The History of St. Mary’s High School of Moline
Moline (population 43,768) is located in northwestern Illinois in Rock Island County. It is one of the feature cities which are part of the “Quad Cities” area located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Illinois and Iowa. The Rock River is also a main waterway which passes through Moline. The area was shaped early on by its location near these rivers. Railroad lines were the second major mode of transportation bringing folks to the Moline area. Roadways soon followed. Illiinois Routes 5 and 92, U.S. Routes 6, 67, and 150, and Interstate Highways 74 and 80 all lead to Moline.
The St. Mary’s Parish was the first Catholic parish in Moline. Moline began an educational system for its children in the early stages of its growth. The Catholic Church realized the opportunity and need for education and established a school in Moline. St. Mary’s began as a one-room school in 1884. A larger building was built to house the growing student population in 1896. In 1926 a “modern” brick structure was built for the high school and it flourished for nearly 25 years.
In 1949 a new Catholic high school was built in Rock Island (Alleman). It was decided by the archdiocese to close St. Mary’s High School in Moline and have just one Catholic high school for the immediate area. St. Mary’s continued as a grade school for the Moline area for several more years. It, too, eventually ceased being used in this capacity. The former St. Mary’s High School building is still functional though is now used in a different capacity by the St. Mary’s Parish.
A well-written and researched report regarding the history of St. Mary’s High School in Moline was written by our good friend, Richard Soseman. Richard’s report follows directly after the “Quick Facts” portion of this page.
Moline St. Mary’s High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1884 (one-room school)
Year larger structure built: 1896
Year brick building built: 1926
Year St. Mary’s HS closed: 1949
Consolidated to: Rock Island Alleman HS
St. Mary’s team nickname: unavailable
St. Mary’s team colors: Blue & White
School Fight Song: unavailable
A booklet given out at the All Class Reunion, October, 1992, had the following verses:
The bells of St. Mary’s
Ah, hear they are calling
The young loves, the true loves
Who come from the seas.
And so, my beloved,
When red leaves are falling
The love bells shall ring out
Ring out, for you and me.