Rockbridge High School "Rocks"

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Rockbridge High School
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Rockbridge High School Building
Submitted by Dennis Price

The History of Rockbridge High School
Rockbridge (population 189) is located in lower western / southwestern Illinois in the southeastern corner of Greene County.  Illinois Route 267 is the main roadway traveling through Rockbridge as Illinois Route 108 passes by town two and a half miles to the north.  County Highway 24 also passes through the village. Rockbridge is located about 35 miles southwest of Springfield and 15 miles north of Alton.
A post office named Rockbridge was established in the area in 1850. The town was established in 1870 along the Rockford, Rock Island & St. Louis Railroad line.  It was originally named Sheffield after a successful local businessman. The name was changed to Rockbridge to match the local post office shortly thereafter. 
Rockbridge High School may have been established in the late 1800s, possibly even in the early 1900s.  It is probable that Rockbridge High School served the community and the area through the 1940s, possibly even longer. Rockbridge High was a four-year high school.
An alum of Rockbridge High School, Winifred Locher, who is 94 years old as of this writing (June 27, 2012), wrote the following letter to us regarding Rockbridge High:
"(Rockbridge) is on Ill. Rte. 267 - 2 1/2 miles off of Rte. 108, about 65 miles from Springfield, Il. and 35 - 40 miles from Alton, Il.
My Dad, Fred S. Pewter, was Supt. of the school from about 1920 - 1940. He was also the basketball & track coach 
The school was so small, maybe 30 - 40 total enrollment. After he retired - I don't know exactly when - (Rockbridge) consolidated with Greenfield  I think this was in the early 1940s. Rockbridge was always a four-year high school as long as I was there.
I graduated from Rockbridge High School in 1936 and went on to graduate from Blackburn College in Carlinville, Il. (Yes, I am 94!) The school colors at Rockbridge High School were blue and gold. The fight song was the Univ. of Illinois fight song.
R.C.H.S. (Rockbridge Community High School) did participate in basketball and track and literary contests which were big at that time. We had very good teachers - graduates of Illinois College and MacMurray College. We also had school dances and plays. We competed with the 3-year and 4-year schools in Greene County.  About 1934, my Dad was on the IHSAA board and attended some meetings at the Palmer House in Chicago. I went with him and attended the World's Fair.
My Dad organized the "Little 8" conference of all Macoupin County schools except Rockbridge. We were very close to Macoupin County though. The schools who were a part of this conference included:
Bunker Hill (still active), Brighton, Chesterfield, Hettick, Medora, Rockbridge, Scottville, and Shipman.
We competed in sports and literary contests. These were all 4-year high schools.
Some of the colleges attended by graduates that I can recall were the University of Illinois, Blackburn, an art school in Washington, D.C., Monticello College, Godfrey Shirtloff College (Alton, Il.), Willesby, and Illinois College. This was during the time of the Depression, in a farming community, and at a time when college was an option, not a necessity and a priority like it is today. Also the threat of war was approaching. I can think of many who did well in their careers."
Rockbridge High was annexed into the Greenfield High School District when RHS was dissolved..
Rockbridge High School Quick Facts
Year opened:                               late 1800s / early 1900s
Year closed:                                 mid/early 1940s?
Consolidated to:                          Greenfield High School
Rockbridge HS team nickname:  "Rocks" (1938 Springfield Newspaper article)
                                                     possibly the "Panthers" at some point
Rockbridge HS team colors:        Blue & Gold
School Fight Song:                     "We're Loyal to You, Rockbridge High"
                                                                    University of Illinois FIght Song Tune
We know that Rockbridge High School competed in boys basketball. Baseball and track may have been offered as well.  "Quick Facts" information is needed for the Rockbridge High School athletic teams.  Also needed are coach's names and team records.
Boys Basketball
The web address of shows several basketball game scores involving Rockbridge in the IHSA State Tournament. These scores are listed below. 

**From Phil Shadid:

"Here is an article from the Illinois State Journal newspaper from March 1, 1929:

"Bad roads are no bar to a basketball team's fulfilling its schedule if a railroad connects the school with its rival.  At least this is the doctrine of Rockbridge, for the athletes oiled up a couple of hand cars the other night and traveled over to Greenfield.

Upon arriving there, one of their number, a forward named Jewett, furnished what is perhaps the best individual exhibition of sharpshooting that any prep athlete has staged this season, ringing up ten field goals.  He thereby counted up twenty of his team's twenty-three points, a fair evening's work, even for one who has ridden in the coach's flivver, and quite an achievement after helping navigate one of the railroad chariots."

Greenfield won the game 26-23.

1928-29                White Hall District Tournament         Coach Fred S. Pewter
                             1st Rd Beat Manchester 21-20
                             2nd Rd lost to White Hall 36-14
                             White Hall beat Greenfield in title game                 
1933-34                Greenfield District Tournament         Coach's name & record needed
                             1st Rd Beat Hillview 27-9
                             2nd Rd lost to Greenfield 32-10
                             Greenfield lost to White Hall in semi-final
                             White Hall lost to Jerseyville in title game
1934-35                Jerseyville District Tournament         Coach's name & record needed
                             1st Rd Beat Palmyra 22-21
                             2nd Rd Score Needed
                             Semi-final lost to Gillespie 35-17
                             Gillespie beat Jerseyville in title game
1935-36                Jerseyville Regional Tournament      Coach's name & record needed
                             1st Rd Beat Carrollton 30-25
                             Semi-final lost to Jerseyville 49-36
                             Jerseyville beat Grafton in title game
1936-37  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1937-38  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1938-39  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
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             Eldred District Tournament                Coach's name & record needed
                             1st Rd lost to Kampsville 35-14
                             Kampsville lost to Scottville in title game
**This is the final mention of Rockbridge High School on the website titled "Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores."
Extra-Curricular Activities
Sports were not the only activity at RHS.  It is probable that school plays, clubs, dances, and many other activities were a part of the well-rounded experience at Rockbridge High School.
Need Your Assistance
If you have any further information regarding the many successes attained at Rockbridge High School, please write to us via e-mail at   You can also write to us via real mail at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.  60631