Dixon High School (Illinois)
Dixon High School is likely best known as the alma mater of President Ronald Reagan.
Current Dixon High School
Dixon High School (DHS) is a high school located on Lincoln Statue Drive and Peoria Avenue on the northern side of Dixon, Illinois. In 1918 the north (North Dixon High School) and south (South Central High School) districts were consolidated into one district and it was decided that a new, larger high school was needed. The new $600,000 High School was completed in 1929. The school replaced North Dixon High School and South Central High School. In 1959 two large wings and a new gymnasium were added. It serves students in grades 9-12 on a partially open campus. Freshman Academy was implemented in 2007. Fewer than 800 students currently attend DHS. Students at Dixon High School have the opportunity to attend classes at the Whiteside Area Career Center in Sterling IL. The gymnasium was named for a former superintendent of the school, A.H. Lancaster. Mike Grady is the current Principal. (Source: Pictorial History of Lee County Schools)
Dixon has one boy's state team trophy, the 2008 IHSA State Cross Country championship. The school also has several girl's state trophies. Dating back to the early 1980s, the Duchesses have two trophies in basketball, one in golf, and two in bowling. Also on display is a trophy for wheelchair basketball from the IHSA State Championship in 2005 when Senior Sarah Fischer captained the local wheelchair team to a second-place finish.
Former Dixon Schools
Dixon First High School - The First High School in the City of Dixon was located at 117 East Second Street. The building was originally constructed in 1843 and used by the Methodists as their first church building in the city. Later, it was sold to the school district and became the first high school in Dixon. The basement was used for the fifth grade until the Woodworth School was built. In 1859 the school had an enrollment of 400 students and consisted of five departments. It is believed that this school served all of the needs of a high school until 1868 or 1869. (Sources: Loveland Museum Records)(Pictorial History of Lee County Schools)
Red Brick School later known as E.C. Smith School - Red Brick School, completed in 1869, was located on Seventh Street, near Highland Avenue, in the City of Dixon for a cost of $32,000. Red Brick School opened for classes in the fall of 1869. It contained eight classrooms and served the South side of Dixon. (History of Lee County, Hill Publishing, 1881) Red Brick School was also known as the Old Red Brick School. Later, the name was changed to E.C. Smith in honor of its former superintendent. (Stevens History of Lee County, 1914) The school operated until 1938 when Lincoln School opened and students were sent there. In the summer of 1939 the E.C. Smith School was torn down to make way for tennis courts and a playground. (Dixon Telegraph, February 26, 1954) E.C. Smith School, along with Woodworth School, was part of District #27 which consisted of the south side of the river in Dixon. (Source: Pictorial History of Lee County Schools)
North Dixon School, District #23 - North Dixon School was located on the corner of East Morgan and Brinton Avenue. (Loveland Records) It was erected in 1868-69 at a cost of $20,000. The building was constructed of brick to the third story, with a Mansard roof, crowned with an ornamental belfry. Including the basement, the school was four stories high. The first two stories contained two classrooms each. The Mansard room, located on the top floor, was one large room. (History of Lee County, Hill Publishing, 1881) The school served students on the North Side of Dixon until a new High School was built next door in 1900. It then served the needs for the younger students until Washington School was built about 1954. (Source: Dixon Evening Telegraph, February 28, 1976) District #23 served the north side of the river in Dixon. (Source: Pictorial History of Lee County Schools)
South Side School also known as White Brick School, - South Side High School, also known as White Brick School, was located on the corner of Fifth Street and Hennepin Avenue in the City of Dixon. The school was completed in 1887 and an addition was added in the winter of 1892 to accommodate more students. South Side School served both elementary and high school students until a fire destroyed the building in September 1907. (Stevens History of Lee County, 1914) White Brick School was replaced with a brand new school a few years later. (Source: Pictorial History of Lee County Schools)
North Dixon High School, also known as North Side School - North Side High School was built in 1900 next to North Central School. North Side High School was used for high school until the new high school was built in 1929. After 1929 it was used, along with North Central School, to house elementary students until Washington School was opened in 1954. In June 1954 the property of North Side and North Central Schools were sold at auction for $21,000 to Lowell and Olin Wilson. The North Side School was torn down and North Dixon High School would eventually be bought by St. Anne’s Church to be used as a Catholic School. (Dixon Telegraph, February 26, 1954) Today Heritage Square sits on the site of the two schools. (Source: Pictorial History of Lee County Schools)
South Central High School - South Central School, designed by architect Joseph Royer, was completed in 1908 to replace the White Brick School that burned down in 1907. Originally built as a high school, it later served as an elementary school. The school is most famous for being known as the school that Ronald Reagan attended as a child. Today the building has been restored and is now known as the Dixon Historical Center. It is slated to open in the future as a museum displaying local history and exhibits from the Smithsonian Institution. (Source: Pictorial History of Lee County Schools)
- Lou Bevil, Former MLB player (Washington Senators)
- Rita Crundwell, winner of many national quarter horse championships, and indicted on charges of embezzling $53 million from the city of Dixon while working as Comptroller.
- Douglas MacLean (c. 1906) a silent film actor, producer, and writer.
- Louella Parsons (1901) an American gossip columnist.
- Ronald Reagan (1928), 40th President of the United States.
- Rondi Reed (1970), a Tony Award-winning actress.
- Charles Rudolph Walgreen (c. 1889), the founder of the Walgreen Company.
-  Keyser, Jason "Feds: Ill' suspect spent stolen millions on horses," Associated Press story in Kansas City Star April 27, 2012.
- Golden, Eve: Golden images: 41 essays on silent film stars, page 84. McFarland, 2001.
- Parson, Louella (April 3, 1921). New York Telegraph, reprinted in Long, Bruce (editor), "Douglas and Faith MacLean", Taylorology, Issue 31, July 1995.
- Barbas, Samantha: The First Lady of Hollywood: A Biography of Louella Parsons, page 17. University of California Press, 2006.
- Cahill, Robert; Mcticol, Richard (Editors): The Dixonian - 1928 (DHS Yearbook), page 29.
- The Dixonian - 1970; Vol. 56.
- Houlihan, Mary (April 2, 2004). "Old friends reunite and 'Fall to Earth'". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Bacon, John U: America's corner store: Walgreens' prescription for success, page 5. John Wiley and Sons, 2004.
- U.S. Department of Labor: Labor Hall of Fame Honoree--Charles R. Walgreen, 2006.