John Mc Elroy, founder of St. John’s Literary Institution, is born in Euniskillen, Ireland. He immigrated to America at the age of twenty-one, settling first in Baltimore, Maryland, then in Washington, D.C., where he entered the Jesuit Order at Georgetown.
Father McElroy founds Saint John's in Frederick with the Society of Jesus (who also founded the first free school for black children in Washington D.C., and founded Boston College in 1865). Charter of St. John's Literary Institution is obtained from Maryland State Legislature.
The School Sisters of Notre Dame were no longer able to staff the school, so a group of dedicated parents and parishioners pool their energies and resources to keep the school open. St. John's opens as the first independent Catholic School in Maryland.