The history of Holy Name School began in September, 1891, only ten months after the establishment of the parish by the Reverend Louis G. Deppen. In the summer of 1891 a one room mud floor structure, financed by Father's family, was erected by a parishioner. At the pastor's request to the Nazareth Motherhouse, two Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Sisters Irmina and Prisca, arrived in September to undertake the education of an advanced group and a beginning group of students. The Sisters, having no convent, lived at Saint Joseph Infirmary located in the four hundred block of Fourth Street, and they traveled by street car everyday.
Enrollment grew gradually. By 1900 the school numbered ninety-six; a third Sister arrived and the school was graded - upper, intermediate and primary. 1901 marked the first graduating class, two girls, Clara Junker and Christine Eberney.
Father O'Connor, already pastor for seven years, saw the need of a new school, which was erected in 1902. Until 1912 when the church was erected, only the lower floor of school was used for classrooms, the upper floor, an auditorium, became a temporary church during the ten intervening years.
In 1903 a commercial department was added which graduated some six hundred students before its discontinuance in 1932.
By 1920 the faculty had grown to ten, but it would not be until 1927 that the Sisters would occupy their first parish home at Fourth and Heywood. During the period. of 1920-1940 the school had been expanding rapidly each year. At Father O'Connor's death in 1931 the student body exceeded five hundred. Extra Sisters were pleaded for since each class numbered from seventy to one hundred. Enrollment reached eight hundred sixty in October of 1931.
In 1932, with the arrival of a new pastor, Father Timoney, improvements began to take place immediately.
Additional classrooms were added, tuition was eliminated with the introduction of the budget envelope system. More Sisters were requested and obtained. The first two lay teachers were hired and the faculty totaled sixteen. A cafeteria was opened by Mrs. Ruth Karcher.
Graduation classes at this time numbered in the eighties, first communicants about one hundred twenty-five.
Holy Name's first music teacher arrived in 1934, to bring the faculty to twenty. Enrollment this year reached its peak, nine hundred thirty-four. An overflow class had to be housed in the church sacristy. The enrollment decreased somewhat after 1938 with the opening of daughter parishes in South Louisville.
Holy Name remained among the larger parochial schools of Louisville during the 1940's. The faculty numbered close to twenty. During the 1940's and '50's enrollment fluctuated between six and seven hundred, the primary grades remaining near the hundred mark. The enrollment in the 1960's remained near five hundred. In 1965 the faculty numberd fourteen classroom teachers, a music teacher and a full-time principal.
With the economic recession of the 70's and 80's, increased educational costs, and changing demographics, Holy Name School experienced dramatic decreases in enrollments. After 101 years of educational service to the children of the South Louisville, the school closed in May,1992 with a enrollment of fewer than 70 students.
It is with great pride in the 101 years of its existence that Holy Name School can boast of having graduated over 4000 young adults from elementary school, six hundred from commercial classes, and given education in Christian living to an average of five hundred students each year.
The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth have given some two hundred Sisters to the task of educating Holy Name students during this time. This, in addition to a well qualified team of lay teachers in recent years, has made it possible for Holy Name students to receive an excellent course of studies by a group of trained teachers educated in the modern methods of teaching.
Today, these men and women owe their life successes to the dedication,
strength, and courage of the priest and the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.