The History of Piopolis Catholic High School
Piopolis (population 25?) is located in southeastern Illinois in the north central portion
of Hamilton County. Piopolis is situated about seven miles north of McLeansboro. County Highway 20 is the main
roadway to and from Piopolis. It connects to Illinois Route 242 which passes by about one mile to the east. County Road 800e
also passes through Piopolis.
"Piopolis was settled in 1841 by Roman Catholic immigrants from Baden, Germany. It was known as Auxier Prairie, Dutch Settlement, Mount St. John, St. Francis Xavier, and Belle Prairie before being
named Piopolis in 1877 after Pope Pius IX. Piopolis once had a post office, which opened in 1848, and a public school which operated from the 1880s to the 1920s. The community's economy has
historically been based on farming."
In 1870 a school was begun at St. John the Baptist Church when a two story building was constructed.
Nuns from Germany arrived via wagon to teach at the school, which remained open and taught by nuns until 1964. In 1924
a new brick school building was erected on the church grounds. In 1929 a two-year high school course was offered.
The high school classes were discontinued in 1933 due to low enrollment.
There are other references regarding the school building at St. John the Baptist. There is also a
mention of the Piopolis public school closing in 1974. We know that the school building for the Catholic School is still standing
and apparently well maintained. It is probable that the kids who are from or near Piopolis today attend the Hamilton
County School system in McLeansboro.
Pioplois Catholic High School Quick Facts
1929 (2-year HS)
Year grade school closed: 1964
Students now attend: McLeansboro H.S.
Unknown if athletics offered