In 1934 during the depths of the Great Depression, William F. Gurrie founded an auditing firm. At the time, many area schools were having difficulty paying their teachers and were forced to pay them in scrip: a type of negotiable IOU that some businesses would take in place of cash. Through his contacts at Chicago bond houses, William F. Gurrie was able to assist area districts in issuing bonds which allowed them pay their teachers in cash. This strengthened his relationships in La Grange and surrounding areas: the firm's core client base.
William F. Gurrie became the auditor and financial advisor for the school districts he helped during the Depression as well as for surrounding villages, park districts, and libraries. A valued contributor to the community, Mr. Gurrie helped found the Pleasantdale Park District and, because of his years of serving schools in the area, when the Lyons Township School Treasurer position was vacated, he was asked to take the role. To honor William F. Gurrie and his years of service to schools in the area, La Grange School District 105 named its Junior High "William F. Gurrie Middle School."
William F. Gurrie Middle School was opened in 1957, and consolidated all seventh and eighth grade students of the district into one building. “GMS” serves the villages of Countryside, Hodgkins and the south end of La Grange. Since the 2010-2011 school year, Gurrie has adopted a theme of “We Make a Difference” for the entire building, setting a goal that all students and faculty members will earn at least five service hours to contribute towards making a difference locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. There is an approximate enrollment of 340 students as of the 2019-2020 school year.