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  My name is Karen Allison and I am the County Coordinator for the Jackson County, Illinois Genealogy web site.  This site is part of the Illinois GenWeb Project which is a part of the USGenWeb Project. 

  The mission of Jackson County ILGenWeb is to provide free genealogical and historical resources for our area. Jackson County ILGenWeb is brought to you 100% by volunteers. In order for Jackson County ILGenWeb to continue to grow we rely on data contributions from researchers like you. All of the contributions you provide to this project will forever remain with the Jackson County ILGenWeb and USGenWeb Project.

  Jackson County was organized on January 10, 1816 from Johnson and Randolph Counties.  It was named for Andrew Jackson, whose army of Tennessee and Kentucky volunteers defeated an invading British force of 7,500 men in the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812.

  Jackson County is located in the south-western part of Illinois.  It is bounded on the north by Perry County, on the east by Franklin and Williamson Counties, on the south by Union County, on the south-west by the Mississippi River which divides the state of Illinois from Missouri, and on the north-west by Randolph County.

  The county seat is Murphysboro. The original county seat and courthouse were located along the Big Muddy River at Brownsville. 

     "On the night of the 10th of January 10, 1843, the court house was discovered to be on fire; the flames spread so rapidly that nothing could be saved.  All of the books, papers and records were destroyed, except perhaps one or two small books that were not in the court house at the time.

     “On the 13th of January, 1843, the county commissioners met to make arrangements for the purchasing of new books, and they empowered the clerk, D. H. Brush, to purchase such books as were necessary to carry on the county business.

     "Soon after this, there was a movement among the people of the county to select another place for a county seat, so on the first day of August, 1843, Murphysboro was chosen and located."

     “When the courthouse at Brownsville was destroyed by fire on the night of the 10th of January, 1843, the people of the county took legal steps to have the count seat removed to some other place, so commissioners were appointed by the county commissioners court to select the site of the proposed town.  William C. MURPHY, Samuel RUSSELL and John COCHRAN were the men that were appointed to perform that duty.  They reported that ‘after due examination of several places, a site was chose, situated on land belonging to Dr. John Logan.’  Dr. John Logan donated twenty acres for the town plat. 

     "The location was made permanent on the first day of August 1843. The land was laid off into lots and streets with a central square for the use of the county for buildings.  The county commissioners had the plat recorded and proceeded to sell lots.  The town was named after one of the commissioners, Murphy's Borough, but the name was, by common consent, joined into one word, the apostrophe and the last three letters dropped, and spelled Murphysboro.”

Source: Historical Sketches of Jackson County, Illinois, E. Newsome, Publisher, Carbondale, ILL, 1894

  This site is under construction at the present time.  Please return often to see what new information has been added.  If you have any information you would like to donate to this site, please do so. 

   In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the site, please do not hesitate to contact me.  You can email me by clicking on the red mailbox below.