Madison County ILGenWeb            Illinois County Map                      Piasa Bird, Alton, Illinois                 

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Welcome to the Madison County, ILGenWeb Project

 

Dedicated to the History and Genealogy of Madison County, Illinois

 

This website was created and is maintained by ILGenWeb Madison County Coordinator, Bev Bauser.  Please submit information to:  madison.cnty@yahoo.com.  

 

 

 

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Just added!  1850 Mortality Schedule

 

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.....Historical Highlight .....

 

There were other Native American paintings on the Alton bluffs

beside the Piasa Bird.  This article tells what happened to them:

      

INDIAN PAINTINGS CARVED OUT OF BLUFFS

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 23, 1902

The discovery was made Tuesday night by an Alton man who is much interested in the Indian pictures on the bluff at Hull's Hollow, above Hop Hollow, that two of the most distinct antique Indian paintings on the face of the bluff there have been chiseled and carved out of the bluffs, and have been carried away by an Alton collector or curios who has added them to his own private collection, it is supposed. The pictures quarried and carved out of the bluffs represent an owl and an animal which is supposed to be either a dog or a wolf, the meaning of the savage artist being not very plain. The owl was on the face of the cliff, and to get it out the vandals chiseled behind the picture and after making a deep cut, split the piece of stone bearing the painting out of the bluff. The picture of the dog or wolf has been quarried from a stone which had been lying on the ground for ages, where it fell long after the painting was put upon it by the Indian artist. Both stones were carried away. The pictures were taken out of the stone some time within a few days, as the scraps of luncheon eaten by the workmen were still lying around and were fresh. Fresh tracks led up to the ledge high on the bluffs where the paintings were made, and every indication was that the act of vandalism had been perpetrated within a few days before its discovery. The perpetrator of this act may claim that it was done to preserve the paintings, but whether it was done with permission or not the taking of the two best examples of Indian art is certainly inexcusable. Many people have traveled to see these paintings, and all have agreed that the two which were carved from the bluffs were the best and most distinct of all of the redman's paintings. Others remaining are indistinct from weathering and fading processes, and could not have been removed, which probably accounts for the fact that only two paintings were taken.

 

 

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The True Story Of Piasata, Indian Maiden

 

Including the Legend of the Piasa Bird, as told by Piasata's father

 

Don't miss this one! Found in a 1900 newspaper, a first-hand story of 3 lads who lived near Delhi in 1828, and how they met an Indian family at the mouth of the Piasa Creek. The boys fell in love with Piasata, the daughter of the chief, and visited often during the summer to be with her. Also included, the chief tells the boys the true story of the Piasa Bird.

 

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Brief History of Madison County

 

 

Named after JAMES MADISON (1751-1836), fourth President of the United States, and Father of the U. S. Constitution, Madison County was established in 1812 out of Randolph and St. Clair Counties, before Illinois became a state on December 3, 1818. At the time it was established, Madison encompassed the majority of the Illinois Territory. All of Illinois north of the current southern boundary of Madison County between the Mississippi and Wabash Rivers was part of the county. In 1814, the formation of Edwards County removed almost half of the eastern part, and the final boundary change came in 1843, when a small portion on the northeast corner of Madison County became part of Bond County.

Madison County is the home of the Cahokia Mounds Historic Site -- the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico that had its peak of power in circa 1100-1200 A.D. The site is named for the Cahokia, a sub tribe of the Illini Nation.

Also prominent in the history of Madison County is the Legend of the Piasa Bird, whose painting was found by Marquette and Joliet on their expedition through the area in 1675. A painting of the bird can be found on the bluffs, just west of Alton.

The county seat is Edwardsville. In the late 1800s, Madison County became an industrial powerhouse, and in the 20th century, was known for first, Graniteware, and later, its steel mills, oil refineries, and other heavy industry. In the year 1900, the population of Madison was 64,694.  In 2006, the population was 265,303 [Source: Wikipedia.org].  For more county history click here.

 

 

 

Links to Town Histories

 

 

Alton

Alton Newspaper Clippings

Alton's History - A Bustling, Prosperous River Town

Alton Penitentiary/Civil War Prison

Why Alton Gave Away Her Chance to be the Capital of Illinois

The Lincoln - Douglas Debate

The Lincoln - Shields Duel

The Elijah P. Lovejoy Story

The Legend of the Piasa Bird

The Story of Piasata and the Legend of the Piasa Bird

The State Fair, Held in Alton, 1856

The Early History of the Alton State Hospital  

East Alton

Disaster at Wann Junction - January 21, 1893 - A train wreck of unspeakable horror.

Edwardsville

Madison County Fair, Held in Edwardsville, Illinois in 1857

Historic Leclaire District   [offsite]    New!

Upper Alton

Colonel Andrew Fuller Rodgers - His Story

1847 Anti-Slavery Convention 

History of Western Military Academy     

 

 

 

 

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This page last updated:  11/20/2014

 

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Col. James Madison

The Father of Our Constitution

Colonel James Madison

 

“The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded. We’ve staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government–far from it.  We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the commandments of God.” ~Madison

 

 

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