Murphysboro Douglass High School “Maroons”

The History of Murhpysboro Douglass High School

Murphysboro (population 13,295) is located in far southwestern Illinois about five miles northwest of Carbondale.  The town sits in the east-central portion of Jackson County.  The Illinois Routes of 13, 127, and 149 all lead you to and from Murphysboro.  The Big Muddy River flows by the south end of town.  The Union Pacific Railroad travels through the north side of town.

Murphysboro was established in 1843 when it was decided to more centeraly locate the county seat of Jackson County.  The town was named after commissioner William C. Murphy, whose name was drawn from a hat with dtwo other commissioners for the naming of the town.  Murphysboro was one of several towns in Missourri, Illinois, and Indiana that was severely damaged by a tornado that swept through all three states in 1925. For more information on Murphysboro check out the town’s website located at .

The history of the Murphysboro school system is in need of research.  We believe that Murphysboro had a high school in place for the older kids of the area by the late 1800s.  We further are aware that Murphysboro residents provided a separate high school for the African-American students of the area.  We believe that Murphysboro Douglass High School was created for this purpose in the early 1900s.  Douglass High School may have only been a three-year high school, this information is not currently available.  We are certain that Douglass High School closed in the late 1940s or early 1950s.  Murphysboro Douglass High School was then consolidated into the Murphysboro Community School District and attended Murphysboro High School for their education.

The fate of the Murphysboro Douglass High School building is being sought.  Other high schools in Illinos’ history similar to Douglass High School in Murphysboro included these schools also on the IHSGD website:

MoundsMound CityDuQuoinColpVeniceEast St. LouisMadisonEdwardsvilleMetropolis and Brookport

Murphysboro Douglass High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                          early 1900s?

Year closed:                           late 1940s / early 1950s

Consolidated to:                      Murphysboro Community High School

Douglass HS team nickname:  “Maroons”

Douglass HS team colors:       Maroon & White

School Fight Song:                 unavailable


Murphysboro Douglass High School competed in boys basketball with other schools of the area. The teams competed in football as well. We believe it is possible that baseball and track were also offered.  School team fight song, coach’s names, and team records are all items we are interested in adding to this page.

A newspaper article located by Maurice J. McCann revealed the nickname of the Murphysboro Douglass athletic teams, at least for the 1920s. Maurice relayed the following:

“I recently read an issue of the Murphysboro Daily Independent newspaper dated November 12, 1928 (p.2) with an article concerning the Veteran’s Day football game between the Murphysboro Douglas (sic) Maroons and the Colp Colts, won by Murphysboro Douglas (sic) by a score of 6-0.  Over 300 spectators attended the game.”

Extra-Curricular Activities

Dances, plays, chorus, band, and clubs were probably all a part of the Murphysboro Douglass High School experience.

Need Your Assistance

If you have any further information, especially a photo of the original Murphysboro Douglass High School building, please contact us via e-mail at  You can also contact us via U.S. Postal Service at:

IHSGD Website

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631


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