History of St James High School
The Ursuline Sisters founded St. Bernard's Academy in 1885, with
assistance from St. Michael's Catholic Church. Located at 1600
Fourth Avenue North, the Academy was a combined classroom and
dormitory facility. Financial difficulties forced the Ursuline
Sisters to sell the building, which was purchased by the Sisters of
St. Joseph in 1914. The Sisters then opened St. James Academy, which
stressed scholarship, music and the arts.
World War II halted efforts to renovate the building, as
construction materials and labor where urgently needed for the war
effort. Finally in 1956, after an aggressive, half-million dollar
fund raising campaign, the new St. James High School was dedicated.
The school had twelve classrooms as well as a large
gymnasium/auditorium. Student enrollment at the time neared 400.
Construction of the new facility, however, did not end its financial
concerns. Problems centered around the physical plant, originally
constructed not long after the sale of St. Bernard's Academy in
1914. Recommendations to close St. James High School were received
from both the local Catholic School Board, as well as the Diocesan
The final commencement ceremony for St. James
High School occurred on May 25, 1969, after which the school was
Sources: They Came to Stay: Grand Forks, North
Dakota Centennial: 1874-1974. p. 66
Grand Forks: A Pictorial History (1986): p. 25, 35
Grand Forks Herald: 25 May 1969
Taken From: ELWYN B.
ROBINSON DEPARTMENT OF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
CHESTER FRITZ LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA
GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA 58202
ST. JAMES HIGH SCHOOL RECORDS
COLLECTION: OGL #56