History of the
Mount Pulaski School System
The school system of Mount Pulaski, Illinois, was organized in 1841. The first school was held from September to December, 1841, on the property of George Turley, one of the founders of Mount Pulaski. The means to carry on the work was by private subscriptions and donations. The school business was directed by three trustees, whose duty it was to direct and provide for suitable quarters and maintain finances. This system continued until 1845, when a new school building was built of frame in the east part of town.
Being the first suitable building in town, it was used as a City Hall and Church as well as a school. The expense was met by district taxes. The third change was in 1857, when the State of Illinois Legislature passed a bill on February 19th, 1857, donating the Mount Pulaski Court House (formerly the Logan County County Seat: 1848 - 1855) to the city of Mount Pulaski for school purposes. Improvements were made and this arrangement continued until 1877. The fourth change was in 1877, when the school was moved from the court house to a new building erected on the present location of the grade school (east side of town). This was one of the best school buildings of its time, containing eight rooms for grades; one large room for the high school grades; two class rooms and one physical laboratory on the first floor, and library and superintendent's room on the third floor. The high school course was four years: ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth years, with regular class graduation. In 1910, the high school had an enrollment in the four years course of 48 pupils, or an average of 37 pupils (grades 1 through 12).
This wonderful building burned on October 8th, 1910. The fifth change was made following the destruction of our fine school. The Board of Trustees decided to divide the elementary grades and the high school. Hence, in 1911, the Board, after the vote of the people, authorized construction of a new grade school. The sixth change occurred at this time with the new Mount Pulaski Township High School District organized under the new Township High School Law. A bond issue of $45,000.00 was voted upon and used in the building and grounds. The construction of the high school was finished in 1912, which remains a part of the present-day high school facility. In 1928, a new addition was proposed and a $20,000.00 bond issue was approved by the voters. The present addition was completed at cost, with equipment and furnishings costing about $60,000.00; most of which was saved from taxes paid in as well as special fees from the State and outside districts.
This article was written by J.M. Rothwell for the "Hilltop" year book of 1930. It was reprinted in the Mount Pulaski Township High School Open House bulletin of May 28th, 1937, assembled by Dolph Stanley (coach & teacher at Mt. Pulaski High School, who led them to a fourth-place finish in Illinois State Basketball in 1936. In his three years of coaching the Hilltoppers, Stanley coached teams produced 70 wins with only 18 losses). In 2007, the Illinois High School Association named Stanley as one of the 100 Legends of the IHSA Boys Basketball Tournament.
[edited by phil bertoni, 2007]