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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Gone But Not Forgotten

Today, the closing or opening of a high school is relatively rare. When New Harmony School closed its doors in 2012, it made statewide news. But there was a time in Indiana when schools closed much more often.

For the graduating class of 1955 at a Southern Indiana high school, chances were less than 50 percent that high school would still be open by the 20-year reunion. This is a list of some of the high schools that have come and gone in Posey, Gibson, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties.

Chandler High School (Panthers, purple & white): Closed in 1959, merged with Newburgh to form Castle High School.

Cynthiana High School (Annas, blue & gold): Merged with Poseyville, Wadesville, and Griffin high schools to form North Posey in 1959.

Elberfeld High School (Hornets, black & red): Opened in 1908. Closed in 1965 when it merged with Lynnville to form Tecumseh High School.

Folsomville High School (Eagles, blue & red): Absorbed into Boonville High School in 1956.

Fort Branch High School (Twigs, black & gold): It was one of three high schools that merged to form Gibson Southern High School in 1974. The building was demolished in 1982. The gym was spared, and now functions as a community center.

Francisco High School (Owls, blue & white): Closed in 1968 when it merged into Wood Memorial High School. The building burned to the ground in the 1970s after a lightning strike. The school had already burned down once before.

Griffin High School (Tornadoes, red & white): The mascot is a reference to the March 18, 1925, Tri-State Tornado which leveled the entire town of Griffin. Closed in 1959 when it merged with three other schools to form North Posey High School.

Haubstadt High School (Elites, blue & white): Consolidated with Fort Branch and Owensville in 1974 to form Gibson Southern. The building was used as an elementary school until 1993, when it was razed. The gymnasium still stands.

Hazelton High School (Lions, black & gold): Consolidated with Patoka to form the short-lived White River High School in 1963.

Lincoln High School (Lions, purple & old gold): The school for African-American students opened in 1928, a consolidation of other “colored” schools in the area, including Frederick Douglass High School. It served students in grades K-12, not only from Vanderburgh County, but surrounding counties as well. The last all-black high school class graduated in 1952, and it was converted into a K-8 school. It fully desegregated in 1972.

Lynnville High School (Lindys, black & gold): Combined with Elberfeld to form Tecumseh High School in 1965.

Mackey High School (Aces, blue & white): Merged with Oakland City to form Wood Memorial High School in 1967.

Millersburg High School (Wildcats, purple & gold): Absorbed into Castle High School in 1965.

Mount Olympus High School (Mountaineers, navy blue & white): Absorbed, along with White River, by Princeton in 1965.

New Harmony School (Rappites, blue & white): Closed in 2012 due to funding issues. Final graduating class had just 13 members. The school had grades K-12, and was one of Indiana’s smallest school districts. The school still stands, though its future is uncertain.

Newburgh High School (Wildcats, navy blue & old gold): Closed in 1959, merged with Chandler to form Castle High School. Newburgh High School’s gymnasium was used for years by Newburgh Elementary School. Newburgh won the championship in the last boys’ basketball sectional it ever competed in.

Oakland City High School (Acorns, green & white): Closed in 1967 to merge into Wood Memorial High School.

Owensville High School (Kickapoos, black & gold): The Gibson County school closed in 1974 as one of three to be merged into Gibson Southern High School. The old high school building was used until 1992. The school was razed, but the gymnasium still stands and is a community center.

Patoka High School (Wrens, red & gray): Merged with Hazelton to form White River High School in 1963.

Poseyville High School (Posies, black & white): Merged with Cynthiana, Griffin, and Wadesville to form North Posey in 1959.

Rex Mundi High School (Monarchs, blue & white): Closed in 1972. Students transferred to Memorial and Mater Dei.

Selvin High School (Wildcats): Closed in 1962, absorbed by Lynnville High School. It opened in the 1880s.

Stewartsville High School (Owls, blue & gold): Absorbed by Poseyville in 1944.

Tennyson High School (Tigers, red & white): Absorbed into Boonville High School in 1962.

Wadesville High School (Red Devils, red & white): Merged with Cynthiana, Griffin, and Poseyville in 1959 to form North Posey High School.

Yankeetown High School (Yanks, black & gold): Absorbed into Boonville High School in 1945.

Want to learn about more? Check out our online exclusive, which has details on closed high schools from Pike, Spencer, and Dubois counties.

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