Carlyle St. Mary’s High School “Red Peppers”

The History of Carlyle St. Mary High School

Carlyle (population 3,406) is located in southwestern Illinois in central Clinton County. U.S. Route 50 intersects with Illinois Route 127 in Carlyle. Carlyle Lake sits just to the northeast of town and feeds the Kaskaskia River which flows past the east side of town. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad also makes its way through town.

The history of the town of Carlyle is in need of research. The history of Carlyle St. Mary’s Catholic Church is very well-documented on the website address of According to this address, St. Mary’s parish began a school for the children of the area in 1870. High school curriculum of some sort was probably offered by the late 1800s to early 1900s. It would not be until 1929, however, that St. Mary’s High School would receive full accreditation as a four-year high school from the state of Illinois.

St. Mary’s Catholic High School served the community for nearly 30 years. A decision was made by the Catholic Archdiocese that a new high school would be built in nearby Breese. This became a reality in 1954. The creation of the Mater Dei Catholic High School in Breese led to the closing of St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Carlyle.

The St. Mary’s High School building in Carlyle was razed in 1970. A photo of this building would be greatly appreciated.

Carlyle St. Mary’s Catholic High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                                               late 1800’s

Year closed:                                                1954

Consolidated to:                                           Mater Dei High School (Breese)

Carlyle St. Mary’s HS team nickname:           “Red Peppers”

St. Mary’s HS team colors:                            unavailable

School Fight Song:                                       unavailable


We know that the St. Mary’s High School boys competed in basketball for sure ( It is probable that baseball, track, and possibly football were offered as well. School colors, fight song, team records, and coach’s names are all items being sought at this time.

Boys Basketball

The boys of the hardwood court of St. Mary’s High won a total of two District Championships. Unfortunately, this is the extent of the information we currently have available. Team records and coach’s names of these and other SMHS teams are being sought.

1941-42             District Champions

1945-46             District Champions

Searching for More Information

Help us remember the many accomplishments of Carlyle St. Mary’s High School. There are many questions to be answered and many items of interest to add to this page. A photo of the original high school is always a great addition.  You can e-mail items and iformation to us at You can also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631

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