Belleville Academy of Immaculate Conception

Belleville Academy of Immaculate Conception
A large brick building

Description automatically generated with low confidence
Submitted by Dennis Downey

The History of Belleville Academy of Immaculate Conception School

Belleville (population 41,410) is located in southeastern Illinois about 12 miles southeast of East St. Louis in the center of St. Clair County.  The Illinois Routes of 13, 15, 158, 159, and 161 all pass through the town of Belleville. Interstate Highway 64 passes to the north of town.The Norfolk Southern and Illinois Central Gulf are two of the railroads that pass through Belleville. The Richland Creek flows through town as well.

According to the Wikipedia web address of,_Illinois, Belleville is the county seat of St. Clair County.  Belleville (French for “beautiul city”) was founded by George Blair in 1814. Belleville was incorporated as a village in 1819 and as a city in 1850. An excellent historical timeline regarding Belleville can be viewed at

A nice history of the Belleville Academy of Immaculate Conception can be viewed at the web address of . In summary, the article states the following:

The Academy of Immaculate Conception began in 1846 by Rev. G. H. Ostlangenberg. The school was held in the basement of the church for several years. In 1857 Bishop Alton was able to secure funding to build a new building in which to house the school. This building was constructed and was opened in 1859, The facility became a boarding school for young ladies and taught a variety of subjects, and in a variety of languages.

Academy of Immaculate Conception opened school rooms for boys in various buildings nearby. A kindergarten was started around 1876. The school was thriving and was one of the most prestigious institutions in the southwestern portion of Illinois.

Tragedy struck on January 5, 1884, however, when fire broke out in the school building. Several Nuns and boarders were killed, unable to escape the flames. The building was destroyed and never regained its status. A new building was erected but was then known as the Convent of Notre Dame.

Belleville Academy of Immaculate Conception School Quick Facts

Year opened:                1846

Year closed:                 1884

Building Status:            Destroyed by fire

Athletics were not offered

Academy of Immaculate Conception

The Adacmey offered several languages and specialized in teaching music to the students. The Geneology Trails article cited above states:

“The course of study pursued embraced the English, German and French languages, with all useful and ornamental branches taught to young ladies. Many ladies of Belleville and vicinity received their musical education in that historic institution.”

Always Interested in More Information

If you have any further information regarding Belleville Academy of Immaculate Conception School please write to us at or via the postal service at:

IHSGD Webstie

6439 N. Neva Ave.

Chicago, Il. 60631 


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