The History of Galesburg St. Joseph Academy
Galesburg is an important railroad navagation point along the BN&SF railway and is
also the birthplace of Carl Sandburg, a site of a Lincoln-Douglas Debate, and a temporary home for future President Ronald
Reagan. Galesburg lies about 40 miles south of the Quad City Area and 40 miles west of Peoria on Interstate 74 and US 150.
was one of the first cities in Illinois to support a public high school and a private high school: St. Joseph Academy, pictured
above, was founded in 1879 opposite Galesburg High School, which was founded in 1863. The Corpus Christi Church was built
in 1885 through the efforts of Father Joseph Costa, who founded the Academy. The Corpus Christi Lyceum was
built in 1895. The Corpus Christi School was a boys school and St. Joseph Academy was for girls.
St. Joseph Academy High School and Corpus Chrisit Lyceum High School continued to serve the Catholic community
for 66 years in this capacity. In 1945 it was decided to merge the two into one co-ed high school. The newly developed high
school was named Corpus Christi High School. In 1964 a new building for the high school was constructed. The new facility
caused the name to be changed to Costa High School, in honor of Father Joseph Costa.
The original St. Joseph Academy building served as a grade school building until a new building was erected
in 1957. The St. Joseph Academy High School building was razed in 1972. .
St. Joseph Academy Quick Facts:
Father Joseph Costa, I.C.
Catholic, Corpus Christi Parish
Year Consolidated with Corpus Christi: 1945 (became an elementary school
1 - 8)
Year all School Functions Ceased: 1972?
Torn down late 1970s?
(Sports not offered
to girls when St. Joseph was an all-girls high school.)
St. Joseph Grade School Quick Facts
St. Joseph Grade School Nickname: "Hilltoppers" (1945
St. Joseph Grade School Team Colors: Red & White
St. Joseph Grade School Fight Song: "Red & White Let's Go!"
Courtesy of Deb Worden
Red & white come on let’s go,
gonna fight right thru the foe,
Shouting our battle cry,
we do or die,
Side-by-side along we’ll go
We will win the victory,
If you will fight, fight, fight, straight thru,
We’ll lead you on with cheers of loyalty,
on and fight,
We’re right, with you!