Madison County Historical Society


     The Museum of Madison County History is now open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.  Appointments are no longer necessary.  The front door is now open and you are welcome to come on into the office.  You will be greeted by one of our volunteers.  Proceedures that we had in place are now optional.  If you would like to wear a mask, please do so or social distancing is up to you also.  Our mantra:  If you do feel sick, just go on home and come back later. 

     You are welcome to come and see our state-of-the-art exhibit, "WW II County Heroes and Home Front" and our new permanent display of "Native Americans of Madison County."  Model trains and dollhouses are available during your visit.  Just ask your guide.

     We appreciate your understanding and patience in this unique time.  Our wish is to make your visit as enjoyable as possible while keeping you and our staff safe.

Thank you,

Melody Hull,  MCHS President


 ......To the Madison County Historical Society.  MCHS was organized in 1884 and incorporated in 1926.  From these humble and early beginnings, the Society has continued through the years with vigor, energy, and dedication on its mission to collect and preserve objects, artifacts, documents, and photographs pertaining to the history of Madison County, Indiana.  Through research, education, and exhibition, we seek to interpret and prompt an awareness and appreciation for that history for the benefit of all generations. 


At our home in downtown Andersonthere is a lasting record of a way of life preserved for all to see, treasure and enjoy.  We welcome all who are interested in exploring our rich culture and social history.  The earliest pioneers, seeking new homes and better farm land, came here when there were only Indian trails and buffalo tracks.  They settled along the White River and small creeks in Madison County, encountering the Indians, clearing the timber and stayed because of the richness of the soil and the promise of prosperity. 

Indiana was the cross roads to lands further west and many did pass through;  however, those who remained, built homes, farms, businesses, churches, and communities.  Our early history is interwoven with that of the Delaware Indians and those early pioneers who came to a new land.  Their lives and courage should give us pause and inspiration to continue with the work we have set for ourselves and the Society. 

Madison County will turn 200 next year!  A planning committee, chaired by State Senator Tim Lanane, will be in charge of the festivities.
At the moment, we are asking those who wish to participate to create a LOGO for the event.
Since the planning commission doesn't have a website presently, you are asked to sent it(or bring to the office) your entry to the Madison County Historical Society at
Submissions are due by June 30, 2022.   The winner will be announced at the Madison County 4-H Fair which runs from July 17 to July 23, 2022.
This is a HISTORICAL EVENT so everyone should plan on participating in some way.

2022 Car Show




Local Veterans To Be Honored

The Madison County Historical Society wishes to advise the public and our members that the society will once again be honoring our local veterans in an advertisement in the Madison Life & Times magazine winter edition 2022.  If you would like to honor your veteran, please contact the Madison County Historical Society by email at, or by phone at 765-683-0052, or go to our Facebook page.(

You may wish to attend our next monthly meeting at the Museum of Madison County History at 11 West 11th Street, Anderson, Indiana.  The meeting will be on Monday evening, April 25, 2022 at 7 p.m..  Enter at the double doors of the building.


Local History Presentations


 Stephen T. Jackson, County Historian

General Information -- The presentations will begin this month, April and go through November, 2022.  The presentation will begin at 10:30 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month in the Anderson Public Library's Cardinal Room, located on the third floor.  Each program will take approximately one hour.  The public, sponsors, and MCHS members are welcome to attend.  There is no fee.  These presentations are designed to make the citizens of Madison County aware of our local history as we prepare to celebrate Madison County's bicentennial observance in 2023. 

The following is a list of the programs for 2022.

July 12, 2022 -- "Madison County's First Airfields and Aviators." 

The first airplane from Madison County to successfully fly and land occurred only a little over five years after the Wright Brothers' first flight in 1903.  That story and many, many more will reveal how aviation was an important part of our early Twentieth Century history.

August 9, 2022 -- "Wendell Willkie Returns to Elwood."

Elwood-born Wendell Willkie was the 1940 Republican Party candidate for President of the United States.  He returned to Elwood on August 17, 1940, to formally accept the nomination.  It was a day unlike any other in Madison County's history.  Using some amazing photographs, the story of that remarkable day will be the subject of this month's presentation.

September 13, 2022 -- "Anderson, Indiana, Theaters 1883-1942."

We will take a look back at a time in Anderson's history when theater-goers enjoyed live performances by traveling variety shows, Vaudeville entertainers, the era of silent files, and finally the "talkies".  All in many theaters that once populated Anderson's downtown.  The program will explore how many, when and where they were located.

October 11, 2022 -- "A Forest Hills Tragedy."

The presentation will recount the events of that fateful Sunday afternoon on Anderson's north side.  The touching story and the aftermath of this little-known tragedy will be fully revealed.

November 8, 2022 -- "Mounds Amusement Park."

This is a story of a place known all over Indiana as a destination for thrills and enjoyment.  It featured a famous "Leap the Dips" wooden roller coaster and many more exciting rides and attractions.  Through period photographs, the story of this truly unique park will be revealed.



Elwood H. Phillips Memorial Award

The Madison County Historical Society annually honors a person or organization who is deemed by the Board of Trustees to have made noteworthy contributions to the cause of preserving the heritage of Madison County, Indiana.


1986     Eugene R. Bock*

1987     Raymond M. Davis*

1988     Ruth Dane*

1989     Howard Eldon*

1990     Haroldyne Zook*

1991     Esther Dittlinger*

1992     Helen Harvey Baumer*

1993     David Bucove*

1994     Maude Ward*

1995     Georgia Lyons*

1996     Phyllis Leedom*

1997     Lillie Givens Manuel*

1998     Dr. Jack Nicholson*

1999     Stephen Jackson

2000     Ray Wood*

2001     Gloria Lamper*

2002     Linda Hummel Shelton

2003     Gerald Jones

2004     Richard Bowman*

2004     Marilyn Moneyhun*

2004     Dr. James Moneyhun*

2005     Max Howard

2006     Robert B. Quinn*

2007     Milton C. Otto

2008     Donald Hunt

2009     Suzetta Chambers

2010     Nancy Draper

2011     Roger Hensley

2012     Carolyn DeLawter Shettle

2013     William Upperman*

2014     Theodore Vinson*

2014     G. Eugene Yates*

2015     William Knepp

2016     Terry King

2016     Jim Jackson*

2017     Pendleton Hist. Museum

2018     Lucretia S. Lawler*

2019     Bob Post

2020     Award Postponed

2021     Jay Brown




The Museum of Madison County History is a place that you can definitely use most and/or all your skill set.  We love to welcome volunteers to our Museum and its many and varied departments and projects.  There really is no job that is too small, too large or too mundane.  If you have a couple of hours a week, you may want to spend that time with us.  Please consider coming in to speak to someone about volunteering.  We are conveniently located in downtown Anderson on the corner of Meridian and 11th Street.  Please visit on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or call for more information at (765) 683-0052.


The Mohawk Comes In

An L-4b at work in Anderson just before the end came for it.  This Mohawk was retired in June, 1956.(James C. Suhs Collection)

Train and Dollhouse Exhibits Open

The Christmas Train and Dollhouse Exhibits are open for everyone.  Please ask your guide to see them.  You, your family and friends are invited to stop by the Museum on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to visit these exhibits.  The Museum is located at 15 West 11th Street, Anderson, Indiana.

The Museum In The Classroom

by  Stephen Jackson,  County  Historian
Anna Epperly, Assistant Professor of Education, Anderson University wrote in an email the following:
"I am currently supervising thirteen EDUC 4120 and EDUC 4710 students in their senior classroom management courses.  With Covid-19 restrictions in local schools regarding visitors and volunteers, we had to think creatively in terms of providing our AU students with authentic access to mentor teachers and "real, live students" this semester.  As a volunteer at the Museum of Madison County History, operated by the Madison County Historical Society(MCHS), I was able to seek and receive approval from MCHS for AU students to virtually instruct Frankton 4th, 5th, and 8th grade students from temporary "broadcast studios" within the museum.  AU students are currently teaching live lessons virtually, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, using various museum exhibits and artifacts.  This partnership has required much collaboration among AU students and faculty, local historians, and Frankton classroom teachers and administrators, providing multiple benefits to all concerned."
During a recent Zoom meeting of Indiana County Historians, Indiana Historical Society, and Indiana Historical Bureau staff, I shared this joint project of how a successful collaboration between the two Anderson, Indiana, educational organization/institutions has overcome the Covid crisis negativity by creating a positive that benefits our local schools.  Needless to say, it was greeted with much enthusiasm and with discussion to expand to other counties with institutions of higher learning.




                                       September 4, 2022 - Fall Creek Township - Labor Day Weekend

                                       October 2, 2022 - Adams Township

                                       November 6, 2022 - Anderson Township

                                       December 4, 2022 - Green Township

                                       January 8, 2023 - Jackson Township - Week after New Year's

                                       February 5, 2023 - Union Township

                                       March 5, 2023 - Pipe Creek Township

                                       April 2, 2023 - Richland Township

                                       May 7, 2023 - Monroe Township

                                       June 4, 2023 - Lafayette Township

                                       July 2, 2023 - Van Buren Township - July 4th weekend

                                       August 6, 2023 - Boone Township

                                      September 3, 2023 - Duck Creek Township - Labor Day Weekend

                                      October 1, 2023 - Stony Creek Township

                                      November 5, 2023 - Madison County - November 10, 2023 - 200 years

1913 Flood

     The FIRST SUNDAY PRESENTATIONS will take place in the Bowman Room at the Museum of Madison County History, 11 West 11th Street, Anderson, Indiana.  Each presentation will begin at 2:00 p.m. and will be about one hour in length plus time for questions.  There is no fee for this activity.  Please inform your family and friends of these history presentations. 
    The First Sunday events will be presented by County Historian, Stephen T. Jackson.



Little Log Cabin on Mill Street


     Sometime in the 1830's it is believed a log cabin was built west of Pendleton.  Also, it is believed, the cabin was moved sometime around 1940 to Mill Street in Pendleton where it was occupied, on occasion, by local persons.  

     It sat vacant for a number of years until being acquired by the Town of Pendleton about two years ago with the idea to place it within Falls Park. 

     Madison County Historical Society member, Jay Brown, was contacted to disassemble, move, and reassemble the old cabin on Falls Park property.  Jay stated the cabin is quite unusual because in its original design it was "L" shaped, a design he had not seen around here before.


     A site was selected near the north entrance to the park and construction was begun in the summer of 2019.  Jay enlisted help of many, all volunteers with various talents and local construction firms, to rebuild the cabin with modifications to make it a place that could be used and appreciated.  They call themselves "The Pendleton Log Cabin Project."

     When completed, the cabin will be available for weddings on the back porch, receptions, reunions, family gatherings and other social events which can be scheduled through the Superintendent of Falls Park.

     Jay had had many willing hands assist him.  One is the Madison County Historical Society's 2019 Elwood H. Phillips Historical Award recipient, Bob Post, who undertook the building of the chimney and fireplace.

     Congratulations to Jay Brown and Bob Post and to all who are so willingly helping to preserve this unique piece of Madison County history.


Article and pictures by Steve Jackson, Madison County Historian



The Madison County Historical Society, due to increased expenses, has decided to raise the membership dues for the Society.  The majority of the dues have been held at its present level for about 13 years.  Beginning immediately, single membership dues will be $25.00 and family memberships will be $40.00.  Please be aware that membership dues will be due in December and January for the year 2021.  For those who wish to mail your dues to us, please go to our membership page.  Thank you so much for your cooperation and understanding as we go forward into the new year.  If you have any questions and/or comments, please call the office at 765-683-0052.


Stephen T. Jackson, Madison County Historian, has embarked upon a new history series that will be published occasionally in the Herald Bulletin and in the Madison magazine.  Please be looking for these articles about our county.
The series is titled "What's in a Name?"  Steve brings to light the early organizing of the county, the people and interesting place names like Toad, Hardscrabble and Buzzardville.  You can follow the link here for the first two articles.
For Steve, a question or statement may lead to a subject that he becomes exceptionally curious about.  When that happens, as it did, with names and places, you know you will get a detailed and informative program!  That certainly is true with this series on townships.  For Steve's "Fall Creek Township" live presentation at the Museum, you can go here.



Everyone anywhere can join our Society.  Join us today.

Looking for an ancestor in Madison County?  Let us help.

Sign up for our eNewsletter here and keep up-to-date with all of our activities.

Have a special talent or interested in a project?  Come volunteer with us.



Madison County  Historical Society
The Madison County Historical Society is an all volunteer organization.  Our goal is to preserve the history of our rich heritage through the use of exhibits, speaking engagements, tours of interesting and educational destinations, cataloging artifacts, and providing a safe place for historical items and documents. 

Contact Us:  15 West 11th Street, P. O. Box 696, Anderson, Indiana 46015-0696,, Office:  765-683-0052
Open Hours:  Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays;  9 am to 4 pm.  Exhibit Hours:  10 am to 3:30 pm