|Niles St. Hedwig High School|
|Credit: Lake County Discovery Museum/Curt Teich Postcard Archives|
The History of Niles St. Hedwig High School
Niles (population 30,000) is located just north of Chicago in Cook County. The community was incorporated in 1899 and is right next to Skokie in northeastern Illinois, along with Glenview, Morton Grove, and Park Ridge nearby. The name Niles comes from the township in which the village is located, not Niles Centre, which was the name of Skokie before it changed.
Among the items that Niles is known for that the village offered free ambulance service as early as 1946, the Bradford Company (known for its fine collectables), and the Tam O’Shanter Golf Course.
St. Hedwig High School opened in 1911 on Chicago’s northwest side as two separate schools, the Polish Manual Training School for Boys and St. Hedwig Industrial School for Girls. The school began to offer a two-year course in academic studies in 1924 under the direction of the Rt. Rev. Paul Rhode and other pastors of churches that served families of Polish descent.
St. Hedwig later moved north to Niles at a later date, and cared for Polish orphans while teaching them a trade. Students were urged to transfer to other Catholic high schools in Chicago or nearby to complete their four-year education in order to receive a diploma.
As the 1950’s began to wrap up, St. Hedwig closed its doors in 1959. The remaining students were transferred to Angel Guardian in Chicago. The St. Hedwig school buildings were torn down in 1996 to make way for new development in the area.
FACTS ABOUT NILES ST. HEDWIG HIGH SCHOOL
Year opened: 1911
Two-yr academic course began: 1924
Year closed: 1959
**From Sharon Stankowicz Fritz:
“Jules & Louie Pandera were orphans at St. Hedwig. Jules was involved in the Niles Park District and Louie was manager of Bunker Hill in the 60’s-70’s. They were good friends of our family.”
THIS PAGE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE SHORT AND SWEET…
In fact, we’d actually like to make it much longer with as many facts and memories about St. Hedwig High School in Niles. Did the school offer any athletics or extra-curricular activities, who were some of their notable students/residents, school colors, school song, etc. are some of the items we’d like to know more about.
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