St. Columbkille High School (also referred to as St. Columba, an Irish saint from
the fifth century) traces its origin back a parish school that was established in May of 1867 on the city's West Side. The
Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul helped offer academic or "cultural" courses prior to 1885 to girls who parents
were considered the most prominent and oldest Catholic families in Chicago. It appears that the high school was opened in
1885 and was also known as St. Columba Academy.
A two-year school opened in 1902 for those that could not attend the Academy of Our Lady of Providence by St. Columbkille pastor Nathaniel J. Mooney, but a change in pastors in 1907 to Patrick J. Tinan caused a
conflict with the Daughters of Charity order. The new pastor wanted to increase the faciliites of the school, but the order
could not supply more teachers and decided to leave in July 1907.
The Sisters of Providence (who were in charge of Our Lady of Providence Academy) then took over
the school and offered commercial courses that started with a two-year program, later extending it to three. It would later
close in 1969, which was also the same year that Providence High School would merge with St. Mel High School.