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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



There is assuredly no more important element in the progress of a community, in its welfare and moral standing, than education, and in this particular there are few if any states in the Union which are equipped with such splendid schools of learning and culture as California. In Sacramento there is located a private school which has contributed no small amount to the development of educational progress, and this school, which is known as St. Joseph's Academy, ranks among the best equipped, having for its teachers the most cultured and intelligent ladies in the Sisterhood. It is a ladies' seminary, and has a career which dates back to the early history of Sacramento.

On October 2, 1857, Rev. Mother Mary Baptist Russell of St. Mary's hospital, in San Francisco, was interested in founding the St. Joseph's convent and school, located at Seventh and K streets, the site now occupied by the postoffice. A few years later she was enabled to purchase the block between F and Gr streets on Eighth and Ninth streets, and here was erected a large building which served for both grammar and primary schools. The systematic conduct of these schools early commanded recognition and the attendance so increased that larger and more commodious quarters were required. In 1872 the present large building was erected and in 1875 it was incorporated under the name of St. Joseph's Academy.

The courses include primary, grammar, high school and academic studies, and there are various departments which embrace business and commercial courses, music, painting and embroidery, every opportunity being afforded to the ambitious and clever student to develop latent talents and acquire the culture and knowledge which go to create the charming and refined personality. There are now about four hundred pupils in attendance, and the school is presided over by the Sisters of Mercy, who not alone provide the intellectual training which as a matter of course is an essential part, but also add the requisite of a quiet, refined manner and unselfish Christian living which has proved the superior element that has influenced their pupils. The school is beautifully situated and every precaution is taken to insure a healthy environment for the girls, the best-known methods being followed in every particular, and it is needless to say that the graduates rank among the most accomplished and intellectual women of the state. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011