Alton Ursuline Academy

The History of Alton Ursuline Academy

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. Alton is named after one of the original founder’s sons, Alton Rufus Easton.

Alton Ursuline Academy was established by the Ursulne sisters in 1859. It continued in operation as learning institute for aspiring nuns until it was closed in 1927. The school then became a part of the newly established Alton Marquette Catholic High School which is still going strong today.

Alton Ursuline Academy Quick Facts

Year Opened:               1859

Year Closed:                 1927

Consolidated to             Alton Marquette Catholic High School

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