From the Gazette News, September 20, 1973, written by Miss Florence Seim:
showed signs of becoming a town until the early pioneers turned their thoughts
to the education of their children.
These early pioneers, who were determined to develop this new country
were advocates of “learning” and wished to have their children, who were to be
the men and women of tomorrow, versed in the fundamentals of a workable
A combined church and schoolhouse was erected in the fall of 1839 by citizens of
Bunker Hill. It was 18’ x 26’ and was only a few feet from
the present Congregational Church. Most
of the material used was produced in this vicinity. Other material such as grease, oil, putty,
locks for doors, pine lumber for seats, etc., were “store purchased”. The bill footed up less than $100. It was a very rough, unplastered little room,
with blankets and shawls hung around the walls and doors to keep out the cold
winds and snow. This building, primitive
and roughly built, was the first church and the first schoolhouse. In it the early settler worshiped and his
children were taught to read. In later
years the old schoolhouse became the property of W. J. Knibb and was used as a
barn. It has been moved many times, its
last location being on the southeast corner of Mr. Knibb’s yard just back of
In March 1883, the building was torn down and destroyed. Methodist Church
Francis N. Burnham operated the school and was succeeded February 3, 1840 by John A. Pettingill. In March, the spring term was in charge of Jane Putnam, who afterwards became Mrs. John Huggins. Dr. John A. Delano taught school here some years later before going into practice with Dr. E. Howell.
--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, January 24, 2013.
...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at http://bunkerhillhistory.org