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Jon Musgrave

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Jon Musgrave lives in Marion, Illinois.

Biography: 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


Primary Literary Genre(s): History; Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

Jon Musgrave on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

Inside the Shelton gang :
ISBN: 0970798482 OCLC: 841486976, Marion, IL : ©2013.

When a father's wall of secrets begin to crumble, a family's lost heritage of violence erupts from the front pages of history. For daughter Ruthie it's a discovery that will forever change her life as she learns what it meant to be a Shelton in the days of Prohibition and the decades following, to be a member of a crime family that rivaled Al Capone's for control Illinois.

  Secrets of the Herrin gangs :
ISBN: 9780970798497 OCLC: 682905435, Marion, IL : ©2010.

Her ran slots for Charlie Birger, managed the business for the Sheltons and served as the brain of the Herrin outfit during the Gang War of the 1920s. By the 30s, he was the most dangerous man of the coal belt bad lands of Southern Illinois. In Secrets of the Herrin Gangs, Ralph Johnson provides an inside account of Bloody Williamson from the viewpoint of a Shleton gangster. At the end of the Gang War in January 1927, with the Sheltons in prison and Charlie Birger on his tail, Johnson decided to get out and cash out, selling his story first to the St. Louis Star and then across the country in a 10-part series that ran coast to coast. Now for the first time, Johnson's account has been combined in one volume and updated. Southern Illinois historian Jon Musgrave follows up the inside account and reveals the unassuming Benton gangster behind the Ralph Johnson alias. A salesman and writer by trade, the young gangster found himself at the center of the war between Carl Shelton and Charlie Birger. Musgrave uncovers his history from the Herrin Massacre to 1950s Reno, Nevada.

  Slaves, salt, sex & Mr. Crenshaw :
ISBN: 097079844X OCLC: 57544324, Marion, Ill. : ©2004.

The bloody vendetta of southern Illinois
ISBN: 9780989178105 OCLC: 952428821

The Bloody Vendetta of Southern Illinois covers the deadly family feuds and Ku Klux Klan activities during the decade following the Civil War focused in the counties of Franklin, Jackson and Williamson. Milo Erwin wrote the first major account of the Vendetta during its immediate aftermath in 1876 as part of his History of Williamson County, Illinois. Now, Jon Musgrave takes Erwin's account and expands upon it with additional material from surrounding counties and further research into the characters who left such a mark on the region.

  The bloody vendetta of southern Illinois /
ISBN: 0970798466 OCLC: 76160502, Marion, Ill. : ©2006.