Alton St. Mary Catholic High School

The History of St. Mary Catholic High School of Alton 

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.

Alton was established in 1837 according to the town’s official website address of  According to the website address of  Alton has an incredibly historic past.  It was the site of where Lewis and Clark left for their journey to explore the west.  It was also home to Illinois’ first state penitentiary.

The web address of tells us that St. Mary’s Catholic Church was established in 1858.  The first church building was destroyed by a tornado in 1860. A new church was built to replace it. We know through limited research that St. Mary’s at one time offered high school courses to girls of the area.  One obituary we read listed the person graduating from St. Mary’s High School in Alton in 1938.

We are uncertain if St. Mary’s High School was a two, three, or four-year institution. We only know that today the parish supports a grades K – 8 grade school.  If you have any further information you would be willing to share on this page regarding St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Alton please contact us via the means listed at the bottom of this page.

Alton St. Mary’s High School Quick Facts

Year opened:               early 1900s?

Year closed:                1940s?

An all-girls school, athletics likely not offered.

Can You Help Us Out?

If you would like to share information please complete a School Submission Form or a Guest Comentary Form.  We are especially appreciative of sharing photos of the old high school building of the former St. Mary’s Catholic High School.  You can e-mail items to us at or write us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.    60631

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