The beginning of St. Joseph Catholic School
The first St. Joseph School was opened in the fall of 1873. In 1998, the school’s 125th anniversary was celebrated. The priest in 1873, Fr. Francis Rudolph, bought the property where our present church stands. He converted it into two school rooms with living quarters for the Sisters.
Sixty children attend the first school with three Sisters of St. Francis in charge. In June 1902 the school moved to make way for our church as it now stands.
In 1923, land was purchased for a new school, the cost was $7500. That part stands today and is known as the old part of the school. The 1950’s found St. Joseph School needing more classroom space and the new part was built. Two huge rooms were built and sectioned off as space was needed. Today this is the new side and houses eight classrooms along with the school office.
Around 1925, St. Joseph School had a high school which was closed in 1940 due to lack of students. The first graduating class was in 1926 and this class had a championship basketball team. The team participated in the National Tourney at DePauw University.
The Seventies and On
St. Joseph School continued to have classes through eighth grade until the early seventies. St. Joseph School continued to offer classes up to sixth grade when the public school corporation built a new middle school—grades 6-8 in the early nineties. At the beginning of that school year, two sixth graders remained and parents decided to go to the middle school.
At a point in the late 1990s, parents and school staff wanted to explore the possibility of adding middle school. Middle school continued for five years and closed due to lack of students after five very successful years. One hundred percent of our last graduating class passed ISTEP in both math and language arts.
Other additions include the opening the preschool in the late 1980s, adding all-day kindergarten and afterschool care in the early 1990s. In addition to offering traditional preschool (half-day), all-day and every day classes were put into place several years ago. In 2018, a two-year-old program was added.