(NOTE: This page is dedicated to three Catholic academies that were short-lived in their
histories to the people of Galena between the years of 1848-1887. Very little information has been found, which
is the reason why all three schools are sharing a page. Should more information be presented to us in the future,
it is conceivable that each school may receive their own page. However, due to the passage of time, it is possible that information is
no longer available.)
The History of Galena St. Joseph's Young Ladies Academy
Galena (population 3,400) is in northwestern Illinois in Jo Daviess County along the Mississippi
and Galena Rivers, a short distance from the Iowa and Wisconsin borders. The city is known as a popular
tourist attraction to those from Chicago, some of whom keep second homes in Galena. Other features include golf courses and
ski resorts that bring people to the area, as does historical architecture and history.
Civil War general and the 18th President of the United States Ulysses
S. Grant resided in Galena prior to serving his country, All told, Grant was one of nine Union Army generals that
hailed from Galena, as did Grant's son Frederick Dent, radio host Don McNeill, writer Herman
Melville, as well as Wyoming Governor William Richards and Iowa Governor John Gear.
Galena was occupied by the Sac & Fox Nation in the 17th Century when French Canadians
began to explore the area. Lead was discovered in the area by the Native Americans who used it for body
paint. The name of the city came from a mineral of the same name, which is the natural form of lead sulfide. The French trappers
that discovered the area also mined for this ore mineral, but it wasn't until 1816 that the first boatload of lead was
shipped down the Mississippi.
Three years later after statehood was granted to Illinois, a trading post was set up in Galena, and it led
to the first steamboat coming to town in 1824. Over 27,000 tons of lead was mined annually by 1845, but it dramatically slowed
down by the end of the 20th Century. The population dropped from 14,000 in 1850 to its current 3,400.