The History of Alton St. Patrick High School
Alton (population 30,496) is located in southwestern Illinois about 15 miles north of St. Louis,
Mo. Alton sits in the northwest corner of Madison County. U.S. Route 67 and the Illinois Routes of 143, 111,
and 3 all lead to and from Alton. Alton is a true river town, being platted on the banks of the mighty
Mississippi River. Several railroad lines including the Southern Pacific, Burlington Northern, and Gateway Western all
travel through Alton.
"By 1859, the old church was now the school. For years the children sat on the kneelers and used the pews
for desktops. One big classroom served the school except for one additional room in the sacristy.
The sisters left
Decatur in 1870 because of hardship and distance from their motherhouse in Montreal. In 1871, Ursulines from New York
came and they too left because of difficulties and distance. The pastor, Fr. Hickey requested Ursulines from Alton, Illinois.
The Ursulines in Alton were contacted and responded. Beginning in 1873, Ursulines served at St. Patrick School for more than
one hundred twenty years.
Boys and girls were now taught at St. Teresa Academy. In 1880, the high school
department opened. In 1882, Fr. Mackin had a four-room brick building erected on the east side of St. Teresa. This
new building on Eldorado, across from the present rectory, opened for boys and girls in 1882 and was named St. Patrick School.
Their first graduation was in 1884.
Fr. Jeremiah Murphy built the present St. Patrick Church in 1909. Our present
St. Patrick School, built in 1912, had “eight large rooms.” In 1918, the high school was discontinued."
Alton St. Patrick High School Quick Facts
Year Opened: 1880
Year Closed: 1918
Consolidated To: St. Teresa Academy for Girls