Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Murphysboro, Illinois "1923 Crimson and Corn" High School Yearbook

I was in Murphysboro, Illinois for the "Drums at Appletime" a couple of Saturdays ago. This is a marching band competition for area high school bands.  "Drums at Appletime" is one of the many events going on in Murphysboro, Illinois during their annual "Apple Festival".  My husband and I got there a little early so we explored Murphysboro a little bit.  Shopped some of the craft booths at the festival, looked at their exhibit on past Apple Festival Queens, went to the John A. Logan Museum (it was closed bah!), viewed Kinkaid Lake (for hubby to see if it was worth a fishing trip), and stopped at a couple of antique stores.

Well look at my awesome purchase from one of the Murphysboro antique stores!  A 1923 Murphysboro High School Yearbook!  They had 4 yearbooks.  The other's being from 1940's, 1960's, and 1970's. (can't remember exact dates)  I have many ancestors that at one time lived in Murphysboro...Foster, Wyatt, Weathers, Cripps.  I think some may still be there...but I don't know them. My Grandpa Bill was born in Murphysboro, Illinois.  He was too poor to attend much school so I didn't figure he'd be in any of the High School yearbooks.  But maybe I could find some relatives.  If not I just like old pictures etc. from Southern Illinois.  How much for the 1923 yearbook you ask?  $5.00!!!!!  What a steal! Especially since it was bought in the same town that the yearbook is from. (If I had bought it say in Florida you could expect a $5 price tag, but normally buying historical items from the same location ups the price tag.)

Here are some pictures from the "1923 Crimson and Corn" Murphysboro, Illinois Year Book...

1923 Crimson and Corn, Murphysboro, Illinois High School Year Book
When I got home, I thought to myself  "Wow this year book is before the 1925 tornado!".  In case you don't now much Murphysboro history, in 1925 one of the worst tornados in U.S. history struck Murphysboro. The Tri-State tornado started across the river in Missouri and continued through Illinois into Indiana.  In Murphysboro, Illinois the tornado left 234 dead and 623 injured persons. The tornado struck during the day so the local schools were in session.  At the High School 2 students died.  Eleven children died at the Longfellow School and 9 children died at the Logan School.  For more information google 1925 Murphysboro Tornado or Tri-state Tornado.  Or visit the Jackson County Illinois Geneology Trails website here:

For the list of victims visit this page:

Anyhow after thinking about the yearbook I found being before the 1925 Tornado I opened the book to the first page and here is what I read:

I think this information about the owner, Marie Swafford, was added at a later date.  But I found it exciting that it mentions her yearbook was blown away in the 1925 Tornado and someone gave her this year book.
There is some writing inside the yearbook dated 1997 which is why I believe this information was added at a later date. 

Here is a picture of the owner.  And someone has put a star by her picture.

Marie Swafford picture bottom of page. 1923 Crimson and Corn, Murphysboro, Illinois Year Book.  Past owner of this year book.

Here are some of my favorite photographs from the year book.

Sewing Department with picture of them wearing their hats they made.

Here's a closer view of the Sewing Department.

M.T.H.S. Orchestra
In regards to the M.T.H.S. Orchestra....I do not know what the "T" stands for.

Update - Thanks to  a comment from Carol I now know that the "T" stands for Township.
               Murphysboro Township High School.
               Thank you Carol!

Here's a closer view of the Orchestra.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures.  If anyone has someone they want me to look for in this yearbook I would be glad to look them up and post their pictures.  Many club and class pictures in the yearbook don't include names. And some include names but not in the order of the picture.

Next time I'll post some pictures from the Drums at Appletime.  Cape Girardeau Marching Tigers photos that is.


  1. What a wonderful post. I'm so glad this yearbook fell into your hands. That orchestra picture is simply fabulous.

    1. Thank you Christine. I'm glad you likes it and I'm sorry it took me so long to reply. I honestly don't know why I didn't tell you thank you sooner. But I am going to try to spend more time posting on this blog. I have bought way too much stuff to share to not post more often.

  2. T stands for Township--Murphysboro Township High Schol

    1. Thank you Carol for the information. I finally got around to editing this post. I especially wanted to fix that in case someone was googling "Murphysboro Township High School". Is there anyone from Murphysboro you're looking for? I have at least one other Murphysboro Township High School yearbook from 1967. I may have others but would have to look through my stack of yearbooks to be sure.

    2. I have 18 MTHS yearbooks from 1923 to 1971, and have memorialized many students, teachers and others from Murphysboro on Here is the link to my virtual cemeteries: