Information about the Richland Bottoms and specifically Richland School is hard to come by. The only reference that I could find to Richland School is a TopoZone map identifying it as an historical item.
Until I learn more, I’m going to theorize that the great 1943 Flood is possibly what did this school in.
A 2005 Peoria Journal Star article, in reference to rebuilding of the East Peoria Levee had this to say:
“In May 1943, the Illinois River reached a level of 28.8 feet, the highest in Peoria’s history. At the time, industrial plants were working three shifts to meet government demands for World War II supplies.
Some plants had to shut down, and hundreds of men and women working on government contracts were laid off. Floods covered railroad tracks, and roads washed away.
More than 1,000 men worked day and night stacking sandbags along the levee which nearly broke several times. An estimated 250 families moved out of the East Peoria Richland area in fear the levee and dikes would not hold.”
UPDATE 1/2/2007 : I tried, but my theory is way off base.Ã‚Â According to two commenters, the school was open into the 1970′s.Ã‚Â
Updated 09/03/11: Class photos courtesy of Ross Earnst.
Updated 09/18/11: Class photos courtesy of John Earnst.