Madison County was
erected from the counties of St. Genevieve and Cap[e
Girardeau in 1818, but since been much reduced in
its size. It is situated in what is called
the "Mine country", and is bounded north
by the county of St. François, east by Perry and
Cape Girardeau, south by Wayne, and west by Washington.
Its form is an irregular oblong, whose greatest
length is 36 miles; greatest breadth 28: area about
900 square miles.
This county is watered
by Castor creek, the St. Francis, and Black River;
the latter forming a part of its western boundary.
Like other parts of the mine tract, of which
Madison forms the southern limit, the soil is rarely
first rate; and the surface is generally broken
and hilly. The principal district of good
farming land lies along Village Creek, and the eastern
shore of the St. Francis, which runs nearly north
and south. The mineral products of this county
are lead, iron, and plumbargo. Lead has been
found in several places, although it has not as
yet been worked except at Mine La Motte, situated
four miles from the St. Francis, near St. Michael's.
This is one of the oldest mines in the state,
having been discovered in 1720. by the person whose
name it bears. It has been constantly wrought
for many years; and although only a superficial
system of mining has as yet been pursued, it annually
produces a large quantity of ore.
Madison county contains
1907 inhabitants. It is attached to the fourth
judicial circuit; sends one member to the house
of representatives, and with Wayne, one to the senate.
It's seat of justice is Fredericktown.