The History of Belleville Academy of Immaculate Conception School
Belleville (population 41,410) is located in southeastern Illinois about 12 miles
southeast of East St. Louis in the center of St. Clair County. The Illinois Routes of 13, 15, 158, 159, and 161 all
pass through the town of Belleville. Interstate Highway 64 passes to the north of town.The Norfolk Southern and Illinois Central
Gulf are two of the railroads that pass through Belleville. The Richland Creek flows through town as well.
The Academy of Immaculate Conception began in 1846 by Rev. G. H. Ostlangenberg. The school was held in the basement of the church
for several years. In 1857 Bishop Alton was able to secure funding to build a new building in which to house
the school. This building was constructed and was opened in 1859, The facility became a boarding school for young ladies
and taught a variety of subjects, and in a variety of languages.
Academy of Immaculate Conception opened school rooms for boys in various buildings nearby. A kindergarten
was started around 1876. The school was thriving and was one of the most prestigious institutions in the southwestern portion
Tragedy struck on January 5, 1884, however, when fire broke out in the school building. Several Nuns
and boarders were killed, unable to escape the flames. The building was destroyed and never regained its status. A
new building was erected but was then known as the Convent of Notre Dame.
Belleville Academy of Immaculate Conception School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1846
Building Status: Destroyed by fire
Athletics were not offered