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 cultural, economic, and financial
capital of the Midwest" (according to Wikipedia).
Little Flower High School was opened in September of 1957 at St.
Therese of the Infant Child Jesus Parish on Chicago's south side, with 180 freshmen boys and girls
attending classes. The school added a class on every year after that, and the first graduation took place in 1961. Little
Flower was built in a way to provide a Catholic high school education to those who lived in the neighborhood that
were members of the parish and provided a continuity for those students moving from grade to high school.
The enrollment continued to climb to as high as 814 students in 1967-68, but then took a substantial drop as parish and
school enrollments were victim of declining tutition revenues, plus the racial makeup of the neighborhood where Little Flower
was located changed significantly from Caucasian to African-American, which meant that most of them were not Catholic and
had no reason to support the school.
In October 1972, the Sisters of St. Joseph decided that they would close Little Flower after the
June 1973 graduation due to mounting debts and lack of financial aid from the Archdiocese of Chicago. As
head of the Archdiocese, John Cardinal Cody made the decision to back the sisters' decision to close, despite
backings backing from a neighborhood group to raise money to cover any deficits, along with pledges from 150
eighth grade students from neighboring parish grade school to attend Little Flower had been received.
After its closure in 1973, the Little Flower building along with the community center that had also been built with
the high school in 1955 were sold to the Chicago Board of Education. CPS renamed the school Scott
Joplin School. It is still used today as Clara Barton Elementary School.
Melody Larson provided us the following link for those who graduated from Little Flower High School,
or those who simply want to learn a little more about this school: http://www.geocities.com/vmiller261/ You should also check out the web address of www.littleflowerhs.org for more on Little Flower High School.