History of Madison County
Madison County’s rich history began with its earliest inhabitants, the Moundbuilders, an Adena-Hopewell people whose massive earthworks are still visible today in Mounds State Park. In more modern historical times, this area was the home of the Delaware (Lenape) Indians who called it Wapeminskink, which means Chestnut Tree Place.
By 1794, Andersontown was a small Delaware Indian village and the home of the Great and Sovereign Delaware Chief Kikthawenud later known as Chief William Anderson. After signing the Treaty of St. Mary's, the Delaware Indians were moved westward in 1820. Madison County, Indiana, was officially founded in 1823 and the county was named after James Madison, the 4th President of the United States.
John and William Conner arrived in Madison County at about this time. William married Chief Anderson’s daughter, Mekingees, and established a large trading post. He later sold it to John and Sarah Berry. They donated 32 acres (downtown Anderson) to the state for a town and on November 7, 1827, Berry laid out the first plat and one year later Andersontown became the county seat, ultimately incorporated as Anderson. Today, Madison County harnesses its abundant cultural heritage while developing future generations to come.
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Alexandria is a city in transition. Founded in 1836 and incorporated in February 1893, the city was home to many events including a gas boom, the innovation of Aladdin Lamps, the Rockwool Insulation industry, Indiana’s first interurban, and the rise of gospel music. Prior to the decline of manufacturing in the U.S., the city served as a “bedroom community” where numerous workers in the auto industry made their homes and raise their families. It was precisely that atmosphere that influenced our nation to designate Alexandria as “Small Town U.S.A.” by the United States War Department during World War II, an honor proudly to carried on as the city continues to develop into the future.
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