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. 


The ANDERSONTOWN POWWOW takes place SEPTEMBER 7-8, 2019, at Athletic Park, Anderson, Indiana.  The entrance fee is $7.00/adult and free for children 8 or under. 

Events begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning and end at 10 p.m. that evening.  Sunday activities will be open from 10:30 a.m. and close at 4 p.m.

Activities will include Native American dancing & drums, interactive family fun like tomahawk throws, Tipi Lodge, storytelling, concerts, native art, native market, and demonstrations. 

Everyone is invited to join in the celebration of the Native American culture, heritage and tradition.

The Madison County Historical Society will be there too.  Come by and see us in the "BIG" tent.  Chat will Steve Jackson, Madison County Historian, and learn about the history of the Native Americans in Madison County.

Bring the family and a friend.  It is a fun time!!!

Historic Tour "DASH TO WABASH" Sponsored by MCHS

"DASH TO WABASH" is a historical tour sponsored by the Madison County Historical Society, Saturday, September 14, 2019, rain or shine.  Our members are encouraged to attend this one day motor coach trip.  All information and details about the tourcan be found here.  

Make your plans early to ensure you have a seat!  Call NOW!  OR stop by the office at 15 West 11th Street, Anderson, Indiana to make your reservation.

The town of Wabash was platted in the spring of 1834 by Col. Hugh Hanna and Col. David Burr.  The name Wabash is derived from a Miami-Illinois term for "water over white stones."  Electricity was brought to the city on March 31, 1880 and Wabash has claimed to be the first electrically lighted city in the world.

 The Wabash County Historical Museum


The Madison County Historical Society is sponsoring an exhibit now about the early origins of the county.  Indiana's fossil record stretches all the way to the Precambrian, when the state was inhabited by microbes.  Inhabitants became more complex during the Paleozoic era which followed.  At this time the state was covered by a shallow, warm sea.  Small creatures such as brachiopods, bryozoans and trilobites lived there.  During the Silurian period, an extensive reef systems developed.  Coming next was the Carboniferous period where an extensive river system formed and amphibians lived.  There is a gap in the geologic record from the Permian through the Mesozoic and into the middle Cenozoic era.  Glaciers, during the Ice Age(Quaternary period), churned across Indiana several times leaving rock deposits and carving out lakes.  Creatures like birds, camels, fish, short-faced bear and turtles lived on the land.  In near recent times, fossil remains have been found of the dire wolves, gastropods, mammoths, mastodons, pelecypods, and saber-toothed cats.

It is difficult to visualize what our county looked like all those years ago.  The land was covered by tall, deciduous trees of all varieties, shapes and forms.  To travel was a very hard task as every step had to be cleared before taken.  Indians and later pioneers would use the deer and bison trails because they were beaten down from the travel of many animals.

The exhibit hall will showcase the county's artifacts, fossil bounty, and origin lore.  You will be amazed by the size and variety of axes used by the pioneers when clearing the land.  There are vast Indian stone tools and native dress on display.  Early animals living in our county can be seen in drawings and castings including a mastodon leg bone.

The display committee has designed an exhibit that is historically accurate along with showcasing fine and rare items. 

The exhibit will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the History Center, 7 West 11th Street, Anderson, Indiana. 

A BIG "THANK YOU" to Bill Knepp, Linda Jones, and Melody Hull for their hard work in bringing this exhibit to fruition.  Also, "Thank You" to those who have so generously let us use their collections and displays for this exhibit.  

Make an effort to come to this exhibit.  A lot of time has been expended to bring all this material together for a story of our very early times.  Bring your family and friends to see this display NOW!  And, come often as you will not be able to see all of it in one visit.  Please help us out:  if you wish to bring a group for a tour or need a special time or date, please call 765-683-0052 and make arrangements.  There is no fee for this activity.



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 2020.  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.  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.



 "If the River Could Talk" 

Throughout Indiana's Bicentennial year of 2016, Stephen T. Jackson, Madison County Historian, authored a series of articles called "If the River Could Talk."  Those articles appeared in The Herald Bulletin on the History Page. 

The Herald Bulletin and Steve Jackson have once again teamed up.  This time to bring to the community a new book called "If the River Could Talk".  The book is now available at The Herald Bulletin. 

You can obtain a copy(s) of the book by calling The Herald Bulletin at 765-640-4848 and picking it up at the office. 

Those of you wishing to have a copy(s) sent to you may do so by sending your name, address, phone number and check or money order to The Herald Bulletin, 1133 Jackson Street, Anderson, IN 46016.  You may also call THB at 765-640-4848 to order with a debit/credit card. 

The book is priced - at publication -  at $29.95.  There is a $6.05 shipping fee for mail order.

The Madison County Historical Society will benefit from the sale of this book. 

This is a wonderful and thoughtful way for you to support the Society and gain a tremendous value for yourself.  Remember,  Christmas and birthday gifts of books are very much appreciated!  Order NOW!

Please support Steve Jackson and The Herald Bulletin in their efforts in bringing the story of our heritage to everyone in the county.



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