was recognized by the state as a four-year
high school during the school year of 1939-40. The new unit district was organized in 1951-52, and high school pupils of Batchtown,
Hamburg, and Kampsville were being brought to Hardin by school busses. The new Calhoun High School one mile north of Hardin
was dedicated in 1961."
As stated above, it was in the early 1950s that the communities of Calhoun County began talks of consolidating
their educational efforts. This effort became a reality in 1951 with the creation of the Calhoun School District.
The new high school complex for the Calhoun District was completed in 1961 and is located 1 mile
north of Hardin where it remains today. The fate of the original Harding High School building, which was utilized
as the Calhoun HS from 1951-1961, was provided by our good friend Justin Lee:
"The Hardin High School structure is still standing. After the HS closed in 1961, the building served
as a K-8 facility until 1993, and from then until 2000 it served as a K-5 school. It was then closed and sold to the
Village of Hardin for redevelopment."
Hardin High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1917
Calhoun School District (Hardin)
Hardin HS team nickname: the "Tigers"
HHS team colors:
Orange & Black
School Fight Song: