Ohio St. Joseph’s Academy

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The History of St. Joseph’s Academy, Ohio

Ohio (population 450) is located in northeastern Bureau County at the crossroads of Illinois rtes. 26 and 92. The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad once passed through the town.

As you enter the town from the highways in either direction, you are greeted with a painted sign that commemorates the 1986 Ohio High School Boys Basketball team that finished second in the state tournament with only 60 kids in the school. Ohio High School is still open today, but there was a time when there were two high schools in this small town.

St. Joseph’s Academy was opened for classes in September of 1903 with a staff of five teachers from the Sisters of Mercy of Ottawa, and a student body of 100 kids from grade school to high school. Also included was a two-year business course and classes in German and Latin. Two more courses were offered in the Ohio Opera House due to lack of space in the school building.

Lack of funds forced the school to close in 1920. However, the school was revived in either 1924 or 1925, but that did not last long. The Great Depression eventually caused the school to permanently cease in 1929.

The following infomation about St. Joseph’s comes from Jim Dunn of Ohio:

“There was a Catholic high school one block south of the current Ohio High School gym. I’m not sure if it went all the way to 12th grade or not. Some schools back then stopped at 10th grade or so.The two-story brick building still is standing and is used as an apartment house. It was called something like St. Mary’s Academy or St. Joseph’s Academy. Grandpa Dunn attended there for awhile, probably about 1914 or 1915 or 1916. He didn’t graduate. He was born in 1899. He talked about once traveling by train to St. Bede to play a basketball game. When the Ohio public high school was established about 1920, the Catholic school went into decline and closed, maybe sometime in the late 1920s.”

St. Joseph’s Academy “Quick Facts”:

Year opened:            1905 (first) / 1924 or 1925 (revival)

Year closed:              1920 (first) / 1930 (revival)

Building status:         Apartment complex

School Nickname:     Unknown

School Colors:           Unknown


According to Jim Dunn of Ohio, St. Joseph’s had basketball at one time. We are still seeking more infomation about the Athletic programs, and other extra-curriculars, at St. Joseph’s.

St. Joseph Academy Students – 1915
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Photo Printed in the Bureau County Republican, June 24, 2008 (www.bcrnews.com)

Seeking More Information

We are in need of information about St. Joseph’s Academy in Ohio. If you have ANY information about anything related to the school, such as our unknown “Quick Facts” information, please drop us an E-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net. – or – you can write to us at:

Illinois High School Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, IL  60631

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