Madison County - Genealogy Trails





 County Seat







While mining is the chief and best paying industry of Madison County, there is enough fertile land to embrace in its confines for 1,168 farms containing 138,484 acres of land, to be titled profitably or used for grazing purposes.


The population of the county, Federal census of 1910, was 11,273 men, women and children, and there has been a good gain since.


 The prevailing size of farms run from 100 to 174 acres, there being 354 such.  Then there are 352 which have from 50 to 99 acres.  The sizes of the remainder vary.


The approximate land area of the county is 319,360 acres.  There are 76,468 acres in actual cultivation, leaving 70,168 acres in timber, or used for grazing purposes.  The average worth of farm land per acre is $17.14.  The land and buildings on an ordinary farm, one of the average of 118.6 acres, are worth $2,588.


The above statistical information is given to show that Madison County is admirably suitable for agriculture, dairying and poultry raising.  Minerals are not the only resources, although a great advantage.  Fruits of all kinds are profitably grown.


The county is situated 76 miles south of St. Louis, and has ample railroad facilities to haul all farm and other products to that city.  Agricultural products valued at $75,000 are produced every year.  Corn, wheat, oats, hay and forage are the staples.


Some land is so fertile that alfalfa can be grown and three and four cuttings made a year.


The orchards in the county contain 74,532 trees with a normal annual production of 79,207 bushels of fruit.  The chief varieties are apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries, and strawberries and blackberries.


In a normal year shipments are made to the larger Missouri cities, and the north.  The quantity and value of poultry products increase from year to year, keeping pace with the ever growing demand of the market.


Madison County contains Mine Lamotte which has been operated continuously by white men for 122 years, and 68 years periodically before its continuous operation.  Lead was taken from these deposits by Indians before the Spanish and French took possession. While lead is the chief mineral of the county there is some nickel, cobalt, copper, iron and zinc to be found, and from time to time are marketed.  Small quantities of silver are extracted by eastern refineries from the lead ore of this district. 


It is stated that ninety per cent of the nickel and cobalt of the United States comes from Madison County ores.


Granite and marble are quarried 12 miles south of Fredericktown.  Kaolin and pottery clay are shipped to northern manufactories.  A superior quality of building stone is found in the vicinity of Fredericktown.



Ore Smelters are Needed



A large modern, high grade refinery, fully equipped to extract silver, copper and nickel from the Madison County ore, would be a paying industry. 


Woodworking establishments needed.  Along the St. Francis River there still exists considerable white oak.  Yellow pine stands in patches.  There are other varieties which still exist, such as elm, sycamore, maple and black and post oak.   Often white oak logs three feet in diameter are shipped out.  This visible supply of timber suggests that handle, stave, hoop and furniture factories would find plenty of raw material here.  The sawdust and the waste would supply the needed fuel. 


Granite and stone dressing and crushing mills could not find a more suitable location in the State.  One or two ice and electric light plants are in demand.


White Springs, located 8 miles south of Fredericktown has a medicinal value and is know throughout that section as a health resort.


Swift flowing streams would furnish power for factories, along the St. Francis River especially.


Near Silvermine is some of the most picturesques scenery of the State.


The soil is gravelly clay, loam with porous subsoil, well adapted for fruit growing.  This industry is still in its infancy in this county.  More strawberries could be cultivated profitably for the St. Louis market. 


More dairies and poultry farms are needed.  The Big and Little St. Francis Rivers, the Castor River and numerous clear springs furnish ample water for all purposes.  Other information concerning this count follows:


Railroad traversing county St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern


County Seat Fredericktown.


Cities, towns and villages:







French Mills




Mine Lamotte







Water St. Francis and Little St. Francis Rivers





Twelvemile Creek


furnish an abundant water supply.


Roads About fifteen miles of gravel and macadam; the balance dirt, and in fair condition.  The county has constructed several miles of new roads the past year, and everyone is renewing his interest in the good roads movement.


Considerable Timber Still Standing


Timber  --  All varieties of oak, hickory, and along the streams good sycamore is found.  The supply is abundant, and its principal uses are rough lumber, furniture, cooperage and wagon material. 


Fuel --  Coal sells for an avarice of $3 per ton

              Wood $3 per cord


Land --  Rolling, and sometimes rough.  Soil is gravelly clay loam, with porous subsoil.  Along the streams the soil is right and productive. 


There are over 2,000 acres of unimproved land, of which the greater part is suitable for grazing, and at least 50 per cent suitable for cultivation when cleared.


On-tenth of the county is proven mineral land.  The cost of clearing will average $7 per acre.


Unimproved land can be purchased from $5 per acre up. 


Ten percent of the improved farms are for sale, ranging in price from $10 to $25 per acre.


Labor Farm labor plentiful at $15 per month with board and lodging, and $30 per month without board and lodging.


Social advantages The greater per cent of the population is of American birth, with quite a sprinkling of prosperous Germans.


The public schools are of high standard, and many beautiful houses of worship are scattered throughout the county, representing the leqding religious denominations.


Much interest is devoted to fraternal societies, and about all of the leading organizations are represented.


Industries Wanted --  A Canning Factory and a Creamery would receive encouragement at Fredericktown.

Missouri, 1912-13-14:
  Resources, advantages and opportunities of a thriving

By Missouri.  Bureau of Labor Statistics