Sarah “Sallie” Oliver was born in Pittsburgh, Pa on April 15th, 1851. She and her family moved to Carbondale, Il in 1868. Sallie attended The Normal School, now Southern Illinois University, where she earned her teaching credentials. She married Thomas M Logan in August 1873.

In the late 1890s, Murphysboro expanded Walnut Street to the west, acquiring land and necessitating Sallie and Thomas’ home be moved. They purchased the lot at the corner of 18th and Walnut and built a new brick home there. Sadly, Thomas died in 1907. Sallie continued living in the home.

Shortly after the 1925 Tri-State Tornado, a group of women in Chicago sent a collection of books to the Murphysboro Woman’s Club. It was from this collection that the first library in Murphysboro was started on the second floor of a building at the corner of 12th and Walnut St. The same building housed the city’s Chamber of Commerce.

When Sallie Logan passed away in 1936, her home at 1808 Walnut St. along with four adjoining lots were bequeathed to the city on the condition that the building and land be used “in perpetuity as a free public library and community and social center for the benefit and common good of the inhabitants of Murphysboro,” also that the same “shall always be known as the ‘Sallie Logan Public Library.’” The Library officially opened on May 2nd, 1938.

As the town of Murphysboro grew, so did the Library’s collection of books, eventually outgrowing the brick home. It was decided that a new building was the most cost-effective way for the library to move forward as the home wasn’t designed for the weight of the books and after nearly 80 years, the existing building required too many repairs and upgrades to continue its use as a public building. A new structure was needed that would meet the current needs of the library as well as for the future.

In 1972, the library was temporarily moved to the basement of the Centenary Methodist Church where it could still operate and the brick home was demolished. The firm of R. A. Nack, of Carbondale, Il, was commissioned to design the new building. On December 15th, 1974 Sallie Logan Public Library reopened to the public at 1808 Walnut Street.

We still celebrate Sallie Logan’s birthday every year on April 15th with refreshments and flowers are placed on her grave.

Fishback, Woodson W. A History of Murphysboro, Illinois 1843–1982. Quail Ridge Press, 1982.


Some Early Photos


1976 Worm Piñata


1977 Easter Egg Hunt


1977 Reading Contest


1977 Christmas Party


1978 Valentine's Day Party


1978 Macrame Class


1978 Pet Parade