The Maroa-Forsyth School Archives contains a wealth of material about the Maroa-Forsyth district history, the smaller schools which consolidated to form the district, former pupils, staff, programs, and items of interest. Click on a link below to explore our indexed collections.
Administrative Collections – Administrative collections in the Archives include school board meeting minutes and early school attendance and grade register books from Forsyth, Hickory Point, Pleasant View, Center Ridge, and Maroa.
Alumni Association Papers – The MHS/MFHS Alumni Association papers include a large collection of member lists (dating back to 1917), newsclippings, yearbooks, alumni banquet financial statements, programs, meeting notes, school newspaper (ranging from 1930s to 1990s), and other school materials. See our Alumni Association Finding Aid for complete list of collection items.
Phil Applebee Papers - Softball – Three boxes of softball-related materials donated by softball coach, Phil Applebee, dating from 2005 to 2015. Materials include scorebooks, rosters, photo albums, and coaching materials.
Audio-Visual Collection – This collection contains donated audio-visual materials, including sporting events, backup digitized photographs (both created in the Archives and donated), plays, performances, and other recorded or digitized items.
Boys Basketball Score Book Collection – This collection includes basketball scorebooks for various varsity and junior varsity teams from the 1940s through 2019. See Basketball Scorebook Collection Finding Aid for complete list of collection items.
Diane Daggett Papers – The Diane Daggett papers contain 21 scrapbooks and photo albums documenting the history of FHA and FCCLA at MFHS. Material dates from mid-1960s through 2015. In addition there are 11 FHA/FCCLA handbooks/membership notebooks, a school text book, a dress from Adult Living Class "mock weddings," trophies, shirts, a Parenting Class programmable baby, and other items associated with FHA, FCCLA, and the courses taught by Diane Daggett.
Family Histories – The Archives holds donated family histories from many local families, including the Leach, Query, Schultz, Parker, Berry, and many others.
Valerie Keith Papers – These donated papers include school papers and photographs of Denial Vaughn, Thomas Marlatt, Barbara Marlatt, and Phyllis Marlatt. See the Valerie Keith Papers finding aid.
Maroa Newspapers – As part of the Maroa Public Library collection's materials, the Archive Room has a few editions of Maroa newspapers. These PDFs are avaialable for viewing online.
Maroa-Forsyth Education Association – The MFEA is the bargaining unit for the MF school district teachers. It was founded as the Maroa Unit #2 Teachers Association in 1955. In September 1965 the name changed to the Maroa-Forsyth Education Association. See the MFEA Finding Aid for a complete list of collection contents.
Maroa Public Library Collection – In 2021, the Maroa Public Library donated their entire local history collection to be merged into the MF School Archives. This collection contained collections under the following finding aids: Janet Parker Papers, Maroa Historical Society Collection, Maroa Woman's Club Collection, Prairie Post Newspaper Collection (see below), and other collections which will be listed here when completed.
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) – Since 1921, the Maroa School PTA played an important role in the school district. The School Archives contains PTA record books and scrapbooks, dating from 1927 through 1961. See the PTA Collection finding aid.
Photo Collection (Online) – The online photo collection includes photos of historic school buildings, sporting events and teams, the Nelson R. Smith, Jr. photo collection, images of historic local rural schools, students, and other images linked to the district. The Archives continues to digitize photos to add to the online collection.
Prairie Post Newspapers – An almost complete collection of Prairie Post newspapers, which ran from 1958 through 1989. These books are bound by year and were donated by the Maroa Public Library.
Edd Powers & Phil Hardin Video Collection – This collection presents many of the MF band and choral performances from 1996 through 2006. Performances have been digitized and can be viewed on Maroa-Forsyth Trojans TV YouTube Channel.
Reference Books – A well-curated collection of reference books focusing on Maroa, rural Central Illinois, and the surrounding areas is available through the Archives. This collection allows for additional research into local history and contains books by local historians.
School Artifacts – The Archives' collections hold many artifacts of both school and community history. These items include letter jackets, shirts, plates, framed certificates, sports banners, trophies, etc. Images and indexing of these items will be added in upcoming months.
School Newspapers – The Archives contains both high school and middle school/junior high student newspapers, including the Blue and Gold, The Trojan Times, MJHS News, The Blue and Gold Review, and several others. Please review the School Newspapers Finding Aid for a complete listing of all school newspapers in the Archives.
Esther Shields Collection – This collection, donated by Esther Shields' son, contains three school books used by Esther Shields (Class of 1914), a copy of a portrait of the Maroa High School Class of 1914, and a 1914 yearbook.
Nelson R Smith Papers
Nelson R Smith Jr. attended Maroa High School, graduating in 1939. He was a camera club member at Maroa HS, learning his craft by taking pictures for the school newspaper and yearbook.
After graduation, he attended Illinois State Normal University, and at the request of ISNU's President, served as the campus photographer during his college years. Upon his college graduation, Smith remained at ISNU, founding its Photographic Services. He remained at ISNU/ISU for 52 years, retiring in 1991. In 1997, ISU renamed a a building in his honor.
The Nelson R Smith Jr. collection at MF School Archives contains several photograph albums and scrapbooks as well as loose photos, report cards, school papers, attendance certificates. The Nelson Smith photo collection is part of the current digitization program, and new photographs from this collection will be added monthly. (Please note when citing this collection, there is no period after "R" in Nelson R Smith, Jr.)
Dick Thomas (Class of 1958) Scrapbook– This scrapbook, loaned for scanning by Pat Thomas and Jenny Day, contains Dick Thomas' gathered collection of newsclips, photographs, and other memorabilia focusing on the championship basketball team. Also, included are the 1958 State Tournament Championship booklet and the Sweet Sixteen Reunion Program. Higher resolution images from the scrapbook are viewable on the Dick Thomas Flickr page. Note: Because of the large file size of the scrapbook, it might take longer to open.
Manford Vantries Uniform – This display includes the World War I uniform of Manford Vantries, including his canteen, belt, several types of uniform helmets and hats, photographs, and details of his service. The case and uniform were donated as part of the Maroa Public Library collection.
Yearbook Collection – Housed within the MF School Archives is the physical yearbook collection. This collection includes high school yearbooks for most years 1914 through the current year. See the Grade School Yearbook Finding Aid, Middle School Yearbook Finding Aid, and the High School Yearbook Finding Aid to see complete collection contents. All available grade school, middle school, and high school yearbooks are available on this website through the YEARBOOKS menu at the top of the page.
Yearly Files – The Archives contains yearly vertical files for many years from the late 1800s through the current year. These files contain an assortment of donated and collected materials relating to school activities that year, such as graduation announcements, playbills, photographs, copies of news clippings, and athletic programs.
1 Maroa High School, Oracle 1914 [Yearbook]. Maroa, Illinois, p. 11. https://archive.org/details/1914-maroa-yearbook/page/n10/mode/1up
Historical items have been made available to the community for research and study purposes and to satisfy curiosity. Due to the nature of the colloquialisms, culture, attitude, and/or political climate of the various time periods represented, some content may be deemed “inappropriate" if viewed outside of its historical context. In addition, the newspapers, logos, branding, and other publication identifiers are the trademarks of the newspapers and other publishers. Our use of newspaper content contained in this archive in no way implies an affiliation with, or endorsement from, the publisher. Included photos have been identified from owner's notatations or through community members. If you believe there has been an error in identification of any materials, please email the Maroa-Forsyth School Archives.