Highlights of the City of Madison and Jefferson County
1809 Town of Madison was founded.
1811 Jefferson County
was formed from parts of Dearborn and Clark
1824 Town of Madison was incorporated by an act of the
1827 Hanover College was founded.
was the largest town in Indiana.
1836 Construction was started in
Madison on Indiana's first railroad which reached Indianapolis 11 years
later in 1847.
1838 City of Madison was incorporated.
with a population of 3,798, was the second largest city in Indiana.
1840 Construction was started on the Lanier mansion
which was designed by Francis
1841 The oldest volunteer fire company in Indiana, Fair Play
No. 1 Volunteer Fire Company, was established.
1848 The co-educational
Eleutherian College established in Lancaster was one of the first
desegregated educational institutions in the United States, The
classroom building built in 1854 - 1856 is a National Historic Landmark.
Michael Garber purchased the Madison Courier and
turned it into a daily paper. Is it one of the oldest family-owned
newspapers in the country.
1850 Madison with 8,012 people was the
third largest city in the state.
Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nighingale, performed in Madison in a pork
packing warehouse, the only facility large enough at the time.
1852 Pork slaughterhouses in Madison processed 130,730 hogs.
were 6 pork packing plants, 3 breweries, a glue factory, a vinegar
plant, a starch factory and 52 groceries in Madison.
General John Hunt Morgan and his men raided Dupont in the Township of
Lancaster where they burned the storehouse and reportedly stole 2,000
smoked hams on their way through southern Indiana.
1870 There were 3
pork packing plants, 2 breweries, a glue factory, a vinegar plant, a
starch factory, 2 flour mills, 3 saddle tree factories and 44 groceries
1898 Electric trolley cars were started on Main Street and
ran until 1919.
1899 King's Daughters Hospital was opened.
Construction on the Southeastern Indiana Hospital for the Insane was
started and was opened in 1910. Called Madison State Hospital since
1927, the number of patients peaked at about 2,000 in 1955. It now
provides specialized care for about 150 patients and houses a men's and
a women's correctional facility.
1911 The first Madison boat race was
run on the Ohio River - the start of the Madison Regatta.
Falls State Park was established on land donated by local residents.
Work was started on the first Madison - Milton Bridge, completed in
1937 One of the worst floods on the Ohio river occurred. The
height of the water level can be seen on a white corner stone on the
Brown Gym on Broadway.
1937 Crystal Beach swimming pool was built as a WPA project and
originally had a real sand beach.
1940 The U.S. War Department
acquired land in Monroe and Madison Townships for the Jefferson Proving
Ground, a munitions testing facility. The first rounds were fired in May
of 1941 and the last were fired in September of 1994. Much of the
facility was designated as the Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge in
1958 The motion picture Some Came
Running with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Shirley McClain and
Martha Hyer was filmed in Madison.
Madison hit its highest population of 13,081.
Miss Madison won the hydroplane-racing gold cup. The trophy was
awarded by band leader Guy Lombardo and Governor Edgar Whitcomb.
1999 The motion picture Madison
about the winning of the gold cup was filmed in Madison.
2000 Jefferson County population reached an
all time high of 32,428.
130 blocks in downtown Madison were designated a National Historic
new Madison-Milton Bridge made history by being the longest span in
North America (and probably the world) to be slid laterally into place.
The length of the span that was slid is nearly half a mile.