The Southern Illinois region which shaped Logan was nicknamed “Egypt” by farmers from northern Illinois who came south to purchase grain and seed after their crops were devastated by the harsh winter of 1832. These men likened themselves to the Hebrews of Genesis who had to go “down to Egypt to buy corn.”
The first settlers moving westward into Illinois had come predominantly to the southern part of the state. These people traveled fixed routes from Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia through Tennessee and Kentucky to Illinois. They brought with them their slaves and their customs, making “southern” Illinois a cultural as well as geographic term. Logan’s mother, Elizabeth Jenkins, was of typical Southern Illinois ancestry.