Madison County Historical Society





 ......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. 




Please mark your calendars.  For answers to any questions, please call the office at 765-683-0052.

June 4, 2024 -- 6 p.m. -- Frankton Community Library -- Stephen T. Jackson -- "The History of Boone and Duck Creek Townships"

June 11, 2024 -- 10:30 a.m. -- Anderson Public Library History Series -- Stephen T. Jackson -- "Mr. Riley's Triumphal Return"

June 17, 2024 -- 2 p.m. -- Civil War Roundtable -- John Chefin -- "David Farragut"

June 23, 2024 -- 2 p.m. -- Society Meeting -- Mary Figuero -- Madison County Weavers

July 2, 2024 -- 6 p.m. -- Frankton Community Library History Series -- Stephen T. Jackson -- "Spanning the River"

July 7, 2024 -- 2 p.m. -- 2 p.m. -- First Sunday -- Stephen T. Jackson -- "River Fords Six thru Twelve"

July 9, 2024 -- 10:30 a.m. -- Anderson Public Library History Series -- Stephen T. Jackson -- "The 50th Anniversary of the Blue & Gray at Gettysburg"

July 15, 2024 -- 2 p.m. -- Civil War Roundtable -- TBA


Please note:  For those of you who would like the full year of events and activities, please go to our calendar page.  You can scroll through the yearly months for the presentations and their dates.





9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.

at the Museum of Madison County History

Operated by the Madison County Historical Society located on the corner of Meridian and 11th Street, Anderson, Indiana

The MMCH is one of the largest buildings in Anderson:  3 floors and 23,000 square feet.  Inside, everywhere you look is a story on Madison County's people, places, things, and events.


11 & 15 West 11th Street, Anderson, Indiana

Gas Boom

100+ Years of Auto Manufacturing

Madison County Authors

Madison County Area Churches

Local African American History

Madison County Businesses


Topics of Study and Research

Civil War Heroes

Veterans' Hall of Honor

Hoosier Homesteads

Native Americans

Made in Madison County

Prehistory & Pioneers

Athletes & Artists

Model Railroads


School Daze

General Motors

Madison County Authors

School Yearbooks

Genealogy & Your Family Tree


There is no fee involved.  All events and activities are FREE of charge!!!

Donations accepted.


Please be advised that the Madison County Historical Society Civil War Roundtable will not meet during the winter months.

The group will resume meetings at 7 p.m. at the Museum on March 18, 2024.

For more information, please call(765-683-0052) the office between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and/or Fridays.  You may ask for Gerald Jones.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.  See you in March.




15 West 11th Street, Anderson, Indiana

Open M-W-F, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm


Irish Mail, a child's toy

MANUFACTURED in Anderson, Indiana


The Titanic Players




Lambert Cars Were Tested for Reliability


     With assembly complete, the cars would be driven out of the plant west on 19th street to a lot west of what is today 809 E. 19th, south across the lot to the alley, and then east along the alley to the lot east of 809.
     Turning into the lot, the drivers would run the cars up a wooden incline extending east and west near the alley.  The trestle structure was built of a braced framework of timbers with inclines at each end fitted with cleats.  At the north end of the lot was a small round track where the cars were driven, sometimes pulling weights, in the second of three tests.  That site is now the west end of 1915 McKinley Street.  Both former test sites are now fully developed, and no evidence of their previous use remains.  However, across 19th Street is a different story.
     Visible from above is a faint outline of another, much larger, flat test track that would have been directly west of the Buckeye plant.  Most likely, it was here that the automobiles were put through their final driving tests before distribution.  An old film reveals another test that was conducted to check the performance of the friction drive during what were common traveling conditions in rural 1915 -- river and creek fords and crossings.
     Cars can be seen, in the film, descending a hill and approaching a stream on a dirt road, driving through the stream, stopping momentarily and then proceeding onward.  The film also shows a car being driven into a river, turning around and heading back to shore.  The landscape conditions in the first scene are not familiar enough to identify where they were conducted.  However, the river scene reveals a clue as to its location.
Lambert 1909 Model A1
     The Buckeye Manufacturing plant was at 19th and Columbus Avenue.  Not far from Irondale, a neighborhood on Anderson's east side nestled into the low ground on the left bank of White River. 
     In 1915, and as it still does today, the Pittsford Ditch empties into White River, draining the higher elevations to the south.  The ground is low there, and the riverbank is not steep, much like the scene in the film. 
     If Buckeye did test some cars by driving them to the river, this spot is near the plant and has the same general appearance today.  Buckeye Manufacturing did not have to go far to find creeks, hills and steep grades to prove the capabilities of its vehicles.
     With the outbreak of World War I, Buckeye Manufacturing ceased operations, and the Lambert passed into history.   
     John W. Lambert remained in Anderson until his death on May 20, 1952 at the age of 92.  He buried in Anderson's Maplewood Cemetery.
    During his life, he held about 600 patents.  His business on Columbus Avenue and his at Seventh and Hendricks Streets both display historical markers, one set of only two dual historical-related designations of its kind in Madison County.

Stephen T. Jackson, Madison County Historian


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.

1914 Station at Anderson, Indiana

Engine H6a6344

Train and Dollhouse Exhibits Open

The Model 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.
Please note that this year's "Christmas" model train and the Dollhouse exhibits will be CLOSED during the Christmas holidays from December 15, 2023 and will open again on January 3, 2024.  Thank you for your support and visiting us during this time of the year.  From our Family to your Family, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Happy New Year!

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.



Other dates and events

Bicentennial Exhibits at Museum

The Museum of Madison County History has newly installed exhibits specifically relating to the county's bicentennial.  Exhibits include "Made in Madison County,"  "Pioneers and Prehistory," "Veterans Hall of Honor," and "Arena of Champions."
Exhibits are open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.




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.
Also, please note that Steve has written another county history book, titled "Historic Places in a County Called Madison".  The coffee table book is available for purchase at The Herald Bulletin.
For Steve, he is in his element when asked a question and when giving one of his special speeches about the county's history.  If you have a chance to be present at one of these events, take it and enjoy the time spent learning new things about the county.  You will not be disappointed.


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 3:30 pm.  Exhibit Hours:  10 am to 3:00 pm