Content Update

Southern Illinoisan
One of‘s newest additions is the full run of the Southern Illinoisan, a paper based in Carbondale, Illinois. Between the Southern Illinoisan and its predecessor, the Free Press,‘s collection of the two papers currently documents 80 years of southern Illinois history, from 1899 to 1980.

Carbondale, founded in 1852, was a railroad town for much of its history, until the 1940s when the presence of Southern Illinois University came to dominate the city’s economy. Located in a region of Illinois known as “Little Egypt,” Carbondale was called the “Athens of Egypt” because it was considered the intellectual center of the area. With a population of 2,000 in 1880, by 1980 Carbondale had grown to more than 26,000 people.

The Free Press (which alternated between the titles Carbondale Free Press and the Daily Free Press) was the city’s paper until the late 1940s, when it began to be consolidated with the nearby Murphysboro Daily Independent and Herrin Daily Journal under the masthead of the Southern Illinoisan.

The Free Press and, later, the Southern Illinoisan captured events both big and small for the residents of Carbondale and the surrounding towns. For instance, it reported on a major train wreck outside of town in 1909, on Eleanor Roosevelt’s visit to the city in 1939, and on a massive fire at Southern Illinois University in 1969. But the paper also made sure its readers knew about the 105th birthday of a former slave, kept them updated on the “Monster of Gooseville” (which turned out to be a bear), and informed them when the local coin club got a new president.

1969 fire at Southern Illinois University
Aside from the typical obituary and engagement sections, if you had ancestors living in southern Illinois, you might find them in the “Hospital Notes,” which kept track of who was admitted to or discharged from the hospital. Or they might be in the “Police Briefs,” which let readers know if their neighbors had a run-in with the law recently. And if you know the birth or funeral date of a Carbondale-area ancestor, you can even look up what the temperature was like that day in the weather forecast that commonly appeared on the front page.

So if you’re interested in southern Illinois and the Carbondale area for genealogical or historical purposes, try taking a look through the Free Press and the Southern Illinoisan on!

Share using:

Related Posts

16 thoughts on “The Southern Illinoisan

  1. Okay..I got this email at the office and was so excited I went immediately to the website and began searching what looked like new combined pages of the Southern Illinoisan/ Daily Free Press into one collection from 1899-2009. I clipped a couple of great clippings right away and was so excited I posted the news in our Facebook genealogy group where many people already subscribe.
    When I got home from the office I was so disappointed to find that not only had this disappeared and we were back to the separated Southern Illinoisan and Daily Free Press but that you had added the extra pages to a new archive that comes with an added $40 per year. Now I will go back to my group and correct my post.
    I know you’ve been working on adding more pages to this newspaper and it has changed off and on during the last few months. I do appreciated having what’s there, but don’t send me an email saying what’s available and not mention that you plan on adding additional charges to view it.
    Debbie V.

    1. I think you probably your subscription expired or some other technicality. I got into to the papers without anything additional.
      Call the technical help regarding this.

    2. Debbie, I am getting the same thing as you. When the pop-up telling you to subscribe comes up, there is a link in blue at the very bottom. I have been clicking on that link and getting in that way. You have to do this for every page you want to view. It’s annoying.

    3. Debbie,

      It has been a strange couple of months for the Southern Illinoisan on our site and we are sorry for any confusion we caused, but we think the outcome will serve everyone very well. Here’s a little background on where we’ve been and where we are today.

      We’ve had some pages of the Southern Illinoisan on the site for a while. They came from a content source we had early on and the images were not of particularly good quality, but it’s a great paper. Recently we worked with the paper’s publisher to get better quality images of the older papers for and to provide the publisher with a site where they can provide access to the full run of the paper, including the more recent content.

      You can continue to search the older (1940-1980) papers on our site. If you are interested in more recent papers, you can access those through the site for the publisher’s archives where you’ll find the full run. As you noted, the publisher charges a fee to access their archives.

      The older images of the Daily Free Press that we had from 1899 to 1947 are still on the site. They are on their own now, but you can still search, browse, clip and share them.

      Hopefully, you’ll be able to find what you need and now you’ll have access to the best quality images of the Southern Illinoisan available.

  2. When are more old Georgia newspapers going to be added ?

    The now defunct “Atlanta Journal” would be nice.

  3. Would you copy and put on line papers from St. Petersburg, Florida?
    St. Petersburg Times
    St. Petersburg Independent
    The Gulfport Gabber

    Thank you.

  4. still looking after 70 years for my great grandfather, john matheny, named in the 1870 census in Farmington Township, Fulton County,Il as being 32 years old, and born in Oh. Haven’t received any information from belonging to your research tool.

  5. i would love to see the old editions of the newspapers of Mason and Menard County Texas on your site. Thanks so much for your efforts on adding new editions all the time. I am enjoying reading the articles and have located many Texas articles about my families that I am researching.

  6. Could you add the Lake Charles American Press? This is a long time newspaper in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Some interesting stories concerning family members were published in it in the distant past and I’d love to be able to see them. Thanks.

    1. Patricia, I’ve sent you an email with instructions for resetting your password.

      If you have trouble in the future you can come to the site and click the “Sign-in” link at the top right of the homepage. You should see a “Forgot password?” link to the right of the Password label. Click that and enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.

      If that’s not working, please contact us at and we’ll help you get things sorted out.

Comments are closed.