The History of Prairieville High School
Prairieville, Illinois (population 75) is an unincorporated community
located five miles northeast of Sterling along old Illinois Route 2 in western Lee County in Northern Illinois. It is about
10 miles northwest of Dixon along the same road. Old Route 2 is known as the Prairieville-Palmyra Road and is a part of the
Lincoln Highway. Just south of Prairieville is the Midway Drive-In Theatre, one of only a handful of drive-ins in the state.
Public schools were organized in the Prairieville area in 1850. The Prairieville school building was built in
1858 and housed K-8 education for many years. The building burned to the ground in 1930 and was replaced by the current structure,
now a private residence.
From 1889 to 1897, the Prairieville School offered a two-year high school course. Only
nine students graduated from the high school curriculum. Students who wanted to advance their education further either went
to the Ward One School in Sterling (now Lincoln School) or the North Dixon school. However, it is likely that students went into the working world after completing an education through the two years
of high school, and even earlier.
The nine graduates of the Prairieville High School are:
Class of 1890-91: Barry and Kitty Lennon and Amanda Ebersole
Class of 1891-92:
Emma Lefevre, Lulu Hotchins and Blanche Thummel
Class of 1894-95: Frank Powers and Fred Hicks
of 1896-97: Ruben Andrews
Much of the history of the school came from a book written by Frank's father, Leroy Powers,
about the school in 1931.