Brief History of Madison

On April 1, 1809, 700 acres of land were established as the town of Madison, named after President James Madison. At the turn of the nineteenth century, pioneers trickled into the area to take full advantage of the bountiful land considered part of the Northwest Territory. During the 1820s, Madison had 123 homes, and the population had passed the 1000 mark. Also during that time, stores and businesses lined the often-muddy dirt streets, while livestock were frequently herded down Main Street. Construction of Michigan Road in the early 1830s made Madison an important transportation hub, linking the Ohio River with Indiana's interior and the rest of the Northwest Territory. Madison's Golden Age occurred during the middle of the nineteenth century when it rivaled any other city in the state. Business and financial institutions flourished, while mills and foundries were at full production. With the Mammoth Internal Improvements Act of 1836, Madison developed into a major cog of the regional economy. With the introduction of the railroad in 1847, farm products were easily transported to Madison for processing and shipping up and down the Ohio River. Today, Madison has become a small, tightly knit community known for its historic buildings, rich history, unique businesses and shops, and its beautiful scenery, parks, and recreational activities. Once you come here and experience all of Madison's opportunities, you'll never want to live anywhere else!