Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jon Musgrave  

Pen Name: None

Genre: History Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;


-- Website --
-- Jon Musgrave on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Jon Musgrave lives in Marion, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Musgrave was a former Daily Register managing editor and a historian active in the effort to preserve the Old Slave House, Jon Musgrave joined with fellow area historians Ron Nelson and Gary DeNeal in the fall of 1996 to research the real history of this much misunderstood historic site. Musgrave's efforts continued for eight years and cumulated with Slaves, Salt, Sex & Mr. Crenshaw. Unknown when he started researching the site, nine months into the research he discovered his own family relationship to the original owner of this antebellum kidnapping station. When not researching and writing about Southern Illinois' history, Musgrave sells real estate in Marion, and has been appointed to Illinois' new Amistad Commission to study how the history of slavery is taught in the state's public schools. He is also the owner and publisher of

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Slaves, Salt, Sex & Mr. Crenshaw: The Real Story of the Old Slave House and America's Reverse Underground R.R.
ISBN: 097079844X 2005

The Old Slave House has stood for some 166 years a few miles east of the village of Equality, Illinois. An antebellum plantation manor, it's long held the history of nefarious activities in its attic, stories of kidnappings and victims held against their will. It's been recognized for its ghosts — some say it's one of the most haunted places in America. It's been recognized for its architecture. That's why it's on the National Register of Historic Places and in September 2004, the National Park Service recognized it for its history as a station on the Reverse Underground Railroad by naming it to its National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program. Slaves, Salt, Sex & Mr. Crenshaw is the result of eight years of research into the real history behind the stories long told to visitors, from the kidnappings and slave breeding to the visit of Abraham Lincoln and the potent political connections, both real and those just claimed, held by the owner John Hart Crenshaw and his family. This hardcover edition is an expanded and revised version of the book with more than 66 photographss, more Crenshaw and Taylor genealogy, plus a new timeline about the house.

The Bloody Vendetta of Southern Illinois
ISBN: 0970798466

Illinois History. 2006

Book by Jon Musgrave

Secrets of the Herrin Gangs
ISBN: 0970798490 2014

Secrets of the Herrin Gangs tells the account of Ralph Johnson, an insider with the Shelton Gang who also worked with Charlie Birger at one time. Originally published in newspapers across the country at the end of the Gang War during the Bloody Williamson years in January 1927, all 10 segments are compiled now for the first time in one volume. In addition, Jon Musgrave reveals the mystery of Johnson’s true identity and his life of crime in the second half of the book.

Inside the Shelton Gang: One Daughter's Discovery
ISBN: 0970798482

Illinois History Marion, Illinois. 2013

Brand new!! Signed by BOTH AUTHORS Ruthie Shelton and Jon Musgrave

Speaking Engagements

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