The History of Piopolis Catholic High School
Piopolis (population 25?) is located in southeastern Illinois in the north central portion of Hamilton County. Piopolis is situated about seven miles north of McLeansboro. County Highway 20 is the main roadway to and from Piopolis. It connects to Illinois Route 242 which passes by about one mile to the east. County Road 800e also passes through Piopolis.
A nice history of the town of Piopolis is available on the Wikipedia web address of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piopolis,_Illinois . It reads as follows:
“Piopolis was settled in 1841 by Roman Catholic immigrants from Baden, Germany. It was known as Auxier Prairie, Dutch Settlement, Mount St. John, St. Francis Xavier, and Belle Prairie before being named Piopolis in 1877 after Pope Pius IX. Piopolis once had a post office, which opened in 1848, and a public school which operated from the 1880s to the 1920s. The community’s economy has historically been based on farming.”
An excellent timeline for Piopolis and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church located there can be found at the web address of http://www.hcc.coop/~catholic/history/stjohnb.htm .Highlights from this timeline include the following:
In 1870 a school was begun at St. John the Baptist Church when a two story building was constructed. Nuns from Germany arrived via wagon to teach at the school, which remained open and taught by nuns until 1964. In 1924 a new brick school building was erected on the church grounds. In 1929 a two-year high school course was offered. The high school classes were discontinued in 1933 due to low enrollment.
There are other references regarding the school building at St. John the Baptist. There is also a mention of the Piopolis public school closing in 1974. We know that the school building for the Catholic School is still standing and apparently well maintained. It is probable that the kids who are from or near Piopolis today attend the Hamilton County School system in McLeansboro.
Pioplois Catholic High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1929 (2-year HS)
Year closed: 1933
Year grade school closed: 1964
Students now attend: McLeansboro H.S.
Unknown if athletics offered