O'Fallon Progress

Trip to sporting goods store in 1934 led to OTHS nickname

Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president.
Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president. rkirsch@bnd.com

Blue and gold and the Panther have been the colors and mascot of O’Fallon Township High School forever, or so it seems. But how did they come about?

The colors have their roots in the school picnics held at the end of the school year over a hundred years ago. The day began with a parade, headed by the city band, of the pupils of each classroom. At the head of each room was a student carrying a banner featuring the colors assigned to their particular room.

In 1907, the entire high school occupied Room 10, whose colors were navy blue and old gold. So, their banner featured those colors which have symbolized the high school ever since. The Panther arrived on the scene a bit later.

The story goes that the OTHS basketball team was visiting a sporting goods store in St. Louis with Coach Schenk in late 1934. They admired a large picture of a panther in the store and thought that would be a great mascot for the team, which had none. Soon, they were nicknamed the “Panthers.” Eventually, it became the symbol of the entire school.

75 years ago May 28, 1942

The Mose R. Eckert Insurance Agency moved Monday from the Schuetz building at 106 W. State into the First National Bank Building at 109 W. State. Roy Alexander, cleaning representative and dealer in school supplies who occupied the west section of the Schuetz building, is moving into the quarters vacated by the Eckert Agency.

50 years ago May 25, 1967

A fee of $1 per table will be charged out-of-town picnickers at O’Fallon Community Park on Sundays and holidays beginning Sunday. There had been complaints by local residents that tables were not available to them while in use by out-of-town persons. Persons from out of town who provide their own tables will be required to pay a fee of 50 cents for using them in the park. A special policeman will be stationed in the park from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.