The History of St. Joseph's Academy, Ohio
Ohio (population 450) is located in northeastern Bureau County at the crossroads of Illinois rtes. 26 and 92. The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad once passed through the town.
As you enter the town from the highways in either direction, you are greeted with a painted sign that commemorates the 1986 Ohio High School Boys Basketball team that finished second in the
state tournament with only 60 kids in the school. Ohio High School is still open today, but there was
a time when there were two high schools in this small town.
St. Joseph's Academy was opened for classes in September of 1903 with a staff of five teachers
from the Sisters of Mercy of Ottawa, and a student body of 100 kids from grade school to high school.
Also included was a two-year business course and classes in German and Latin. Two more courses were offered
in the Ohio Opera House due to lack of space in the school building.
Lack of funds forced the school to close in 1920. However, the school was revived in either 1924 or 1925, but that did not last long. The Great Depression eventually caused the school to
permanently cease in 1929.
The following infomation about St. Joseph's comes from Jim Dunn of Ohio:
"There was a Catholic high school one block south of the current Ohio High School
gym. I'm not sure if it went all the way to 12th grade or not. Some schools back then stopped at 10th grade or so.The
two-story brick building still is standing and is used as an apartment house. It was called something
like St. Mary's Academy or St. Joseph's Academy. Grandpa Dunn attended there for awhile, probably about
1914 or 1915 or 1916. He didn't graduate. He was born in 1899. He talked about once traveling by train
to St. Bede to play a basketball game. When the Ohio public high school was established about 1920, the
Catholic school went into decline and closed, maybe sometime in the late 1920s."
St. Joseph's Academy "Quick Facts":
Year opened: 1905 (first)
/ 1924 or 1925 (revival)
1920 (first) / 1930 (revival)
Building status: Apartment
School Nickname: Unknown
According to Jim Dunn of Ohio, St. Joseph's had basketball at one time. We are still seeking more infomation about the Athletic programs, and other extra-curriculars, at St. Joseph's.