Gilson School, Gilson, IL
Gilson (population approximately 250) is located in upper-western Illinois about 10 miles southeast of Galesburg. The town was platted in Haw Creek Township in the lower-central portion of Knox County in 1857. Knox County Highway 12 is the main road to Gilson. County Highway 12 connects Gilson to Illinois Route 97 just west of Gilson. The At & St Railroad travels through Gilson as well. Branches of the Little Haw Creek flow by the north and east sides of town. Haw Creek Township High School was organized in 1902 and the frame building, now known as Gilson School, was completed the following year. When school consolidation took place in 1948, the Gilson grade school was moved into the building and high school age students started attending school in Knoxville. The grade school was closed at the end of the 1976-77 school year and sat empty until the Gilson School Foundation formed in 1996 and purchased the building in 1997. The old school is the largest remaining all wood building in Knox County. It was remodeled in 1928-29 with a walnut gymnasium added on the top story and one classroom on the northwest corner. The foundation is in the process of restoring the building with the goal to not only preserve the structure, but also to use it for community events. Former students have been donating memorabilia for a museum, including scrapbooks and photographs from the yearly class trips.