The History of Chicago
St. Casimir Commercial High School
(NOTE: Not to be confused with St. Casimir Academy)
Chicago (population: 2.8 million) is located along the shores of Lake Michigan
in northeastern Illinois. From its early days as a Potawatomie
settlement, then as the site of Fort Dearborn
in 1803, which led up to the formation of the city and its incorporation in 1833 and 1837, respectively, the "City of Big Shoulders" became a major location in the US
for various reasons. Railroads and water transportation were two reasons why Chicago
was one of the fastest growing cities in the country during the 19th Century.
Today, numerous railroads and highways of interstate, US,
state, and local designations bring people together in the city on a daily basis, as does air traffic at O'Hare and Midway Airports. Chicago is a melting pot of people from many nationalities, making it ethnically diverse, and thus is
referred to as "the financial, economic, and cultural capital of the Midwest (according
St. Casimir Commercial High School was
founded in 1924 by the Sisters of the Resurrection, connected to St. Casimir Parish on Chicago's West Side at the corner of
22nd Avenue (later called Cermak Road) & Whipple Street. The parish was formed in 1890, then a school was opened in 1891
as a grade school.
Twenty-six years later, the parish forged ahead with
a new church due to the growth it was experiencing, and was dedicated by George Cardinal Mundelein in 1919, being one of
the first churches with electricity, The original edifice was remodelled to handle the expansion of students. In 1924,
Rev. Stanislaus Bona helped establish a two-year commercial high school for boys and girls in September of that
A total of 21 students were enrolled and the high school
division grew from there, which necessitated another construction project. The architectual firm of Sandel & Strong designed
the building that was located in the 2200 corner of South Albany, and opened for business after dedication by Cardinal Mundelein
in November 1927.
St. Casimir Commercial continued to grow into the Great
Depression and thru World War II, expanded to a three-year course in 1948, then went to a four-year course a year later as
it only accepted girls from that point, and added an academic course to the commercial it had been offering. The school also
changed its name to St. Casimir Parish High School, admitting students who were daughters of parishoners. Other students
had to get permission to attend classes.
The school continued it's affiliation to the parish thru
1991 when it changed its name to Our Lady of Tepeyac High School, remaining an girls'-only school and aligning itself
to the Hispanic community that resides in the neighborhood around the school.