Walther High in River Forest

Walther Lutheran High School has been on Chicago Avenue and Ninth Avenue in Melrose Park since the late fall of 1954.

However, from September 1954 until the middle of November 1954, while construction on the Walther building was being completed, Walther students were going to school in River Forest.

Freshmen were the first group to enter Walther. They had some classes in the Sunshine Room at Grace Lutheran School, on Division Street in River Forest. They also attended chapel and other classes in the basement of Mary Martha Hall on the campus of Concordia University.

From what I have been told, about 115 students attended Grace-Walther/Concordia at this time. When the school opened in Melrose Park, all of the students from River Forest Walther went to the permanent campus in Melrose Park.

I wish to thank Verna Offermann and Judy Kerns, Grace Church staff members for helping me with fact verification for this item.

Bishop Quarter in Oak Park

Bishop Quarter Junior Military Academy stood on the southwest corner of East and Lake in Oak Park. It was housed in the building that had once been Oak Park and River Forest High School.

The academy served both boarding and day students and it was operated by nuns. It was said by some people that a few students at Bishop Quarter had been expelled from public or parochial schools.

Be that as it may, Richard – the neighbor kid who harassed me when I was a patrol boy (earlier column) – ended up at Bishop Quarter for his eighth grade year. Richard said that the nuns were mean, and he claimed that he was frequently paddled. But, of course, the nuns picked only on him, according to his stories.

The school closed in 1968.

John Stanger, a Dear Old Oak Parker, is a 1957 graduate of OPRF High School and a lifelong resident of the village. He is married, has three grown children, and an English professor at Elmhurst College. Living 2 miles from where he grew up, he hasn’t gotten far in 69 years.

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