The History of Lockport West High School
Lockport (population: 22,161) is located in northern Will County about 30 miles southwest
of downtown Chicago and about seven miles north of Joliet along Illinois Routes 7, 53, and
171. The Des Plaines River also runs thru the community and it is also the headquarters of the Illinois-Michigan
Canal, which was built during the 1830's as the community was an agricultural center where the steel plow
Over time, Lockport grew as did the grain trade on the canal and became incorporated in 1853. But when
the Sanitary and Ship Canal south of Chicago was built in 1895, the grain traffic stopped and bankrupted
one of the wealthiest people, Hiram Norton, as his flour mill, hydraulic power plants, and canal boats
were rendered useless. The water power may have lived on, but it wasn't until 1911 when the Calumet-Sag Channel
was built north of the city cut off most of the power and any mills that depended on it closed their doors. Lockport
then turned its attention to oil refining that same year when the Texas Company (aka Texaco) opened a facility at the northern
edge of the city, staying there until the 1980's.
Lockport was also important as a community whose residents lived there but also worked in Chicago when the
Chicago & Alton RR offered daily commuter service, which is still being offered today with Amtrak
The history of education in Lockport goes back to when the community was founded back in the 1830's as classes
were held in a log cabin. The first school was built in 1857, and high school courses were begun at a later date as the first
graduates received their diplomas in 1888.
Lockport's high school system grew and expanded to the point that it opened East and West campuses
in the 1960's. Lockport East was for freshmen and sophomores that would move over to the Lockport
Central (main campus) for junior and senior year, while Lockport West opened its doors as a
four-year school in 1963. The school system stayed intact until 1971 when Lockport West deannexed from the rest of the school
district to start its own district in Romeoville, where it remains today using that community's name for
its high school.
Michael Rudy tells us the kids of Lockport West's junior class in 1970 stayed loyal to
their school for their senior year:
"The last class of Lockport West to wear
the Lockport West class ring was the class of 72. The school changed names
at the start of their Senior year and this class vowed to always be considered as Lockport West Spartans and still does
to this day."
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT LOCKPORT WEST HIGH SCHOOL
School closed as Lockport West: 1971
School colors: Navy
Blue & White
Lockport West Fight Song
courtesy of Janice Bly & Michael Rudy!
Lockport West we cheer for you,
Hear us lift our voices high.
Blue and White we're full of fight
As we give our victory cry.
You Rah Rah!
Spartans all we'll answer the call
To bring honor and fame to Lockport West
Who'll lead all the rest
And we'll win, win, win this game!
Yell, Shout, Kick, Scream,
Go Go Go Team!
Yeah white, yeah blue,
Yeah team were for you!
One two three hooray!!