Joliet Guardian Angel High School

  The History of Joliet Guardian Angel High School

Joliet (population 129,519) is located in northeastern Illinois in west-central Will County. In fact, is the county seat of Will County and spills over into Kendall County to the west. Joliet was platted in 1834 and officially incorporated in 1852.  After much discussion over the town’s early name (it was known as Juliet from 1834 to 1845), Joliet was settled upon to honor Louis Joliet, famous explorer who first viewed the area in 1673.

A number of routes have served as ways to reach Joliet, including the legendary Route 66, which was replaced by Interstate 55, along with Interstate 80, US Routes 6, 30, 45, 52, and Illinois Routes 7, 53, and 171. The rail service has been provided by the Elgin, Joliet, and Eastern (EJE) RR, along with the AT & SF RR, & the former Rock Island RR, which shut down in 1980. Daily commuter service to Chicago is offered by Metra (short for Metropolitan Train Service) from the Regional Transportation Authority based in Chicago. The Des Plaines River also flows thru the heart of Joliet, and the community also served as a primary stop on the Illinois & Michigan Canal.

Guardian Angel High School was opened in the fall in 1927. Its’ history actually goes back 30 years to 1897 when the Sisters of St. Francis of Michigan, with the approval of Chicago Archbishop James Feehan, opened a home for neglected and destitute children.

A large residence was purchased the following year, which was dedicated in October 1898. That building was added onto in 1904 when there were 100 girls in the orphanage. The orphanage and school stayed in that location until 1926 when a modern-equipped building was opened on Plainfield Road and a three-year high school was opened.

The Guardian Angel graduates went onto to nearby St. Francis Academy to complete their four-year diploma requirements before making their career choices. The school was always small in enrollment, and in June of 1942, the school was discontinued. The orphanage still remains in Joliet, and it is still run by the Sisters of St. Francis.


Year opened:               1927

Year closed:                1942

School colors:              unknown


If you or someone you know has more details about the history of Guardian Angel High School in Joliet, please contact us. The more information we get, the better we can tell the story about the school. Items we are interested include (but not limited to) photos of the school, words of a school song (if one existed), names of notable graduates, and memories of attending the school are fine by us.

Here’s how to reach us:

by email:

by USPS: Illinois High School Glory Days

               6439 North Neva

               Chicago, IL  60631

Leave a Reply