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

To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?”  Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 B.C.)


 

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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 .....

 

Old Plank Road House in Alton Said to be Visited by Spooks

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 29, 1905

      

There is always something doing to attract the attention of the skeptic and cause him to wonder, if after all his doubts which he calls convictions, there is not more to life than what we see of it on earth. Mysterious manifestations, many of which have never been explained, have been of frequent occurrence throughout the country, and Alton has not been entirely neglected in this particular either. According to residents of Upper Belle street, or "the old plank road" as it is yet called by many, there is something uncanny going on in a house above the Dixon stone quarry, and the ghosts, or whatever they are, do not wait until night, as most regulated ghosts have done from time immemorial, to begin their pranks either.  Often in the middle of the day occupants of the house hear the flapping of wings as if some great bird was in the room and close to descent upon the listeners. Nothing can be seen, however, and the sound continues sometimes for five minutes, while the bewildered occupants listen and tremble and wonder. Queer noises are heard in the cellar of the house at all hours or any hour, and sometimes the sounds are said to issue from the walls of the house apparently. "Things disappear very mysteriously sometimes," the lady of the house says. "Oftentimes they disappear almost before your very eyes, but no trace of them is ever found again, and where they go or by what influence they are controlled cannot be learned."

 

For more Madison County paranormal stories, visited the Paranormal webpage!


 

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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     

 

 

 

 

(Note: Links provided to external websites are provided as convenience and informational purposes only; they do not constitute endorsement or approval of any products, services, or opinions given on external site.)

 

 

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This page last updated:  10/13/2014

 

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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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