Bethel School

Friends Creek Conservation Area, 13734 Friends Creek Park Road
Cisco, IL 61830


The name "Bethel School" has a long history in Friends Creek Township. The first Bethel School built in the 1850's in Section 7 of the township was a log structure. By 1890 with a donation of land from John Brown in Section 8 the current Bethel School was built.

For nearly 56 years the school served the neighborhood students until 1946 when it was closed. As part of a statewide trend in the 1940's and 1950's most one room schools in Macon County were closed and the students transferred to larger schools. Purchased by Sam Kohler the Bethel School was moved to his property about a mile south to be used as an implement and tool shed.

With the purchase of his property in 1969 by the Macon County Conservation District the school was moved yet again in 1982 a short distance to its present location as part of Friends Creek Conservation Area. From 1982 to 1985 with help from several donors including the Winings Trust along with dedicated volunteers and staff it was restored to its current appearance.

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