1868 St. Joseph’s Elementary was established by laymen in 1868. German-speaking children were taught.
1878 Three LaCrosse Franciscans succeeded the lay teachers in 1878. They began with two classrooms and more than one hundred pupils. Children who lived a distance from the school were boarders with the Sisters.
1900 At the turn of the century, the seventy-five-cents per month tuition was discontinued. Henceforth, the parish would pay all school expenses.
1913 The frame four-room high school building constructed in 1886 was enlarged in 1913, used as a grade school, and razed in 1930 to make room for a new elementary and high school building dedicated that year.
1957 Toward the end of the 1950’s a movement to provide better education opportunities for the Catholic high school age students resulted in a number of consolidations in the Dubuque Archdioceses. On July 3, 1956, pastors of the parishes surrounding St. Joseph’s, Bellevue, held a preliminary meeting to discuss the concept of a central Catholic high school to be opened in the fall of 1957.
The official incorporation of Marquette Catholic School became effective on September 25, 1956. Overseeing the corporation were Archbishop Leo Binz, Monsignor George Biskup as Archdiocesan Vicar General, Father Frederick C. Bahning as Executive Coordinator and two laity Matthew Manders of Bellevue and Reinhold Steines, Sr. of Springbrook. The initial members of the Council of Administration included the pastors of Sts. Peter and Paul’s, Springbrook, St. John’s, Andrew, St. Joseph’s, Bellevue, St. Catherine’s, St. Donatus, St. Peter’s, Sabula and Sacred Heart, Green Island.
January 17, 1957, St. Joseph’s parish made available lot 451, formally part of the playground of St. Joseph’s School, for the site of the Marquette building. A one story, brick and glass structure of simple design was planned. Ground was broken for the new building in April 1957. Construction of Marquette Catholic School was completed by October 1957 at a total cost of $199,523. Archbishop Leo Binz dedicated and blessed Marquette Catholic School before a large crowd of parishioners, students, and local dignitaries on October 27, 1957.
The first faculty at the Marquette High School were comprised of Archdiocesan priests and the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Father Frederick C. Bahning of St. Joseph’s, Bellevue and Father William J. Tiedeman were full-time teachers and Father Richard R. Krapfl of St. Catherine’s, Father Peter M. Graff of St. Donatus and Father Ivan J Boyd of St. Peter’s, Sabula and Sacred Heart, Green Island were part-time teachers.
Sister Mary Georgiana Blum was named the first principal of Marquette. Sister Mary Gerardine Bos, Sister Mary Maristelle Massman, Sister Mary Jolene Heue, Sister Mary Rosannita Menke and Sister Mary Edna Wagner made up the rest of the faculty. Enrollment at Marquette varied greatly through the years. One hundred eighty-nine were enrolled the first year. When the Holy Rosary High School in LaMotte closed in 1965, the Marquette Corporation was reorganized to include Holy Rosary parish. As a result, enrollment at Marquette Catholic School increased to 266 plus two
lay teachers and three religious sisters were added to the faculty. The highest enrollment recorded at Marquette Catholic School was 318 students in 1972.
1964 A ten room building was added in 1964 for use by the elementary school.
1973 St. Joseph’s Elementary School became part of the consolidated K-12 school, Bellevue Area Catholic Consolidated School, in 1973.
1988 A new pitched roof was added to the high school during the summer of 1988. A gable was also added to the north
1996 On December 10, 1996, the Marquette Educational Center (MEC) opened its doors. The gymnasium is part of the Lynch Auditorium, which was named after Fr. Mick Lynch, and includes a stage and four locker rooms. Fr. Mick Lynch, a former principal and a long-time Marquette supporter, along with his father, matched 10% of the money raised by the end of 1998, up to $1,000,000. The new center also featured an ICN – Iowa Communications Network room that allowed students to attend college accredited courses via video conferencing. The capital campaign, named Commitment to Our Future, raised $900,000 with major support from the community as a whole. Prism, of Keiler, Wisconsin, was the general contractor with help from over fifty students and parents.
2003 Marquette Catholic School and St. Joseph’s Elementary School together formed the Bellevue Area Catholic School System which was renamed the Marquette Catholic School System in 2003.
2015 A new high school building was added to the west side of the existing high school building thanks to the generous donation of a few families. In addition the St. Joseph’s middle school was razed by Schroeder Construction, and the middle school moved into the existing high school building that had also received improvements and renovations that same summer.
2017 This year saw the conclusion of the Father Kruse Parish Center and the Trinity Center (combination lunchroom/practice gym) which connected the elementary building to the middle and high schools.
Check out the following links to learn more about the school’s history: