The Christian Brothers came to St. Joseph around 1859, not long after the first arrival of the Brothers in America. St. Joseph at this time was a frontier town, whose one contact with western civilization was the Pony Express. The gold rush had made the business in St. Joseph flourish, and the need for education was a tangible example in the city's expansion.
The original school building was built at 13th and Henry Streets, but the Brothers were unable to commence classes until 1867, since, during the Civil War, the building was used to quarter, alternatively, both Union and Confederate troops. The school was opened on September 5, 1867. The first faculty of Christian Brothers High School was comprised of Brothers Noah, Director, Aurelian of Jesus, Sub-Director, Alarinus of Mary and Abbonian. The first commencement was held in 1869.