Ursa High School

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                                           The History of Ursa High School
 
Ursa (population 595) is located in northwest Adams County in western Illinois.  Illinois Route 96 meets Illinois Route 61 in Ursa. The Ursa Creek flows by the south side of town. Ursa is located about 7 miles north of Quincy. The Mississippi River flows about 5 miles to west of Ursa.
 
Ursa began an educational system in 1828 with a school made from logs, then built a school in the village in the early 1830's, which later became outdated and used as barn when a new location with two rooms was opened in 1886.
 
The first high school in Ursa was opened in 1900 when a room was added onto the 1886 building as a one-year school. The level of education increased to two years in 1918 when the building was remodeled at the lower level and a second story was added. Four years later, it went to three years and remained there until 1948. 
 
Ursa High School was supported by the townspeople for over four decades. In 1948, the towns of Ursa, Lima, Loraine, and Mendon agreed to consolidate their school efforts. Unity School District was formed through this effort (http://www.fourstar.lib.il.us/community/cusd4/who/).  
 
Ursa was able to keep a grade school in town until it, too, was closed in 1957.  The fate of the original Ursa High School building is being sought.
 
Ursa High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                 1900
Increased to 2-yrs          1918
Went to 3-yrs                1922
Year closed:                  1948
Consolidated to:             Unity High School (Mendon)
School nickname:           unavailable
School colors:                unavailable    
School Fight Song:         unavailable
Athletics and Extra-Curriculars
 
Ursa High School likely competed in athletics and other extra-curricular activities. It is probable that basketball, baseball, and track were all offered at one time. Unfortunately, there is no mention of any sport at Ursa High School on the IHSA website www.ihsa.org. We are hopeful an area alum or resident can provide some of this information for us.
 
Activities such as plays, chorus, band, FFA, FHA, and any other activities are af great interest. We do know that the school offered a girls' glee club when it was organized in 1935, and it offered a 16-piece band along with a girls' chorus and boys' chorus in 1938. What was it that made the Ursa High School experience a great one?  Drop us a line and let us know so we can share it on this page.     
 
Seeking Your Assistance 
 
If you have any information regarding Ursa and its former high school please complete a Guest Commentary Form. You can e-mail items to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net. As you can see, we are missing a lot of vital information in our attempts to keep the memories of Ursa High alive. You may also write us at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.    60631