SJS History

  • St. John Parish began in 1836 when 14 Catholic families joined to build a log church on what is now Francis Street.
  • St. John’s was a mission church until 1855 when Fr. B.C. Koopmans became its first pastor but not a resident of the parish.
  • Opening day for the first school was September 15, 1873. Four sisters enrolled 200 students that day.
  • A high school was established in 1888. The first graduation class, 1892, consisted of three girls.
  • In 1901, the cornerstone for a new school was laid and on January 19, 1903 the new school was opened.
  • In the mid-twenties, tuition for the grade school was $1.00 per month. The high school tuition was $25.00 per year. The average income in those years was $2,196.00 and gas was ¢11 per gallon.
  • Uniforms, at least for the high school, were adopted in 1929. To quote: “It improves punctuality at school, concentration in class work and better social relationship.”
  • Each class was distinguished by different colored collars: freshmen - pea green, sophomores - royal blue, juniors - cerise and seniors - sand.
  • In 1954, ground was broken for the “new” high school on Cooper Street. The school opened in 1955.
  • In 1959, fifteen additional classrooms were added to the high school. These rooms are the present day St. John Elementary School.