Pleasant Hill or Mooberry School

Pleasant Hill or Mooberry Grade School – In 1834 school was taught by John McGinnis in a log cabin in Section 11 Groveland Township, on what is today near Muller Road and after that at the Methodist Meeting House.  The first Township School Trustees were appointed on January 3, 1846 and in May of that year distributed funds from the sale of public school lands. When townships were laid out, section #16 was dedicated as public school lands and the proceeds from the sale of these lands were for the benefit of schools.  October 9, 1847 the trustees divided the township into six common school districts, and on April 30, 1855 the first tax for the benefit of schools in Groveland Township was levied at the rate of 25 cents on every $100 valuation of real estate.  A one room frame school was built in April 1856 by L. W. Hampton for the sum of $536. This structure was on one- half acre of land located at the southwest corner of section 12 of Groveland Township, deeded  February 3, 1855, by Calvin Merian (sic) to the Trustees of Schools for Groveland Township for the benefit of School District #1.  District #1 had been laid off as a district in February 1850.  The first school board members were Calvin Marion, R. Bradshaw and David Ogle and the first teacher employed was Amanda Bartlett who started a three month term in July of 1856 with a salary of $4.25 per week.  The school opened with six students and by 1859 had over twenty-five. The school was originally believed to be called Mooberry School and why it was called Pleasant Hill may have been because it was on Pleasant Hill Road. It is unknown if the school was named for the road or the road for the school and why either one is named such, is a mystery, because nothing else referring to Pleasant Hill can be found anywhere in the area.  Groveland School District #1 became Common Grade School District #79 on July 1, 1901.   With the completion of the Illinois Traction Railroad and the establishment of Gardena subdivision most of the pupils were located north of the school, so on May 13, 1916, School District #79 purchased Lot 7 in Gardena Subdivision in section 12 and the frame building was moved to that site. Five years later on June 23, 1921 lots 5 and 6 were purchased from Elgin Paris and two wooden additions were added.  Stu Eidson, recalls that when he attended Pleasant Hill it was state of the art – they had four two-holers, and the boys had to pass the women’s  the men’s and the girl’s before they got to theirs and that was a long trek when it was 10 below.  Stu also recalls that although he attended there eight years his name was spelled wrong in the program for his graduation.  A brick addition was added in 1937 and a gymnasium in 1954, following the purchase of lot # 8 from Ida Swartz, et al on March 18 1942.  On the opposite side of Pleasant Hill Road, in 1964, a new building was constructed containing six classrooms and an addition was added to it in 1967.  District #79 was soon facing with financial woes, and petitioned to be annexed by District #86 in July 1970.  The old school and additions were torn down in November of 1972.  Following a drop in attendance, Pleasant Hill School was closed June 5, 1984.  Lots 7 and 8 were purchased by Robert G. Johnson and today the school’s gymnasium is Pleasant Hill Antique Mall.  In March 2003, the newer school building across the road was purchased by CrossPoint Church. A number of pictures related to the school are displayed in the antique mall as well as the basketball scoreboard donated by the class of 1953.

Compiled by East Peoria Historical Society