Bostick Settlement school picture

This is a picture from the schoolhouse at the Bostick Settlement south of Murphysboro; on Sunday, Feb. 4, Williamson County, Tennessee historian Tina Jones travels to the General John A. Logan Museum to discuss some of its citizens, who came from that Tennessee county.


MURPHYSBORO — Imagine making a 250-mile trip with a newborn baby, a trip that would take about four hours today by automobile. Now, imagine making the same 250-mile trip by wagon in the spring of 1870, before interstate highways, disposable diapers and smart phones. How much longer would it take?

That is the story of one family that migrated from Williamson County, Tennessee, to the Bostick Settlement, which was southeast of Murphysboro. The family had a baby in April 1870 in Tennessee and was listed on the census of June 1870 in the Bostick Settlement. P. Michael Jones, director of General John A. Logan Museum, figures the journey took the family about two months.

“It all goes back to the Civil War. A group of people came here after the Civil War and established a small black settlement about 5½ miles southeast of Murphysboro called the Bostick Settlement. A majority of the folks came from Williamson County, Tennessee,” Jones said.

The General John A. Logan Museum will kick off Black History Month with a presentation on those families, called The Bosticks of Williamson County, Tennessee, at 2 p.m. Sunday at the museum. Tina Jones of Franklin, Tennessee, will trace the story of those families from their enslavement on the plantations of Tennessee to their freedom in Illinois.

“In 1993 and 1994, my class did a project and wrote a little book called the 'Forgotten Soldiers of Murphysboro.' Tina Jones, who lives in Williamson Country, Tennessee, got hold of a copy on Ebay,” Mike Jones said.

She then began tracing the families and started corresponding with Mike Jones.

When Jones and Joy Medley were planning Black History Month programs and displays, he was planning a display on the Bostick Settlement, and invited Tina Jones to speak.

Tina Jones is a board member of the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County, Tennessee, and co-chairs its historic committee. She volunteers as a genealogist for African-American families in Tennessee and has pieced together more than 100 family trees. She also writes a blog devoted to sharing what she has learned about African-American history in her home state.

She holds a degree in international studies from Vassar College, a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and graduated from University of Virginia School of Law. She practiced health care law in Nashville, Tennessee, and served in the General Counsel’s Office for Vanderbilt University until 2004.

Joy Greer-Medley, who volunteers at the museum and helped plan Black History Month events, said the theme of Black History Month at General John A. Logan Museum is Strength and Community.

Other Black History Month events will include:

• General Logan Film Festival showing of the documentary film “Before They Die” and discussion, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, in the Liberty Theater, Murphysboro. Special guest historian Pamela Smoot will lead a discussion.

• Gospel concert featuring The Spiritual Travelers and essay contest presentation, from 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 25, Liberty Theatre, Murphysboro. A movie will be shown at the Liberty Theater that is about the Tulsa riots in 1921 called “Before They Die.”

• All three events are free and open to the public. Sponsors include the Historic Liberty Theatre, Race Unity Group of Carbondale and The Smile Place in Murphysboro.

• Greer-Medley said this year, the museum has opened up its essay contest to students in kindergarten through 12th grade in Carbondale and Murphysboro public, parochial and private school and homeschoolers. The deadline to submit an essay is Feb. 15. For more information, call the museum at 618-684-3455.



Marilyn Halstead is a reporter covering Williamson County.

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