Danville St. Mary Academy

Danville St. Mary Academy
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                                                   The History of Danville St. Mary Academy

Danville (population: 34,000) is located in eastern Illinois, just a few miles west of the Illinois-Indiana border along the Vermilion River, which attracted settlers due to its salt springs. Interstate 74 travels thru the area, as does US Routes 136 & 150 and Illinois 1. The community is named for Dan W. Beckwith, who donated land along with Guy W. Smith in 1827 to found the city. Some of its famous natives include entertainers Dick & Jerry Van Dyke, actor Gene Hackman, cabaret singer Bobby Short, dancer Donald O’Connor, and Baseball Hall of Famer Robin Yount.

St. Mary’s Academy was opened as an all-girls’ boarding school within the confines of St. Patrick’s Grade School in Danville in 1891 by the Sisters of the  Holy Cross from Holy Cross, Indiana. The school’s main purpose at the time was to provide an education that focused on social graces for young ladies in a Catholic setting.

Over time, the school also accepted day students, but was small in its enrollment. St. Mary’s is believed to have closed its doors in the spring of 1912 once the Holy Cross order left Danville. Today, both males and females can still receive a high school education in a Catholic atmosphere in Danville as Schlarman High School (opened in 1945 in the St. Patrick’s building) serves that purpose.


Year opened:                                             1891

Year believed to have been closed:              1912

No sports were offered at the school


to Father John Flattery of Holy Family Parish in Danville for information we have received about St. Mary’s history.


to help us write more about St. Mary Academy’s history. If you know of someone who attended the school or have information, please contact us. Our addresses are as follows:

by email: dr.veeman@gmail,com or:

by USPS: Illinois High School Glory Days

               6439 North Neva

               Chicago, IL  60631

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