The History of Chicago St. Joseph High School
Chicago (population 2.8 million) is located in far northeastern Illinois and is the county seat of Cook County. Lake Michigan serves as the town’s eastern border. Several highways and Illinois Routes will lead you to and from “the big city.” Chicago was organized as a small town in 1832 and was officially incorporated in 1837. Chicago has been the scene of many dramas including “The Great Chicago Fire” and the violent mobster action of the 1920s and 1930s, which immortalized criminals such as Al “Scarface” Capone. Today, Chicago is one of the top tourist attractions in the United States and is the country’s third largest city.
An extensive history of the St. Joseph parish, one of Chicago’s many catholic parishes, can be read at the web address of http://www.pgsa.org/ArchChiPolPar/StJosephChi.htm. The article, in summary, states the following:
St. Joseph Catholic Parish was established in 1886. The church building was constructed and dedicated at 4800 South Hermitage on Chicago’s southside. A parish grammar school was established in the late 1880s and early 1890s. The school began a one-year “commercial department” for kids who graduated grammar school in 1912. The grammar school became so populated that the commercial school was disbanded in 1918 to provide more room for the grammar school students.
It was in 1938 that St. Joseph opened a four-year co-educational high school with a commercial course added two years later. The high school began with an enrollment of 90 students but swelled to an enrollment of 300 students with the addition of Sacred Heart High School (which was added to the St. Joseph school) in 1941. This increase also caused the building of a new high school building in 1941 as well.
St. Joseph High School remained a steady force in the neighborhood for nearly 60 years. Enrollment at the high school in 1978 was 433 students. Slowly, the changing neighborhood led to dwindling enrollments at the high school and grade school levels. It was in the mid 1990’s that concerns of being able to keep the high school open arose. In 1996, those concerns were put to rest when the decision was made to close St. Joseph High School.
The fate of the St. Joseph High School building is a good one, still in use today as evidenced by the photo at the top of the page.
St. Joseph High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1938
Year closed: 1996
St. Joseph HS team nickname: the “Condors”
St. Joseph HS team colors: Blue & Gold
St. Joseph HS fight song: Oh Cheer It St. Joseph High!
Submitted by John Piotrowski
Oh Cheer it, Revere it, St. Joseph High,
Together, let’s raise a rousing cry!
United in effort, always true!
St. Joseph High, ALL HAIL TO YOU!
RAH! RAH! RAH!!
St. Joseph High, for you we’ll dare and do,
Pledge to truth and honor,
‘Neath the GOLD and BLUE!
Loyal sons and daughters,
We sing on for your fame!
Till the echoes ring, we’ll sing,
St. Joseph High, ALL HAIL TO YOU!
RAH1 RAH! RAH!!!
Chicago St. Joseph High School should not be confused with its namesake in Westchester. Chicago St. Joseph offered such sports as football, basketball, track, and baseball for its boys at one time or another. It is likely the girls participated in volleyball, basketball, track, and softball. We currently have no information regarding the overall athletic program of St. Joseph High School.
We are searching for any of this information including the school’s fight song, coach’s names, seasonal records, and individual accomplishments. If you have this information, please contact us via the means at the bottom of this page.
The boys definitely competed in basketball. Unfortunately the only mention of the program on the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org) has a negative overtone. Chicago St. Benedict scored 81 points on against St. Joe in the first half of a game on January 7, 1966. This total is tied for the sixth-highest amount of points scored in one half.
We know that St. Joseph probably had some great moments in its athletic history. Please contact us if you have any of this information to share.
TO PROVIDE INFORMATION ON CHICAGO ST. JOSEPH HIGH SCHOOL:
Contact us in the following ways:
1) Complete a “School Submission Form” on line. (click here)
2) Write to us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) Send information to us at:
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il. 60631