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Jefferson County Courthouse in Madison, Indiana
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History of Jefferson
County was formed in 1811. It was named in honor
of Thomas Jefferson, principal draftsman of the
Northwest Ordinance and the third president of the
United States from 1801 through 1809. It presents
a great variety of soil and surface. "The bottoms
on the Ohio, and along the principal creeks, are a
rich loam, mixed with sand, and the lofty and
steep hills near them have also a rich soil.
On the table lands, back of the hills, there is
more clay; and still further in the interior a
considerable portion of the land is nearly level,
covered mostly with beech timber unfit for corn or
grain, and suitable only for grass. About one half
of the county is of this character."
Madison, the county seat of Jefferson County, is
located on the Ohio, and at the terminus of the
Madison division of the Jeffersonville, Madison
and Indianapolis railroad. It ranks among the most
important river cities, having a population of
over thirteen thousand, and immense manufacturing
and commercial interests. The public improvement
are good, its educational facilities excellent.
The growth of Madison has not been rapid, but it
has been substantial.
Jefferson County was one of Indiana's first
counties and many important early Hoosiers came
from Madison, including William Hendricks.
Throughout the early history of the state, Madison
was one of the leading cities competing with
Vincennes and later New Albany to be the largest
city in the state. The county fell into economic
decline after the American Civil War, as industry
began to shift from southern Indiana to the
northern part of the state.
ON the evening of May 20, 2990 the county
courthouse caught fire. The fire began in the
steeple of the courthouse, which was under
reconstruction for Madison's bicentenary. The roof
of the dome had just been painted gold. Fire
departments from across southern Indiana and
northern Kentucky arrived to put out the fire
which burned for several hours, destroyed much of
the inside of the building and the county records.
The fire forced the evacuation of the nearby
county jail, and effectively shut down the
downtown area of the city. It was later determined
the fire was accidentally started by workers who
were welding on the metal roof dome.
National Register of Historic Places in
Jefferson County, Indiana
Lemuel Allen Farm, 3768 E. Pleasant Ridge
Rd, Madison Township
Crawford-Whitehead-Ross House, 510 W. Main St,
Crowe-Garritt House, 172 Crowe St, Hanover
Eleutherian College, State Road 250 at Lancaster,
Thomas A. Hendricks Library, College Dr (Campus
Rd) east of Hanover, Hanover Township
Lyman & Asenath Hoyt House, 7147 W. State Road
250 at Lancaster, Lancaster Township
Jefferson County Jail, Courthouse Square, Madison
Lanier Mansion, 511 W. 1st St, Madison
Madison Historic District, roughly bounded by
Crooked Creek, Springdale Cemetery, Michigan, New
Hill & Telegraph Hill Rds., & the Ohio
Oakdale School, Morgan Rd, Jefferson Proving
Ground, Monroe Township
St. Stephen's African Methodist Episcopal Church,
220 W. Main St, Hanover
Charles L. Shrewsbury House, 301 W. 1st St,
Mathias Wolf Farm, 4137 E. Pleasant Ridge Rd,
Graham - Hanover - Lancaster - Madison - Milton
- Monroe - Republican - Saluda - Shelby - Smyrna
CITIES AND TOWNS
Brooksburg - Dupont - Hanover - Madison
Canaan - Kent - Deputy
County Seat: Madison
Year Organized: 1811
Square Miles: 362.89
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Where to find information in Jefferson County,
|Jefferson County Health Department
715 Green Road
Madison, IN 47250
|Jefferson County Public Library
420 W. Main St.
Madison, IN 47250
|Jefferson County History Rescue Project
|Jefferson County Historical Society
615 W. First St.
Madison, IN 47250
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