The History of Nauvoo Spalding Institute / St. Edmonds Hall
Nauvoo (population 1,063) is located on Illinois Route 9 in upper-western Illinois.
The town is located on the banks of the Mississippi River in far western Hancock County. Nauvoo is located about
35 miles west of Macomb. The town was platted in 1835 and originally named Commerce. In 1839 Joseph Smith and the
Latter Day Saints moved into town and set off a population explosion. The town was renamed Nauvoo (which literally means
"beautiful location") and quickly spread its wings.
By 1845-46 Nauvoo had an estimated population of 15 - 20 THOUSAND residents. This would have
made Nauvoo Illinois' largest city of that time and, in fact, one of the 20 largest cities in the United States.
Events soon occurred which led to the steady decline over many years of Nauvoo's population. Nauvoo is still quite a
tourist attraction with many historic sites and places to visit. For an entertaining and informative look at Nauvoo
go to www.nauvoo.net or www.visitnauvoo.org/. Not all of the early residents of Nauvoo were Mormon, and after their departure for Utah, the town
of Nauvoo continued to flourish, although it was diminished in scope.
The Benedictine Sisters' (www.smmsisters.org) ministry in the Diocese of Peoria began in October 1874 when five Sisters from Chicago established a convent and a
boarding school for young girls in Nauvoo. The presence of the Sisters was requested by the Bishop of Chicago, and was accepted
by the new Bishop of Peoria, when the Diocese was established in 1877.
The following history of the Spalding Institute and St. Edmund's Hall was located in an article on the history
of the St. Mary's Academy.
"In 1907, the boys' school was built in Nauvoo, opening
under the name of Spalding Institute. In 1908, the community came upon hard times
when they were victimized by a speculator and lost all of their property. The Sisters did not give up. Spalding was closed
in 1920. For a few years the building was used by the United States Government as a vocational school, but in 1925 it was
reopened as a boys' school and renamed St. Edmund's Hall. In 1939, the Sisters repossessed all of their property debt free.
The boys' school was closed in 1940 and St.Edmund's was used as the convent."
This is currently the total amount of history we have regarding Spalding Institute and St. Edmunds' Hall
in Nauvoo. Further information regarding this school can be sent to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Nauvoo Spalding Institute / St. Edmund's Hall Quick Facts
Year Spalding Institute Opened: 1907
Year Spalding Institute Closed: 1920
Year St. Edmund's Hall Opened: 1925
Year St. Edmund's Hall Closed: 1940