Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
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Rockwell, Iowa, 1908

The Sacred Heart Academy, situated in Rockwell, is one of the most important educational institutions in this part of Iowa. It was erected in 1900, during the pastorate of Rev. Father Lawrence H. BURNS, who is at the head of its management, Rev. Father J. J. CLUNE assisting. The location of the academy is ideal, for it is upon the highest elevation in the town, this being toward the northern boundary. Its construction is extremely substantial, the walls being built of brick, a tier of solid ones outside and backed by hollow ones, which insure its being very warm and dry. It is three stories high and has a basement besides, and is one hundred and ten feet long by sixty feet wide. In the center of the main building towards the back is a wing thirty three by thirty-eight feet, with an eighteen foot ceiling, which is to be used as a chapel. Toward the extreme outer ends are two stairways, each seventeen by fifteen feet.

The height of the basement is eight feet; the first story twelve feet; the second story eleven feet; and the third story ten feet. The basement is used for fuel, boiler and storage rooms and also for the kitchen, dining room, laundry, pantry and so forth. The first floor is used exclusively for school purposes, here being found the school and music rooms and the living rooms for the sisters. Upon the second floor are to be found the quarters of the sisters, and dormitories and the like. The third story is a large hall, supplied with numerous dormer windows and suitable for entertainments and exercises of various sorts and also as dormitories for pupils. In front of the building is a tower surmounted by a cross, from the top of which to the ground is a distance of eighty feet.

The academy was built at a cost of twenty-five thousand dollars and presents a handsome and imposing appearance and will be an enduring monument to the courage and persistent energy of Rev. Father Lawrence H. BURNS and to the self-sacrificing devotion of the many members of the parish who contributed so liberally towards the funds which made it possible.

The Sacred Heart Academy enjoys a wide reputation and students are enrolled from various sections of the United States. The curriculum qualifies a graduate to enter the freshman class of the state university. The sisters who constituted the teaching force are exceptionally well versed in the respective branches and whole community has been elevated by the influence of the institution.

SOURCE: WHEELER, J. H. History of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910.
Submission by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011



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