St. James High School was opened by the Rev. Hugh McGuire in the former St. James'
Rectory. Twenty-five girls were in attendance when the Sisters of Mercy opened the school in September 1890. That number grew
to 136 by September 1896 from parishoners on the north and west sides of Chicago, which meant that a new building would be
built and ready for use the following year. A commercial course of study was added in September 1902 with boys allowed to
enroll in those courses.
The school became co-ed in 1906, by which time St. James had students from kindergarten to 12th
grade in the school. Most graduates went onto Chicago Normal College (now Chicago State University), and scored very high
on their entrance exams. There were about 400 St. James graduates that became public school teachers by 1911 when Fr. McGuire
passed away. When the school was closed in 1924, it was believed that about one thousand students graduated from St. James.
The school merged with St. Ita, St. Gabriel, St. Patrick on the southeast side, and some female students from St. Elizabeth to form Mercy High School.