Jackson County was important in the early affairs of the state. Strategically located upon the Mississippi River and bisected by a significant tributary of the Father of Waters, the County had rich resources of forest, coal, and farmland. Railroads came to the County early in their development with the state and linked it to other growing communities.”

“Central to the history of Jackson County has been its seat of government, first at Brownsville upon the Big Muddy River, and then a short distance upstream at a more strategic location at Murphysboro. From its founding, Murphysboro has been significant in the history of its region. It has had importance industrially and in transportation by river, rail, and highway. Unlike many communities, it has provided a series of political figures for state and national legislative bodies; a tradition that continues to the present. “

On February 27, 1843, the Illinois General Assembly passed an act appointing a commission to locate a new county seat for Jackson County after the courthouse in Brownsville was destroyed by fire. The commission reported on August 17, 1843, that they had selected the site offered by Dr. John Logan. On December 7, 1843, the county sold its first lots in the new county seat of Murphysboro.

Coal became an economic factor for Murphysboro very early. The first coal mine in Illinois opened in 1810 along the banks of the Big Muddy River. This industry had a profound influence on the population expansion and economic growth of the community for many years.

Excerpts taken from “A History of Murphysboro, Illinois” by Woodson W. Fishback

logan_famThe Gen. John A. Logan Museum and Interpretive Center, located at 1613 Edith Street in Murphysboro, displays the life and times of Murphysboro native John A. Logan, a famous General during the Civil War. Logan also founded Decoration (Memorial) Day. The interpretive center features living history reenactors, allowing visitors to experience a personal glimpse of life as it was in the 1800s. Includes museum, archaeology site, African American Civil War veteran home, and special programs and events throughout the year. Weekends 1 to 4 pm. Tours by appointment. Admission: Adults, $1; Children, 50 cents. For more information, Call (618) 684-3455 or (800) 228-0429, ext. 3006, item #9083.