Ashton Schools

Ashton, Lee County, Illinois

ASHTON GRADE SCHOOL - 1st Graders 1890
There was a photo published in the 28 September 1948 edition of the Dixon Evening Telegraph of the 1st grade class of 1890 in Ashton. The photo was contributed by Harry Quick (I couldn't copy it - too dark). Not everyone was identified - but those that were known are Carrie Bassler the teacher, and students; Frank Aschenbrenner, George Charters, Henry Zimple, Frank Fairchilds, Bert Fairchilds, George Baker, Earl Baker, Phil Steves, Pearl Knapp, Faye Richardson, George Beech, Fern Hodges, Harry L. Quick, Ida Wendt, Charlotte Trostle, Alice Tuck, Maude Anderson, Kate Krug, Arthur Simpson, Molly Fox, Conrad Kelibe, Louis Osterheldt, Fred Wood, George Krug, and Louis Krug.

Postcards above from Karen Swegle Holt
Photos from the 1940s or early 1950s. At some point the cupola and top story were removed.
By 1956 when the building was used mostly by the grade school students,
the grass surrounding the building had been replaced with macadam and was heavily used as the playground.

Postcards above from Christine Walters

For many years, there was only one brick school building in Ashton. Originally built to be the high school, I think it was built in 1901. It was located on the corner of N 1st St [for many years Alternate Route 30 now Rt 38], Paddock Ave. and Main Street. It eventually served both high school and grade school students.

During the 1950s when the one-room schools were closed and all the students started attending school in Ashton, the building was bursting at the seams. There were more than 300 students attending at the time, grades 1 through 12. It was very crowded and there was a wooden frame two room building in the school yard to the south of the main structure used for classrooms [that building is still there]. To accommodate the overflow classes and activities were held in various other places. There was the Mills & Petrie Memorial building kitty corner across the street to the North and East of the school. That is where the basketball courts were, and where the school lunch program was held. High school students had some of their classes in this building as well as other places around town. The gym included a stage, which was used for school plays. The walls of the halls and stairwells in old school building were lined with the senior class pictures of every class that had graduated since 1901.

After the new school building for grades 5-12 was completed and occupied in 1958, the old building was used only for the lower grades. Eventually an addition to the new building brought even those students to the new location on the western edge of the town. The old school building was razed in the late 1900s and is presently an empty lot.

Information contributed by Karen Swegle Holt (May 2005)

Dixon Evening Telegraph 27 May 1955

Ashton Grade School - 8th Grade Graduates
Dale Allen, Melanie Brockle, Bill Cheeseman, Carl Friday, Delores Gobright, Loren Gonnerman, John Hager, Neva Hansen, Bob Hart, Dwight Hedrick, Jo Ellen Henert, Bob Holt, Galen Kersten, Phyllis Kime, Doris, Koons, Judy Krigbaum, Judy Krug, Kent Loewenstein, Brian Mandeville, Pat Malone, Gene Messer, Jerry Messer, Lyle Morris, Bob Nellis, Glenda Obourn, Sandra Pfieffer, Geraldine Plumley, Jerry Seebach, Paul Shade, Kalah Stunkel, Karen Voss, Robert Wetzel,

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