Chicago St. Malachy High School

The History of Chicago St. Malachy High School

Chicago (population 2.8 million) is located along the shores of Lake Michigan as the nation’s third largest city. It grew from a village in 1803 and became incorporated in 1837, then its population boomed thru the second half of the 19th Century with a plethora of immigrants from numerous countries came to the “City of Big Shoulders” to settle and find a way of life.

Chicago is accessible from four interstates, several state and US highway routes, by train service that stops at the city’s Union Station along the Chicago River, and thru the air at Midway and O’Hare Airports. As a result, the city is a melting pot of people that make up many cultures which helps define the character of Chicago.

St. Malachy High School was opened as a commercial parish high school in 1903. The enrollment was co-educational and was considered parish-oriented, operated by the Sisters of Mercy.

The school closed after being open just one year, but reappeared in 1941 primarily for African-American boys and girls, regardless if they were of the Catholic persuasion, although Caucasians were still admitted. As of 1952, 130 students (80 girls, 50 boys) were attending St. Malachy with 10 nuns on the faculty.

Clifton Palmer tells us the school closed its doors in 1961. Clifton was a student there at the time and had to finish his high school days at nearby St. Philip. One anonymous reader tells us that St. Malachy had an enrollment of 50 students for this final year. Lack of enrollment was likely the main cause of the school’s demise.

According to Angela Patricia McClinton-May (Class of 1957), the St. Malachy school building still stands proudly today.


Year opened as commercial school:        1903

Year closed:                                          1904

Reopened as academic school:               1941

Closed for good:                                     1961


We know that St. Malachy’s competed in athletics with other schools in the area. The school was a member of the Chicago Parish League which definitely competed in boys basketball. Track and baseball, as well as several other sports, may have been offered as well.


An anonymous reader tells us that St. Malachy had some great teams during its history. One player of note was Gene Bolen.


about the history of St. Malachy High School in Chicago. Items we welcome include information about course and extra-curricular activities, a photo of the school while it was in prime, memories about the school, and more. Please submit your information by clicking on this Guest Commentary link, or send it to:

Illinois High School Glory Days

6439 North Neva

Chicago, IL  60631

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