Enrollment Rises as the Old School Falls

In the years before the Depression, enrollment at the high school climbed steadily. In 1909, the high school held 198 students. By the fall of 1922, high school enrollment topped 500 for the first time in the school’s history and climbed to 852 in 1931–32. The following year, enrollment fell to 680, but by the mid 1930s, the numbers had recovered somewhat to “considerably above the 700 mark.”14

The stock market wasn’t the only thing to come crashing down in 1929. That same year the Shirt Factory was demolished. An editorial in the September 19 edition of The Red and Blue waxed eloquently on this demise: “…we don’t forget our athletic ups and downs, our literary, forensic and thespian activities there. A building does not make a school: it is the student body that classifies it. So when you see apartment houses on the south side of Hayes Street opposite St. Mary’s Hospital, just remember that all the spirit and loyalty has moved up a block or so, and that the students of the new St. Ignatius High School are even more interested and enthusiastic for bigger and better accomplishments for their new school.” In the November 15 edition, as the demolition progressed, The Red and Blue struck a lighter tone: “We bid you goodbye, school of cold winters and JUG all the time. The rambling shack of wood is now a gigantic pile of toothpicks.” The paper made no mention of another great demolition — that of the stock market — which occurred two weeks earlier.