Synopses & Reviews
On September 14, 1812, territorial governor Ninian Edwards set aside the third county of the Illinois Territory and named it Madison for his friend Pres. James Madison. The boundaries of the newly created Madison County extended from its current southern border to the northern border of the Illinois territory and from the Wabash River on the east to the Mississippi River on the west. There were only a few settlements, and the daily life of the early pioneers consisted of the hard work required to survive. But the settlers did survive, and the county grew in population while shrinking to its current geographical size. Small settlements became thriving communities, such as Edwardsville, Alton, Collinsville, Highland, Granite City, and many others. In 200 years, the county has moved from an economy based almost completely on agriculture to one that has included railroads, flour mills, coal mines, steel mills, and oil refineries.
About the Author
Mary T. Westerhold and the Madison County Historical Society have selected images from the society's collection of more than 7,000 photographs to showcase the progress started by early settlers and continued through two centuries.