Murphysboro is a city in and the county seat of Jackson County, Illinois, United States. The population was 7,970 at the 2010 census. The city is part of the Metro Lakeland area. The Mayor of Murphysboro is Will Stephens. The government consists of the Mayor and 10 city alderman.
Established in September 1843, Murphysboro is the second county seat of Jackson County. Its birth is tied to the disastrous fire that destroyed the courthouse in the first county seat, Brownsville. The fire proved to be the catalyst to move the county seat to a more central location. The name was decided for the new town when William C. Murphy’s name was drawn from a hat containing the names of the three commissioners who chose the new location, a tract of land donated by Dr. John Logan and Elizabeth Logan. Logan County, Illinois is named after Dr. Logan.
The son of the site's donors, Major General John A. Logan, later became a volunteer general in the Civil War. General Logan is also remembered for a distinguished political career, serving as Illinois’ US Senator, as well as for running for Vice President in 1884. At the time of his death he was considered a presidential hopeful. Logan’s greatest legacy, however, is his creation of Memorial Day as a national holiday.
234 people were killed when the Tri-State Tornado hit Murphysboro on March 18, 1925. Murphysboro was essentially destroyed. Another F5 affected the area on December 18, 1957, the latest tornado of that strength recorded during a year.
On May 8, 2009 a derecho windstorm destroyed houses, brought down power lines, and left the town without electricity for a week. The surrounding woodlands and recreational trails were heavily impacted.