"SHSI Certificate of Recognition"
"Best on the Web"

Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
Jump to: navigation, search
Saint Mary's High School for Boys

SAINT MARY'S HIGH SCHOOL. Located at 1651 White Street, the school was opened on September 14, 1906 in a building previously known as the Hollenfelz House. (1) Built in 1891, the building was the private home of Michael Hollenfelz, a wholesale liquor dealer.

Graduation diploma. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

In 1906 St. Mary's Parish, under the direction of Msgr. G. W. Heer, acquired the home and converted it into a high School that emphasized business and commerce. The school's principal, Brother Francis, belonged to the Brothers of Mary who operated the school. He was also a prominent baseball umpire known for wearing different colored sleeves when umpiring to enable the crowds to easily distinguish a strike call from a ball.

When the school first opened there were three courses--preparatory, commercial and scientific. It was the intention to offer more courses as the space became available and the demand rose. (2)

The success of the school at placing its graduates into jobs was well known. It was said that every boy attending St. Mary's School had a job by Easter of his senior year, especially with the DUBUQUE FIRE AND MARINE INSURANCE COMPANY. Serious overcrowding led the school to close. The parish decided to send their boys to LORAS ACADEMY rather than construct another school.

Merit diploma. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
In 1929 and through 1957 the building was used as an elementary school before being converted into apartments. In 1977 the building, noted for its SECOND EMPIRE ARCHITECTURE and MANSARD ROOF, was listed on the NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES.



1. "Catholic High School to Open," Telegraph Herald, August 26, 1906

2. Ibid.