About Jackson County

The Heart of Southern Illinois

Jackson County was incorporated January 10, 1816 and was named for Andrew Jackson, who had just defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans.

Shortly after the American Civil WarGeneral John A. Logan led a parade of veterans from Murphysboro to Carbondale, Illinois. General Logan, a Union veteran, invited the Confederate veterans, of which there were many in Jackson County, to march with him. Thus, what might have been another celebration of the Union victory became a memorial to the war dead on both sides. This is one version of the origin of the Memorial Day holiday.

According to the 2010 census, Jackson County has a population of 60,329, which is an increase of 1.0% from 59,612 in 2000. Its county seat is Murphysboro; its most populous city is Carbondale, home to the main campus of Southern Illinois University.

Jackson County is home to several lakes and recreation areas including the Crab Orchard National Wildlife RefugeMurphysboro LakeCedar LakeKinkaid Lake and the Shawnee National Forest. Outdoor recreation doesn’t stop there golf courses and wineries also offer a fantastic opportunity to get outdoors and have some fun.