Chicago St. Vincent de Paul Academy/DePaul High School

The History of Chicago St. Vincent de Paul Academy/DePaul High School

Chicago (population 2.8 million) is located in far northeastern Illinois in the center of Cook County.  It is currently the third largest cities in the United States of America and is one of the most famous cities in the world. Lake Michigan provides Chicago’s eastern most border. Several roadways and railroads, as well as O’Hare and Midway airports, will take you to the city of Chicago.

The area in which Chicago is located was first settled in the very early 1800’s. The mouth of the Chicago River at Lake Michigan served as an important waterway from the east to the west. The town was organized in 1832 and chartered as a city in 1837. Chicago’s population that year was 4,180. By the late 1800’s, Chicago was a boom town, the population increasing at a rapid rate.

Along with this boom came the need for education. Residents saw to it that their children were given many opportunities. As the public school system grew, there also came the establishment of several private and parochial schools.

As a companion school to the all-boys’ DePaul University Academy, the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary were invited to staff St. Vincent DePaul Academy by the Rev. Francis V. Nugent of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in 1891. A three-story brick and stone building housed the all-girls’ school, which was outgrown by 1911. The Sisters of Charity moved the school into the St. Vincent Lyceum on Sheffield Avenue on Chicago’s North Side and changed the name to DePaul High School.

Another move was made in 1917 for more space to the Doyle Building on Osgood Street, but the school closed in 1921 when Archbishop George Mundelein decided that the new Immaculata High School on Irving Park Road at Marine Drive would become the central high school for girls on the Near North Side. Juniors at the time of the closing were actually allowed to remain at the school in order to graduate in the spring of 1922.


Year opened as St. Vincent de Paul:        1891

Year name changed to DePaul High:        1911

Year closed:                                          1921

Last class graduated:                             1922

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Illinois High School Glory Days

6439 North Neva

Chicago, IL 60631

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