The Thinking 

St. Louis Institution Folds

January 18, 2013


 ALAN writes:

The second-oldest Catholic high school in St. Louis announced last week that it will close this year because of operating expenses and declining enrollment.  St. Elizabeth Academy for girls opened in 1882.  Today it has only 133 pupils.

There are still many decent people and beautiful old houses in the neighborhood around St. Elizabeth Academy. But that neighborhood is now poisoned (“enriched” in Orwellian Newspeak) by the presence of rappers, freelance thugs, arsonists, robbers, and militant agitators for queers.  None of them or anyone equivalent to them was there 50 years ago.

I suggest that they are the reasons for the declining enrollment that is causing St. Elizabeth Academy to go out of business.

The closure of this oasis of civility is another consequence of the permanent leftist Revolution whose Marxist, Communist, and Fabian Socialist engineers have always targeted the Catholic Church. Many other Catholic churches and schools in St. Louis were closed over the past decade.  The parochial school that I attended in the 1950s closed in 2005 and was promptly taken over by the diversity-and-multi-culti crowd.

As E. Michael Jones argued in The Slaughter of Cities, there are diabolical elements at work behind such developments that are seldom reported in the context-dropping mode preferred by the mass (mis)information industry.

There was once a popular German restaurant-tavern called the Bavarian Inn just four blocks down the street from St. Elizabeth Academy.  My aunt and uncle lived in that area.  On sunny Saturday afternoons in the 1950s, my father took his young son for leisurely walks along that street.  Midway between the two, we would walk into a confectionary where he would permit me to reach down into a large cooler and pull out a glass bottle of orange or grape soda dripping with ice-cold water.  Then we would sit on a ledge outside and drink our soda.

It was a peaceful, residential, working-class neighborhood.  As I recall, we never had to dodge any bullets.  Business was thriving at the Bavarian Inn, and so was enrollment at St. Elizabeth Academy.  “In recent years,” a St. Louis newspaper article reported in 1958, “it was evident that facilities were no longer adequate for academy needs or modern enough to keep pace with the school’s growth…”  That was why they opened a new school building that year.  By 1961, 540 pupils were enrolled.

The Bavarian Inn building is still there today, but it has been abandoned and boarded-up for more than ten years.

Over the past fifteen years and within a radius of ten blocks from St. Elizabeth Academy, men were robbed, beaten to death, shot to death, or struck by stray bullets, and eight instances of arson were attributed by police to a group of youths who set the fires for thrills.  After one man had a gun pointed at him in a robbery on a very busy street two blocks from St. Elizabeth’s, his father spoke to police and learned that people were being robbed frequently in that area.  Two robbers were caught in the act; they were black and told police they made a point of targeting whites and Asians.

Roosevelt High School is a public school that stands two blocks from St. Elizabeth Academy.  In 2005-’06, newspaper headlines reported “Four teenagers are shot near Roosevelt High”;  “High School Fracas” – about a fight between students;  “Roosevelt cancels homecoming dance– after still more fights between students;  and “Gangs plague troubled school” in which a conservative estimate had it that at least twenty gangs were represented among the students there, with names like “Bloods” and “Crips.”

What all those things have in common is that the perpetrators and disruptive students were black. There is no evidence that Roosevelt High School ever cancelled its homecoming dance in the years when 95 percent of its students were white and there were no gangs named “Bloods” or “Crips.”

On State exams in 2006, about two percent of Roosevelt’s thousand-plus students demonstrated proficiency in language and mathematics.  I wonder whether the girls at St. Elizabeth could top that.

A Woolworth’s dime store was once located three blocks from St. Elizabeth’s. It closed many years ago and the storefront was still vacant when I walked past it one day in 2006.  On one of its windows, some lout had scrawled the words “F— the troops.”

Tower Grove Park, an old and beautiful park, sits two blocks from St. Elizabeth Academy. Every year in June it is now the site of a “gay pride fest” which is preceded by a “gay pride parade” along the neighborhood’s busiest street; the parade begins outside a Catholic church, which of course is a calculated insult.

“I have always viewed 1959 as the summit of our postwar culture before the disaster of the 1960s…”, Lawrence Auster wrote eight years ago.

He and I are the same age and my judgment parallels his.  It has long been my impression that the late 1950s were an apex of American civilization.  Countless concrete examples of that could be named, like St. Elizabeth Academy, the Bavarian Inn, patriotic parades, decency in television entertainment, strong local neighborhoods and Catholic parishes, celebrations of Christmas in public buildings, proper enforcement of border and immigration laws, and cities that had not yet been surrendered to predators, parasites, and opportunists (e.g., Detroit, Washington, D.C., East St. Louis).

—- Comments —-


Jesse Powell writes:

Some statistical context might be helpful here.  I will give population indicators, racial indicators, and family indicators for St. Louis in 1950, 1980, and 2010 below.  All information comes from the 1950, 1980, and 2010 Census.

In 1950, Kansas City and St. Louis were the only major cities in Missouri.  St. Louis had a population of 857,000 (8th largest city in the nation) and Kansas City had a population of 457,000.  The third largest city was St. Joseph with 79,000 people.  The black population was 17.9 percent in St. Louis and 12.2 percent in Kansas City.  St. Louis had the highest ratio of black people in the state among places with more than 10,000 people.  Among whites in St. Louis 94.0 percent were native born (as opposed to foreign born).  Less than one of a 1,000 people in St. Louis were a race other than black or white (Hispanics being counted as white at that time).

In 1980, St. Louis had 453,000 people of whom 52.8 percent were white, 45.2 percent were black, 1.2 percent were Hispanic, and 0.7 percent were other races.

In 2010, St. Louis had 319,000 people (58th largest city in the nation) of whom 42.2 percent were white, 49.0 percent were black, 3.5 percent were Hispanic, 2.9 percent were Asian, and 2.1 percent were of mixed race.

Among the child population in St. Louis in 1950, 78.0 percent were white; 37.7 percent were white in 1980 and 24.0 percent were white in 2010.

Below is a table giving family indicators for St. Louis.

Definitions:  “MFR” stands for Married Families Ratio.  The Married Families Ratio is the proportion of all families with own children headed by a married couple.  “MPR” stands for Married Parents Ratio.  The Married Parents Ratio is the proportion of all own children who live with married parents.  In 1950 only the Married Families Ratio is available; for 1980 and 2010 both the Married Families Ratio and the Married Parents Ratio is available.  “White” is all whites in 1950; in 1980 it is non-Hispanic whites and in 2010 it is non-Hispanic white alone.  “Black” means all non-whites in 1950; for 1980 and 2010 blacks were separated into their own racial category.  Almost all non-whites were black in St. Louis in 1950.

Married Families Ratio and Married Parents Ratio by Race in St. Louis; 1950 to 2010

Total White Black
1950 MFR 89.3% 92.1% 74.9%

1980 MFR

56.4% 76.3% 38.3%
2010 MFR 40.2% 67.5% 21.5%
1980 MPR 55.0% 78.4% 37.7%
2010 MPR 40.4% 74.2% 22.2%

The St. Elizabeth Academy in the 2010 Census is in Census Tract 1165 in St. Louis.  This Census Tract had a population of 3,844 of whom 1,551 (40 percent) were white.  This Census Tract had 881 children of whom 183 (21 percent) were white.  The Married Parents Ratio of all children in this Census Tract was 39.8 percent; 20.6 percent among the black children and 73.8 percent among the white children.  These figures are quite close to the average for St. Louis as a whole so the area directly surrounding St. Elizabeth Academy appears to be representative of St. Louis as a whole.

Laura writes:

Catholics themselves are largely to blame for the closing of schools like St. Elizabeth’s because they stopped having children.

Jan 21, 2013

Will G. writes:

Since I live just outside of the city limits and I know St. Louis well, I have read Alan’s posts with interest.  I am 45 years old and these neighborhoods have generally been in decline since I can remember.  They were actually worse in the early 1980s before gentrification set in although the depravity of the crime was probably not as bad as it is now.  Now they are a mixture of beautifully restored homes occupied by homosexuals and their fellow travelers or tenements filled with scary people.   Neither of these demographics bodes well for the health of the city.   The functioning families live elsewhere where it is safe but they are surrounded with box stores that are useful but soul crunching.  This angers me because the architecture in St. Louis is beautiful and interesting even on modest homes and tenements.  Why do we have to give it up?  Allowing people to use their property tax money to choose their own school through some type of voucher would give a realistic chance for families to return in the numbers needed to make a difference in the quality of people.  There are beautiful pockets of neighborhoods that you can live in without too much physical fear but then you have to raise your children around people who you morally oppose on almost every area of life.
At church this weekend the pastor placed this excerpt in the bulletin that made me think of Alan’s post.
“I feel so strongly at the end of my life that nothing can happen to us in any circumstances that is not part of God’s purpose for us. Therefore, we have nothing to fear, nothing to worry about, except that we should rebel against His purpose, that we should fail to detect it and fail to establish some sort of relationship with Him and His divine will. On that basis, there can be no black despair, no throwing in of our hand. We can watch the institutions and social structures of our time collapse – and I think you who are young are fated to watch them collapse – and we can reckon with what seems like an irresistably growing power of materialism and materialist societies. But, it will not happen that that is the end of the story. As St. Augustine said – and I love to think of it when he received the news in Carthage that Rome had been sacked: Well, if that’s happened, it’s a great catastrophe, but we must never forget that the earthly cities that men build they destroy, but there is also the City of God which men didn’t build and can’t destroy. And he devoted the next seventeen years of his life to working out the relationship between the earthly city and the City of God – the earthly city where we live for a short time, and the City of God whose citizens we are for all eternity.”
-excerpt from The Great Liberal Death Wish Malcolm Muggeridge 1979

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