Sigel St. Michael High School

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Sigel St. Michael School - 2014
sigelstmichaelschooldav.jpg
http://home.stmichaelschool.net/

The History of Sigel St. Michael High School
 
Sigel (population 386) is located in lower eastern Illinois in the southeast corner of Shelby County.  U.S. Route 45 is the main roadway to and from Sigel while Interstate Highway 57 runs just to the east of town.  The Illinois Central Railroad also runs through Sigel.  Sigel is situated about 5 miles northeast of Effingham.
 
According to the web address of http://www.edenmartin.com/counties/bigsprng.htm#B , Sigel was first platted in 1863 along the Illinois Central Railroad.  The town was called Hooker until its name was changed in 1871.  Several small businesses soon sprung up including two hotels and two churches.
 
The history of the Sigel school district was provided by a good friend of the Glory Days website. He states "The 1937 edition of the P.J. Kenedy Official Catholic Directory in the United States has listed 31 students that year attending St. Michael High School in Sigel, taught by the Joliet Franciscan Sisters along with the grade school at the same parish.  It would take more research with books I don't have at my disposal to determine the opening and closing dates of St. Michael High School, but this establishes that the one-time Sigel High School was indeed Saint Michael Catholic High School. Sigel is small and has never needed a public grade school in addition to Saint Michael's and I presume the same was true at the high school level as long as St. Michael's was open." 

It is probable that St. Michael School began offering high school courses by the early 1900s.  We believe that Sigel St. Michael High School served the community at least through the late 1940s.  There is a good chance that Sigel St. Michael High School closed in 1948 or 1949, this information is needed. 
 
We do know that Sigel's high school-aged students attend Neoga High School today.  The fate of the Sigel high school building is being sought.
 
History of Sigel St. Michael High School comes to us from a good friend of the Glory Days website, Michael M.  He advises that Sigel was home to Sigel St. Michaels High School, a catholic high school ran by nuns. 
 
"Shelby County, in which Sigel is located, has always been almost entirely Catholic (and ethnically German), so much so, that a number of the elementary schools in that county are public schools but operate in school buildings owned and on the property of the local Catholic church, AND until the late 1960s, were run entirely by nuns! 
 
Here would be a typical scenario: School would start OFFICIALLY at 9:00 a.m. like in a typical public school, but classes REALLY started at 8:30 with religion class like in a regular Catholic school.  Then at 9:00 a.m., the nun would put the catechism (religion text) away and begin the official school day, conducting the rest of the day with secular subjects.  This worked very well for many years in these towns until the late 1960s when the teaching nuns began to get scarce. 
But every now and then a town in that area would have chosen to support a real Catholic school the regular way, and Sigel did it that way. 
 
The school in Sigel is called Saint Michael's; it is the parish school of St. Michael Catholic Church in Sigel.  The result is that no public school was needed in Sigel, and so there is no public school there.  Whereas today St. Michael's only has Grades K-8 and I think there's only one nun -if any - still there, years ago Saint Michael Catholic High School in Sigel had Grades 1 through 12.  So the Sigel High School you are seeking information for is likely Saint Michael Catholic High School.   I am aware of this because the nuns who taught me in school in Joliet, Illinois, are the same Order of nuns who ran the Catholic grade and high school at St. Michael's in Sigel.  (They were also the nuns who ran the public schools in nearby Lillyville and Green Creek.)  These are the Franciscan Sisters from Joliet, Illinois."
    
Sigel St. Michael High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                      late 1800s / early 1900s
Year closed:                       late 1940s?
Consolidated to:                  Neoga Community School District
Sigel HS team nickname:    unavailable
Sigel HS team colors:         unavailable
School Fight Song:             unavailable
Athletics
 
We know that Sigel St. Michael High School participated in boys basketball. Baseball and track may have been offered as well. If you have any information regarding this aspect of Sigel High School please share it with us.
 
Boys Basketball
 
A website titled "Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores" has some scores involving Sigel St. Michael High School in the IHSA Tournament. The scores from these games are printed below.
 
Some scores from the IHSA Tournament were located on a website titled "Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores." The scores we located are listed below.
 
1932-33               Effingham District Tournament             Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd Beat Mason 27-11
                            Lost in 2nd Rd
                            Effingham beat Kinmundy in title game
   
1933-34               Effingham District Tournament             Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd Beat Mason 50-8
                            Lost in 2nd Rd, score unavailable
                            Effingham beat Altamont in title game
  
1934-35               Effingham District Tournament             Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd lost to Alma 33-18
                            Alma lost in second round
                            Salem beat Teutopolis in title game
  
1935-36               Effingham District Tournament             Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd lost to Shumway 34-14
                            Shumway lost in semi-final round
                            Montrose beat Watson in title game
   
1936-37 through 1941-42 Postseason scores, records, and coaches' names needed.
 
1942-43               Watson District Tournament             Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd lost to Toledo 44-23
                            Toledo lost in semi-final to Watson
                            Watson beat Strasburg in title game
 
1943-44  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
  
1944-45               Dieterich District Tournament             Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd lost to Toledo 48-25
                            Toledo lost Strasburg in title game
  
1945-46 Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
 
1946-47               Dieterich District Tournament             Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd lost to Edgewood 42-33
                            Edgewood lost in 2nd round
                            Cowden beat Strasburg in title game
 
1947-48               Dieterich District Tournament             Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd lost to Montrose 43-24
                            Montrose lost to Cowden in 2nd Rd
                            Strasburg beat Cowden in title game
                   .
1948-49               Strasburg District Tournament             Coach's name & record needed
                            **1st Rd Lost to Tower Hill 63-32
                            Tower Hill lost in semi-final round
                            Strasburg beat Effingham St. Anthony in title game
  
**Likely last game played by Sigel High School in boys basketball..
                
Extra-Curricular Activities
 
Other activities of interest may have included dances, plays, band, chorus, and various clubs.  If you have any information please contact us via the means listed below.
 
Seeking Information
 
If you have any information regarding the former Sigel St. Michael High School please write to us via e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.  You can also write to us via real mail at:
 
IHSGD Website
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.  60631