Jefferson County, Indiana
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Jefferson County Courthouse in Madison, Indiana

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History of Jefferson County

Monroe Church

South Hanover College


 Jefferson County, Indiana

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, Madison
Crowe-Garritt House, 172 Crowe St, Hanover
Eleutherian College, State Road 250 at Lancaster, Lancaster Township
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 River, Madison
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, Madison
Mathias Wolf Farm, 4137 E. Pleasant Ridge Rd, Madison Township

Graham - Hanover - Lancaster - Madison - Milton - Monroe - Republican - Saluda - Shelby - Smyrna

Brooksburg - Dupont - Hanover - Madison

Canaan - Kent - Deputy


County Seat: Madison
Year Organized: 1811
Square Miles: 362.89


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Online Records

Biographies Marriage Index
Birth Index Marriage Notices
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Books Miscellaneous
Burial Index Museums
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County History Photographs
Court Records Pioneers
Death Index Post Offices
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Maps Past Updates
Website Updates:

Bios: Hon Oliver H.P. Baxter, Judge D.W. Robinson,
Directory: 1859 Madison Township A-B

News: Court E. Whitsett lawsuit; Horrible Attempt at Wife Murder
Obits: Aquilla Robinson
Tax List: Sep 1862- Dec 1863 Division 7, District 3

Schools: Calvin S Brice contribution of $5,000



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Where to find information in Jefferson County, Indiana

Jefferson County Health Department
715 Green Road
Madison, IN 47250
(vital records)
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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Surrounding Counties
| Switzerland | Ripley | Jennings | Scott | Clark |


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