Discover how John A. Logan went from small-town lawyer to vice-presidential candidate and before his death to presidential hopeful.

Museum Exhibits

General John A. Logan Museum’s permanent exhibits chronicle Logan’s life from his birth in 1826 in rural Southern Illinois to his death in Washington D.C. The exhibits fill six rooms and are divided into four themes.
Young Logan

Focuses on how, not just his parents, but also his residence in “Egypt” (as Southern Illinois was then known) created his ambitions and influenced his beliefs concerning race and politics. It chronicles his courtship and marriage to Mary Cunningham, 12 years his junior. It was not just her beauty that attracted Logan, but her intellect. She became his true partner in business and politics.

Logan The Democrat

Tells the story of how Logan embraced his Jacksonian Democratic roots and of his ten year rise from County Clerk of Jackson County to Illinois Representative to U. S. Congressman from Illinois’ Ninth Congressional District. By this time the Democratic “Donkey” was already well known thanks to an 1837 political cartoon by Henry R. Robinson featuring Andrew Jackson. (Tennessee Virtual Archive).

The Civil War

“The Civil War” chronicles Logan’s rise from a Colonel leading the 31st Illinois Infantry Regiment to a Major General commanding the Army of the Tennessee. It also tells the story of his wife Mary and her struggles as a “soldier’s wife.” In addition, this section follows the evolution of his personal and political beliefs concerning slavery and the war.

Logan The Republican

“Logan the Republican” follows Logan’s return to politics as a Republican, his involvement in President Johnson’s impeachment, and his creation of Memorial Day as a national holiday. It also covers his failed 1884 Vice Presidential campaign, which was plagued by allusions to his racist past despite Frederick Douglass’ endorsement. In July 1884 Puck Magazine which supported the Democratic Party published this political cartoon titled “John A. Logan in 1859” to remind voters of Logan’s pre-Civil War attitudes. (Logan Museum Collections). It concludes with Logan’s sudden death in 1886. At his death he was considered by some politicians to be the Republican Party’s presumptive 1888 Presidential nominee.

Did You Know?

The museum also hosts temporary exhibits examining the Civil War and its effect on everyday life and politics well into the 20th century. All of the museum’s exhibits are accompanied by related artifacts which provide a touchstone to the past. These artifacts come not just from the Museum’s collection but also on loan from the Illinois State Military Museum in Springfield.


Bullar House


In 1900 Christopher Columbus, born 1852 in Tennessee, and Anna, born 1862 Ohio, Bullar owned their home at 1613 Edith. largest of four homes.

Chris and Anna were married in Murphysboro in 1879. While this nine-room house is the largest of the three homes the Bullars filled it up. They shared their home with nine children, ranging in age from 19 to four months, and a lodger. Chris was a stone mason, his oldest son a day-laborer and three of the children went to school. Anna had given birth to eleven children only nine of whom survived.

The General John A. Logan Museum is now located in the Bullar House which features a new 1600 square foot addition. Exhibits on the first floor tell the story of General John A. Logan through photographs, portraits, maps, political memorabilia, Logan family heirlooms , and Civil War weapons. The second floor is used as admirative offices.

Sheley House


John W. Sheley, a day laborer, born 1851, and his wife Harriet, born 1849, rented the five room Sheley House at 1609 Edith at the beginning of the 20th century.

Born in St. Clair County, Illinois the Sheleys married in 1876. They shared their home with their six children Frank (22), Bernard (21), Myrtle (18), Blanche (15), Louisa (10) and Mary (9). The two boys were newspaper men, the older being and editor and the younger a compositor. Myrtle helped her mother with housework and the three youngest were in school. The Sheley family was fortunate in having lost only one child. Sheley House is in the process of being restored to a 1900 milliners home shop. It is not yet open to the public.

Hughes House


In 1900 Civil Engineer William F. Hughes, his wife Hallie lived in their mortgaged home at 1603 Edith Street. William, born 1852 Tennessee, and Hallie, born 1853 Ohio, married in 1878 in Carbondale. Sharing their home were their sons George (18) who worked as a day-laborer and Frank (15) who was still in school. The Hughes had lost two children one of who was their first-born daughter Stella.

The interior of the Hughes is used to house print making facilities and is open to the public by appointment.

Dalton House


Samuel H. Dalton was born a slave in November 1839. When he was freed under the Emancipation Proclamation, Dalton enlisted in the Union Navy and was assigned to the U.S.S. Juliet, a gunboat patrolling the Mississippi River. After the war, he moved to Cairo, Illinois, and then to Carbondale, Illinois, where he married his first wife, Mary Stanton, in 1870.

Sometime around 1887, he moved to Murphysboro and purchased this small home for $150 from the John A. Logan estate. In October 1891 Dalton became a charter member of the Murphysboro Post #728 (colored) of the Grand Army of the Republic. Dalton married his second wife, Lumisa Hall, in this house in 1892. The small home was shared by the Daltons, Lumisa’s sister, and brother-in-law, and two small nephews at the turn of the 20th century.” The home is in the process of being restored by the museum. Assisting the museum in this project are local Eagle scouts. In 1996 local sixth-grade students participated in an archaeological dig on the Dalton house grounds as part of the museum’s Kids Dig It educational program.

General Birthplace Site


The Logan family’s two-story home was located on the museum grounds from 1824 until it burned in 1868. General John A. Logan was born in this house in 1826. Archaeologists from Southern Illinois University, aided by local sixth-grade students, excavated about 20 percent of the home’s foundation in 2000. Excavations began again in 2017 in a covered area and may be viewed by museum visitors.

Bostick Cemetery


To visit the Bostick Cemetery…take Hwy 127 south from Murphysboro. Turn right on Orchard Hills Road and follow the Shawnee Wine Trail. The cemetery is located on the left, on a private lane about 1/4 mile past the Murdale water tower.

In December 1865 Dudley Bostick, Hardin Bostick, and Issac Morgan arrived in Murphysboro and established the city’s African-American community. All three men were former slaves and had become friends after joining the Union Navy on Emancipation Day (January 1, 1863) at Memphis, Tennessee, and being assigned to the U.S.S. General Bragg, a steamer in the Mississippi Squadron of the U.S. Navy. Stephen Bostick, Hardin’s brother and also a Bragg crew member, joined them by January 1866.

The Bosticks, all from Williamson County, Tennessee, became successful farmers and established a loose knit community, the Bostick Settlement, about 51/2 miles southeast of Murphysboro. This community grew and prospered and attracted other related families from Williamson County. In time the Bostick Settlement had its own school, church, and cemetery.

When denied membership in Murphysboro’s Worthen Post #127 Grand Army of the Republic, the Bosticks became charter members of Murphysboro’s Grand Army of the Republic Post No. 727 (Colored). By 1900 Post No. 727 had disbanded and its members integrated with Post No.127 where Stephen Bostick would even serve as an officer as the aging Civil War veterans realized that there was more that connect the old comrades than separated them. All that remains to testify to these pioneering families is their cemetery.

Pat's Prairie


Pat’s Prairie is a Native Illinois wildflower prairie and a nationally certified wildlife habitat with over 40 different varieties of native blooming plants. These plants would have been found in the mid-1800s in the small prairies that existed in some areas of Jackson County. The prairie is designed to have blooms from spring to late fall. It is also a haven for butterflies and a large variety of bees. The prairie is dedicated in honor of Pat Searcy who was a Carbondale teacher and a very active volunteer at the museum.

Video Tour
General John A Logan is here to give you a personal tour of his museum telling stories of the adventures of his early years, his service in the Civil War and his amazing political life.
John A. Logan videos featured by our friends of Visit Murphysboro and Illinois Adventure TV.