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History

Madison County was formed in 1812 out of Randolph and St. Clair Counties. The County was named for President James Madison, at the outbreak of the War of 1812. At the time of its formation, Madison County included all of the modern State of Illinois north of St. Louis, about three-fourths of the Territory.
Edwardsville is the third oldest city in the State of Illinois. It is a community that is rich in history and full of beautiful homes and neighborhoods. The 1820 Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House is the oldest brick house in Edwardsville and Madison County and one of the oldest homes in the state of Illinois. The beautifully restored 1820 brick home is located in the heart of Edwardsville. Edwardsville was originally incorporated in 1818. The first settler was Thomas Kirkpatrick who came in 1805, laid out a community and served as the Justice of the Peace. He named the community after his friend Ninian Edwards who was territorial governor of Illinois at the time. In 1890, industrialist N.O. Nelson chose a tract of land just south of Edwardsville to locate his plumbing manufacturing company. He would also create a model "utopian" village here called Leclaire, where everyone had their own home, access to schools, parks, lectures, recreation and employment. Nelson believed in profit sharing and all employees had a stake in the company. Nelson was a visionary and is considered to be a renaissance man, years ahead of his time. Today, the Village of Leclaire has been incorporated into the City of Edwardsville. For more than 120 years, the Edwardsville Municipal Band has played summer concerts every Thursday night at 8 pm in the City Park. The concerts have become an Edwardsville tradition and are attended each week by hundreds.

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  This Madison County website page is for History, Facts, Archives, Records, Museums, Exhibits, Documents, Genealogy, Libraries, Historians, Timeline, Research, Historic Preservation, Ancestry and Statistics in Madison County, Alhambra, Alton, Bethalto, Collinsville, Elsah, East Alton, Edwardsville, Fairmont City, Glen Carbon, Godfrey, Granite City, Grantfork, Hamel, Hartford, Highland, Livingston, Madison, Marine, Maryville, New Douglas, Pontoon Beach, Rosewood Heights, Roxana, South Roxana, St. Jacob, Troy, Venice, Williamson, Wood River, Worden, Cloverleaf, Cottage, Dorsey, Dunlap Lake, Eagle Park, Glen, Holiday Shores, Kaufman, Lumaghi Heights, Mitchell, Peters, Prairietown, Rosewood and State Park Place. Places of interest in Madison County include Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville Municipal Band, The Great River Road, Missouri River, Mississippi River, Illinois River, Cahokia Mounds, Chain of Rocks Bridge, Gateway International Raceway, Horseshoe Lake State Park, Splash City and the Fairmount Park Race Track.

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