Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois (also known as "Little Egypt") is the southern third of the state of Illinois. The southern part of Illinois has a unique cultural and regional history. Part of downstate Illinois, the Southern Illinois region is bordered by the two most voluminous rivers in the United States: the Mississippi River and its connecting Missouri River to the west, and the Ohio River to the east and south with the Wabash as tributary.

Southern Illinois' most populated city is Belleville at 44,478. Other principal cities include Alton, Centralia, Collinsville, Edwardsville, Effingham, O'Fallon, Harrisburg, Herrin, Mt. Vernon, Marion, and Carbondale, where the main campus of Southern Illinois University is located. Residents may also travel to amenities in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Memphis, and Nashville, Tennessee; Evansville, Indiana; and Paducah, Kentucky. The region is home to Scott Air Force Base, a major military installation.

The area has a population of 1.2 million people,[1] who live mostly in rural towns and cities separated by extensive farmland and the Shawnee National Forest. The two higher density areas of population are Metro-East (pop. 700,000+), which is the partly industrialized Illinois portion of the St. Louis Metropolitan Area, and the Carbondale-Marion-Herrin, Illinois Combined Statistical Area, centered on Carbondale and Marion, a two-county area that is home to 123,272 residents.

The first European settlers were French colonists in the part of their North American empire called Illinois Country. Later settlers migrated from the Upland South of the United States, traveling by the Ohio River. The region was affiliated with the southern agricultural economy, based on enslaved African Americans as workers on major plantations, and rural culture. Some settlers owned slaves before the territory was organized and slavery was prohibited. Many areas developed an economy based on coal mining. Except for the counties in the St. Louis MSA, much of Southern Illinois is still culturally affiliated with the Mid-South: Western Kentucky, Southwestern Indiana, West Tennessee, and the Missouri Bootheel. The people speak with similar accents throughout this area. Southern Illinois, the earliest settled and once the wealthiest part of Illinois, is known for its rich history and the abundance of antebellum architecture remaining in its small towns and cities.

St Louis night expblend
St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area extends into Illinois, giving Southern Illinois its most populated region known as Metro East
Southern Illinois
Little Egypt
Marion, Illinois
Marion, Illinois
Counties of Southern Illinois. In red are the counties usually included, in pink are counties sometimes included.
Counties of Southern Illinois. In red are the counties usually included, in pink are counties sometimes included.
Country United States
State Illinois
Largest cityBelleville
1.2 million


Early history

The earliest inhabitants of Illinois are thought to have arrived about 12,000 BC. They were indigenous hunter-gatherers, but they also developed a primitive system of agriculture. After AD 1000, the production of agricultural surpluses resulted in the development of complex, hierarchical societies. With the rise of the Mississippian culture in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys, tribal leaders organized thousands of workers to build complex urban areas featuring numerous large earthworks – pyramidal, ridgetop and conical mounds used for religious, political and ceremonial purposes. Cahokia, located within the boundaries of present-day Collinsville, Illinois, was the major regional center of this culture. It contains the largest prehistoric earthworks in the Americas, and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mound builders' culture seems to have collapsed between AD 1400–1500. The Mississippians had abandoned Cahokia long before the first European explorers arrived.[2]

The Illinois tribes, for whom the state is named, and other historic tribes migrated to Southern Illinois around AD 1500. Archeologists say they were not descendants of the earlier inhabitants; they spoke an Algonquian language of Miami-Illini, shared in dialects among neighboring regional tribes. They had likely migrated from eastern areas, where Algonquian-language tribes emerged along the Atlantic Coast and waterways. The Illini left numerous artifacts, including burial sites, burned-out campfires along the bases of bluffs, pottery, flint implements, and weapons. Structures built by them include stone forts or "pounds". Visitors can see a stone fort in Giant City State Park near Makanda. At least eight other such structures are known in the region.[2]

Illinois Country

Fort de Chartres powder magazine 1-02Aug07
The French Fort de Chartres' powder magazine, restored, is thought to be the oldest standing building in Illinois. Constructed out of limestone in 1756.

In about 1673, French explorers from Quebec became the first Europeans to reach Illinois. The French named the area Illinois after the Indians who had welcomed them. The French explored the Mississippi River, establishing outposts and seeking a route to the Pacific Ocean and the Far East. As increasing Indian unrest and warfare began in Northern Illinois over the lucrative fur trade along the Great Lakes, the French concentrated on building outposts in Southern Illinois. The earliest European settlers were concentrated along the Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash rivers, which provided easy routes for travel and trade. The settlements including Cahokia town, Kaskaskia and Chartres became important market villages and supply depots between Canada and the French ports on the lower Mississippi River. Other important early outposts in Southern Illinois were at Old Shawneetown and Fort Massac on the Ohio River.[2]

After defeating the French in the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War) and signing the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the English ruled the Great Lakes region. At the time, many French settlers moved from towns on the eastern side of the Mississippi to the western side, which was ruled by Spain after the war. It took over all the Louisiana Territory west of the river.[2] During the American Revolutionary War, the Southern Illinois area was the scene of the best known campaign in what was then the American west, when Virginians sought to occupy it against the British.

American settlers

Shawneetown bank
The Bank of Illinois in Shawneetown, built in 1839–1841, shown in 1937

European-American settlers were initially slow to arrive in Illinois after the United States victory in the American Revolutionary War. By 1800, fewer than 2,000 European Americans lived in Illinois. Soon more settlers came from the backwoods areas of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas. These early settlers were mostly of English, German, and Scots-Irish descent.[2]

In 1787, the federal government included Illinois in the Northwest Territory, an unorganized area that included present-day Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Slavery was prohibited in this area, but for some time, slaveholders already in the area were allowed to keep their chattel property. As the areas became more populated with European Americans, they could be admitted as states to the Union. Illinois became a part of the Indiana Territory in 1800. Illinois settlers wanted more control over their own affairs and Illinois became a separate territory in 1809. It was admitted as a free state in 1818. In late 1811 and early 1812, the New Madrid earthquakes struck the region as one of the largest successions of earthquakes, including the most intensive ever indirectly inferred (not recorded) in the contiguous United States.[2]

The first bank to be chartered in Illinois was located at Old Shawneetown in 1816. The first building used solely to house a bank in Illinois was built in 1840 in Old Shawneetown and was used until the 1920s. The Old Shawneetown State Bank has been restored as an historical site. Crops of cotton and tobacco were grown in the extreme southern region of Illinois. Cotton was grown mostly for the home weaver, but during the Civil War, cotton was also grown for export, as the regular supply of cotton from the South was not available. Enough tobacco was grown to make it a profitable crop for export. Both crops have been succeeded by other agricultural commodities.[2]

19th century turbulence

Belleville around the start of the 20th century.

A feud between families in Williamson County, called the Bloody Vendetta, lasted nearly ten years and took many lives. In all, 495 assaults with a deadly weapon were committed and 285 murders took place in Williamson County between 1839 and 1876. This was unusual, as crime was almost non-existent in Illinois during its frontier years prior to this period of lawlessness.[2]

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln ran for the U.S. Senate against Stephen A. Douglas. A debate was held in seven towns in Illinois, one being near Jonesboro. Many of the people living in Southern Illinois were first- or second-generation Southerners. Cairo, Illinois, at the southern tip where the Ohio River joins the Mississippi, was of strategic importance. On either side of the rivers were states which, despite remaining in the Union, had numerous residents who were sympathetic to the South. Some leaders in this area had been active in the Knights of the Golden Circle, which proposed a southern pan-Caribbean confederation based on slave states and nations.

The outbreak of the American Civil War drew from the mixed loyalties in this region, and some residents enlisted in the Confederate Army. In June 1861, 34 men from the Southern Illinois counties of Williamson and Jackson traveled to western Tennessee and became part of Company G of the 15th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry, according to "Illinois Rebels – A Civil War Unit History of G Company, 15th Tennessee Regiment Volunteer Infantry" by Ed Gleeson (1996, Guild Press of Indiana, 435 Gradle Drive, Carmel, Indiana 46032). Southern Illinois's most famous role was launching the career of Ulysses S Grant as commander of the District of Cairo. The Union Army used Cairo to stage its expeditions into the border states of Missouri and Kentucky, and the Confederate states of Tennessee and Mississippi.

20th century

Coal mining became an important industry in Southern Illinois around the start of the 20th century, with cities such as Harrisburg prospering, having a population of 16,000 people during the 1920s.[3] Union miners all over the nation went on strike in 1922; during this period, 24 men were killed during a riot in Herrin, in Williamson County. It was called the Herrin Massacre, and the county was known as Bloody Williamson for years to come.[2]

The Shelton Brothers Gang and Charles Birger gangs operated in Southern Illinois in the 1920s during Prohibition. Shoot-outs between these and other rival gangsters and with law enforcement officers were common. After being convicted of ordering the murder of the mayor of West City, the leader of the Birger gang, Charlie Birger, was hanged in 1928. In 1925 the Tri-State Tornado was the deadliest on record, devastating the city of Murphysboro and killing 234 people, the most in a single city in U.S. history.[2]

The Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930s caused coal miners to lose their jobs as most mines closed. Farmers could not sell their crops and lost their land; families defaulted on home mortgage loans; and young people from the region began leaving for the cities to find work. After World War II, employment started to rise within the region, but unemployment continued to be a problem for the rural region for decades afterward.[2] When the Clean Air Act of 1990 required many utility companies in the United States to switch to low-sulfur coal for the health of the nation, lacking affordable technology to clean the coal, the Southern Illinois region lost markets and the economy suffered.[4] However, demand for high-sulfur coal mined in the region has rebounded in 2010s.[5] Agriculture has since become the main economic driver for the Southern Illinois region.

Southern Illinois is slowly gaining a cultural identity apart from its neighbors, as previously-dispersed rural populations become more concentrated around the cities of Marion and Belleville. Marion has grown tremendously since 1970 and in the process has been selected for Illinois' first STAR Bonds District for the Millennium Development, a project originally designed for a city ten times its size.[6]

Population among the smaller cities and towns have dropped significantly as people moved to the Carbondale-Herrin-Marion combined statistical area and Metro East.[7]

Origin of "Little Egypt" name

Southern Illinois is also known as "Little Egypt".

In 1799 Baptist minister John Badgley dubbed the fertile highlands and bottoms near Edwardsville the "Land of Goshen." Early Edwardsville was known as Goshen. This was a biblical reference to Egypt. Geographic features such as the Missippi and it's flood plains were like the fertile Nile valley. The Indian mounds of the area were large at the time and seemed like the pyramids of Egypt. The nickname stuck and was reinforced by other events.

in the 1830s, when poor harvests in the north of the state drove people to Southern Illinois to buy grain.[8] Others say it was because the land of the great Mississippi and Ohio River valleys were like that of Egypt's Nile delta. According to Hubbs, the nickname dates back to 1818, when a huge tract of land was purchased at the confluence of the rivers and its developers named it Cairo /ˈkɛəroʊ/. Today, the town of Cairo still stands on the peninsula where the Ohio River joins the Mississippi.

Other settlements in the area were also given names with Egyptian, Greek or Middle Eastern origins: The Southern Illinois University Salukis sports teams and towns such as Metropolis, Thebes, Dongola, Palestine, Lebanon, New Athens, Sparta, and Karnak show the influence of classical culture. (Greek names were also related to the contemporary national pride in the new republic of the early 19th century, and were given to towns throughout the Midwest.) Egyptian names were concentrated in towns of Little Egypt but also appeared in towns further south. For instance, about 100 miles (200 km) south of Cairo, along the Mississippi, lies Memphis, Tennessee, named after the Egyptian city on the Nile.

Although Illinois was a free state prior to the American Civil War, some residents in Little Egypt still owned slaves. Illinois law generally forbade bringing slaves into Illinois, but a special exemption was given to the salt works near Equality. In addition, an exception was made for slaveholders who held long-term indentured servants or descendants of slaves in the area before it achieved statehood.

The underground railroad also operated actively in southern Illinois. The railroad in southern Illinois acted nearly equally going north and south with bounties available for returned slaves appealing to the residents there. Slaves were going to Canaan, the land of milk and honey which at first glance Little Egypt would be an easy mistake. Directions to railroad travelers were coded in Bible verses or songs and the story of Moses' fleeing Egypt was certainly used as an analog to their own plight. Egypt was a land to escape and central Illinois represented the biblical Canaan, land of milk and honey, with Egypt being what was a treacherous southern Illinois.

The nicknames for this region also arose from the political tensions prior to and during the American Civil War, as regions of the state allied differently with North and South. Because southern Illinois was settled by southerners, they maintained a sympathy for many issues of their former states. They supported the continuation of slavery and voted for Democrats at a time when the northern part of the state supported Republicans. The meaning is expressed in this description of the 1858 campaign of Douglas and Abraham Lincoln:

"In 1858, debating in northern Illinois, Douglas had threatened Lincoln by asserting that he would 'trot him down to Egypt' and there challenge him to repeat his antislavery views before a hostile crowd. The audience understood Douglas: overwhelming proslavery sentiment and Democratic unanimity in Egypt had led to the nickname."[9]

In the fall of 1861, Democrats took a majority of seats in the state legislature. They worked to pass provisions of a new constitution, an initiative begun in 1860. They proposed reapportionment so the southern region's less populous counties would have representation equal to those in the north, which was growing more rapidly. Northern Illinois residents worried about the state coming under the political will of the southern minority. "Shall the manufacturing, agricultural and commercial interests of northern Illinois be put into Egyptian bondage?" wondered the Aurora Beacon."[10] When Lincoln commissioned the Southern Illinois Democrat, John Alexander McClernand, as a brigadier general, he told him to "keep Egypt right side up".[11]

In addition, southern Illinois had become the center of the Knights of the Golden Circle, a secret group devoted to supporting the Confederacy. With concern rising about armed southern sympathizers, in August 1862, U.S. Marshal David Phillips arrested several Democrats who allegedly belonged to the Knights, including men in respectable positions: Congressmen, state representatives, and judges. One was Circuit Judge Andrew Duff. They were sent to Washington, DC, where they were held for 68 days before release, but they were never charged. Democrats won across the state in the fall election.[9]

Cairo panoramic map, 1885. The city sits between two rivers, reminding early settlers of the Egyptian Delta.

After the war, other reasons were proposed for the nickname. Political divisions continued in the state. In the later 19th century, the central and southern agricultural areas joined the Populist Movement. Chicago and the industrial North aligned with similar areas and continued as predominantly Republican into the 20th century.[10]

In 1871 Judge Andrew Duff wrote an article in which he ignored the war years and preceding political divisions. He claimed the name of Egypt related to Southern Illinois' role in supplying grain to northern and central Illinois following the "Winter of the Deep Snow" in 1830–31. Following a long winter and late spring, Upper Illinois lost much of its harvest in an early September frost. Southern Illinois's weather gave it good crops, so it could ship grain and corn north. The nickname supposedly arose from similarities of the events to the well-known Bible story of Jacob's sons going to Egypt for grain to survive a famine.[12]

Belly dancer Farida Mazar Spyropoulos' appearance as "Little Egypt" at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago brought notoriety to the name, but she had no connection to the Illinois region. Other dancers took up the stage which popularized it further in the early 20th Century.

One of the earliest uses of the phrase "Little Egypt" is found in the Troy Weekly Call of Troy, Illinois, in 1912. A state news brief was headlined, "Two New Little Egypt Pastors." about two new Presbyterian pastors about to be installed at Brookport and Salem, Illinois.[13] The Chicago Tribune appears to have first used the phrase "Little Egypt" in reference to Southern Illinois on April 25, 1920 in an article about fruit grown in the region.[14] The title character in the comic strip "Moon Mullins" had a girlfriend named Little Egypt. The strip's creator Frank Willard, was a native of Anna and Southern Illinois.[15]


Southern Illinois, showing the Metro-East region in red, East Central Southern Illinois in teal, West Central Southern Illinois in dark green, Southwest Illinois in light green, and Southeastern Illinois in purple.

Northern boundary

"Southern Illinois" is not a formal geographic designation and definitions of what constitutes Southern Illinois vary. Many Southern Illinois residents consider an area between Interstate 70 and Interstate 64 as the dividing line between the Central and Southern parts of the state. The geography of Illinois becomes gradually hillier as one travels farther South. One can see this driving south along Interstate 57. The Mattoon/Charleston area is fairly flat. Terrain becomes noticeably less flat as one gets to Effingham, but it is still level enough to support the vast corn and soybean fields that are so common in the rest of Central Illinois. South of Effingham on the interstate, one sees more trees and terrain that is too hilly for most large farms.

Metro East

Granite City - City Hall
Granite City downtown and city hall, population:29,849.

The most populous region of Southern Illinois is the Illinois side of the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area. Noted areas are Cahokia Mounds, the American Bottom, and East St. Louis, which has had a turbulent history related to industrialization and labor, immigration and the struggle for equal rights.

Downtown Edwardsville Illinois
Edwardsville, Illinois, Population:24,457.
  • Population: 702,579[1]


Principal cities

City populations[16]

  • 41,906
  • 26,861
  • 28,908
  • 29,031
  • 26,922
  • 24,635
  • 25,071

East-Central Southern Illinois

Located on the Wabash River, East-Central Southern Illinois is noted by the town of Salem, the birthplace of William Jennings Bryan, the G. I. Bill of Rights and Miracle Whip salad dressing.

  • Population: 121,746[1]
Kaskaskia Church
Catholic Church in Kaskaskia.
Bald Knob Cross rises 111-feet above the Shawnee National Forest west of Alto Pass, Illinois.
Carbondale Railroad Memorial
A statue in Carbondale.
Harrisburg skyline. Harrisburg prospered with one of the largest Southern Illinois downtown districts during the 1920s and had a population of nearly 16,000 people. Today it has a population of about 9,000.


Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods, south of Harrisburg, rests in the Shawnee Hills and has an elevation of nearly 800 feet 244(m).
Aerial of Jameson Island in the Big Muddy , view looking south
Aerial of Jameson Island in the Big Muddy, view looking south.
New Madrid Erdbeben
Contemporary woodcut of the 1812 New Madrid earthquake.
New Madrid and Wabash seizmic zones-USGS
Quakes in the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones over several decades.


MetroLink map (article version)


Oil field
1940 Oil field, Marion County, near Salem, Illinois



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Smith, George (1997). History of Southern Illinois: Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests. Higginson Book Company.
  3. ^ Schwieterman, Joseph P. (2001). When the Railroad Leaves Town: American Communities in the Age of Rail Line Abandonment, Eastern United States. Kirksville, Missouri: Truman State University Press. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-943549-97-2.
  4. ^ "Coal is a dirty word". Harrisburg Illinois Library. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  5. ^ a b James, Steve (May 11, 2012). "Coal makes a comeback in Illinois Basin in U.S." Reuters. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  6. ^ "State certifies Marion as STAR Bonds District", Daily Republican News
  7. ^ Bureau, US Census. "". Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  8. ^ Musgrave, Jon. "Welcome to New Egypt!". Illinois History. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Simon, John Y. (April 7, 2006). "Judge Andrew D. Duff of Egypt". Springhouse Magazine Online. Retrieved July 3, 2008.
  10. ^ a b Drew E. VandeCreek, "Politics in Illinois and the Union During the Civil War" Archived June 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., Illinois During the Civil War, 2002, Northern Illinois University Library, accessed July 3, 2008
  11. ^ Henry Clay Whitney, Life on the Circuit with Lincoln, 1892
  12. ^ Judge Andrew D. Duff, "Egypt" (23 Nov 1871 article from The Golconda Weekly), Springhouse Magazine Online, April 2006, accessed July 3, 2008
  13. ^ February 23, 1912. "Illinois News: Two New Little Egypt Pastors." Troy Weekly Call (Troy, Ill.). 2.
  14. ^ Frank Ridgway. April 25, 1920. "Farm and Garden." Chicago Tribune. 9.
  15. ^ October 12, 1923. "Moon Mullins-Little Egypt Was There." Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Ill.). 27.
  16. ^ a b c d e 2010census
  17. ^ "National Civic League". Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  18. ^ "All-America City: Past Winners". Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  19. ^ Shawnee National Forest, U.S. Forest Service
  20. ^ Selbert, Pamela (January 1, 1993). "Balancing act on the Shawnee". American Forests. Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  21. ^ "Shawnee National Forest". U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  22. ^ "Seismic Reflection Investigation of the Cottage Grove Fault System, Southern Illinois Basin". Geological Society of America. April 4, 2002. Retrieved November 25, 2008.
  23. ^ Stauder, William; Nuttli, Otto W. (June 1970). "Seismic studies: South central Illinois earthquake of November 9, 1968". Bulletin of the Seismological Association of America. 60 (2): 973–981. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
  24. ^ Staff (November 9, 1968). "Quake Damage Minor; Felt Over Wide Area in Midwest and East". St. Louis Post Dispatch. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
  25. ^ "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (FY 2008)" (PDF). Metro. 2008. Retrieved January 8, 2009.
  26. ^ Illinois Technology Transfer Center (2007). "T2 GIS Data". Retrieved November 8, 2007.
  27. ^ " - Wabash River". Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  28. ^ a b "Google Airports". 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2009.
  29. ^ Southern Illinois Colleges search
  30. ^ "Illinois Politics During the Civil War". March 14, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  31. ^ "The Civil War and Late 19th Century" Archived February 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., The History of Southern Illinois, Egyptian Area on Aging, Inc., 1996–2009, accessed May 15, 2009
  32. ^ "Trail of Tears", Illinois History
  33. ^ Harris, J. W. (1946). "The Dialect of Appalachia in Southern Illinois". American Speech. 21 (2): 96–99. doi:10.2307/486480.
  34. ^ a b
  35. ^ Waymarkers
  36. ^ Winery and Orchards of Southern Illinois
  37. ^ state parks
  38. ^ "Gateway Grizzlies". Gateway Grizzlies. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  39. ^
  40. ^ "Southern Illinois Athletics". Retrieved March 28, 2018.
Bruce Weber (basketball)

Bruce Brett Weber (born October 19, 1956) is an American college basketball coach who is currently the men's basketball head coach at Kansas State University. Weber was formerly head coach at Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois.Weber has won conference championships and conference coach of the year awards at each of the three schools where he has served as head coach. He has guided his teams to a combined total of twelve NCAA Tournaments, including an appearance with Illinois in the championship game of the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Weber was the consensus national coach of the year in 2005.

Carbondale, Illinois

Carbondale is a city in Jackson County, Illinois, United States, within the Southern Illinois region informally known as "Little Egypt." The city developed from 1853 because of the stimulation of railroad construction into the area. Today the major roadways of Illinois Route 13 and U.S. Route 51 intersect in the city. The city is 96 miles (154 km) southeast of St. Louis, Missouri, on the northern edge of the Shawnee National Forest. Carbondale is the home of the main campus of Southern Illinois University.

As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 25,902, and it is the state's 20th-most-populated city outside the Chicago Metropolitan Area. In addition, the city is the most populous in Southern Illinois outside the St. Louis Metro-East region, and the most populous city in the Carbondale-Marion-Herrin, Illinois Combined Statistical Area. The CSA has 126,575 residents, the sixth-most-populous combined statistical area in Illinois.

Jackson County, Illinois

Jackson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois with a population of 60,218 at the 2010 United States Census. Its county seat is Murphysboro, and its most populous city is Carbondale, home to the main campus of Southern Illinois University. The county was incorporated on January 10, 1816 and named for Andrew Jackson. The community of Brownsville served as the fledgling county's first seat.

Jackson County is included in the Carbondale-Marion, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located in the southern portion of Illinois known locally as "Little Egypt".

Jerry Kill

Gerald R. Kill (born August 24, 1961) is a former American college football player and coach. Currently, Kill works for Southern Illinois University as an assistant to the Chancellor and acting athletic director. He played college football at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas from 1979 to 1982. Kill served as the head coach at Saginaw Valley State University, Emporia State University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Northern Illinois University and the University of Minnesota. During the course of his career he was credited with bringing several programs to new heights, and these successes led to increasingly more prestigious coaching positions. Yet, despite his regular season success, when Kill was forced to retire for health reasons, he left the game without ever having won a single FBS bowl or post-season game, with his four FCS playoff wins with Southern Illinois being his only postseason victories.

Madison County, Illinois

Madison County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 269,282. The county seat is Edwardsville, and its largest city is Granite City.

Madison County is part of the Metro-East region of the St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area. The pre-Columbian city of Cahokia Mounds a World Heritage Site was located near Collinsville. Edwardsville is home to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. To the north, Alton is known for its abolitionist and American Civil War-era history. It is also the home of Southern Illinois University Dental School. Godfrey, the village named for Captain Benjamin Godfrey, offers Lewis and Clark Community College formerly the Monticello Female Seminary.

Marion, Illinois

Marion is a city in and the county seat of Williamson County, Illinois, United States. The population was 17,193 at the 2010 census. It is part of a dispersed urban area that developed out of the early 20th-century coal fields.

Today Marion serves as the largest retail trade center in Southern Illinois with its central location along Interstate 57 and Illinois Route 13. It is home to the Illinois Star Centre mall and the Southern Illinois Miners baseball team.

The city is part of the Marion-Herrin Micropolitan Area and is a part of the Carbondale-Marion-Herrin, Illinois Combined Statistical Area with 123,272 residents, the sixth most populous Combined statistical area in Illinois.

Metro Lakeland

Metro Lakeland is a name that was coined in the 1960s for an area of southern Illinois that is centered on the intersections of Interstate 57, Interstate 24, and Illinois Route 13 — a four-lane east-west highway connecting the communities of Murphysboro, Carbondale, Carterville, Herrin, Marion, and Harrisburg. Metro Lakeland was defined as Jackson, Williamson, Franklin, Saline, and Perry counties, with a combined population of approximately 210,000. Carbondale, Herrin, and Marion are the key urban areas, with a combined city-proper population of over 65,000 (2007 Census estimate) Carbondale, the site of Southern Illinois University, is the region's largest city. Metro Lakeland is about 88 miles (142 km) southeast of St. Louis, Missouri, or 120 miles (190 km) by Interstate highway.

Missouri Valley Conference

The Missouri Valley Conference (also called MVC or simply "The Valley") is the second-oldest collegiate athletic conference in the United States. Currently, its members are located in the midwestern United States.

SIU Edwardsville Cougars

The SIU Edwardsville Cougars are the intercollegiate athletic teams of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), located in Edwardsville, Illinois, United States. The Cougars' athletic program is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) and competes at the NCAA Division I level. The SIUE mascot is Eddie the Cougar #57, and the school colors are red and white. Cougar teams have won seventeen NCAA national championships in five sports.

Southern Illinois 100

The Southern Illinois 100 is an ARCA Racing Series stock car race held annually on the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds Racetrack during the DuQuoin State Fair on Labor Day weekend.

Southern Illinois Miners

The Southern Illinois Miners are a professional baseball team based in Marion, Illinois. The Miners are a member of the West Division of the independent Frontier League. Since 2007, the Miners have played their home games at Rent One Park.

The "Miners" name refers to the Southern Illinois region's history of coal mining.The Miners' games are broadcast on four Withers radio stations as part of the Southern Illinois Miners Radio Network. The flagship station is 97.7 WHET-FM in Marion. The Miners radio broadcaster and media relations director is Jason Guerette. The Miners won their first Frontier League Championship in 2012.

Southern Illinois Roller Girls

The Southern Illinois Roller Girls (SIRG, or So Ill Roller Girls) is a women's flat track roller derby league based in Marion, Illinois. So Ill is a member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).

Southern Illinois Salukis

The Southern Illinois Salukis are the varsity athletic teams representing Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The nickname comes from the Saluki, the Royal Dog of Egypt and the Persian greyhound, which ties into the fact that southern Illinois has had the nickname "Little Egypt" for just under 200 years.

The Salukis play their home basketball games at SIU Arena and football games at Saluki Stadium.

Southern Illinois University was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1913 to 1962. The school is currently a member of the Missouri Valley Conference in most sports. The football team is a member of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision Missouri Valley Football Conference.

Southern Illinois Salukis football

The Southern Illinois Salukis football team represents Southern Illinois University Carbondale in football. The Salukis are a member of the NCAA and compete at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision level (formerly known as NCAA Division I-AA). The Salukis are a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference and play in Saluki Stadium on the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Carbondale, Illinois, which has a seating capacity of 15,000.

The Salukis are coached by Nick Hill, who was the starting quarterback for the Salukis in 2006 and 2007.

Southern Illinois Salukis men's basketball

The Southern Illinois Salukis men's basketball team represents Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Carbondale, Illinois. The Salukis compete in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Salukis have been coached by Barry Hinson since March 28, 2012, and play their home games at SIU Arena.

Southern Illinois University

Southern Illinois University is a state university system based in Carbondale, Illinois, United States, in the southern region of the state, with multiple campuses. Randy Dunn was formerly president of SIU.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) is a public research university in Carbondale, Illinois, United States. Founded in 1869, SIUC has historically been the largest of the campuses of the Southern Illinois University system. The university enrolls students from all 50 states as well as more than 100 countries. SIU Carbondale offers 3 associate's, 100 bachelor's, 73 master's, and 36 Ph.D programs in addition to professional degrees in architecture, law and medicine.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, (commonly abbreviated SIUE or The "e"), is a coeducational, public Master's college and university in Edwardsville, Illinois, United States about 20 miles (32 km) northeast of St. Louis, Missouri. SIUE was established in 1957 as an extension of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and is the younger and smaller of the two major institutions of Southern Illinois University system. The University offers graduate programs through its Graduate School.

Fielding athletic teams known as the SIU Edwardsville Cougars, the university participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I level as a member of Ohio Valley Conference (OVC).

The majority of SIUE's students are from Illinois, with out-of-state and foreign students accounting for 11.45% of enrollment. The university offers numerous extracurricular activities to its students, including athletics, honor societies, student clubs and organizations, as well as fraternities and sororities. The university has an alumni base of more than 101,000.

Southern Illinois University Press

Southern Illinois University Press or SIU Press, founded in 1956, is a university press located in Carbondale, Illinois, owned and operated by Southern Illinois University.

The press publishes approximately 50 titles annually, among its more than 1,200 titles currently in print.

Southern Illinois University Press is a member of the Association of American University Presses.

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