Madison, Mississippi

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Madison is a city in Madison County, Mississippi, USA. The population was 14,691 at the 2000 census. The population is currently 16,930. It is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Madison, named for James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, grew up along a bustling railroad track in pre-Civil War Mississippi. It began in 1856 when the Illinois Central Railroad opened Madison Station, the forerunner of the city of Madison. Although nearby Madisonville, a settlement established along the stagecoach route on the Natchez Trace, had a race track, two banks, a wagon factory and at least one hotel, its residents gradually moved to the new town. The little railroad community began to thrive, and Madisonville became extinct.

Like many railroad towns in the South, Madison Station was a victim of the Union Army during the Civil War. Just 10 miles from the state capital of Jackson, Madison Station was largely destroyed in 1863, after the July 18–22 siege of Jackson. No battles were fought in Madison County, but Major General Stephen D. Lee concentrated his command in Madison Station during the month of February 1864. Stephen Lee would later become the first president of Mississippi State College (now Mississippi State University).

The railroad continued to attract growth after the Civil War. In 1897, the Madison Land Company encouraged northerners to "Go South, and grow up with the country." Located in Chicago, the land company’s interest in development prompted Madison to incorporate as a village, though the charter was later lost when regular elections were not held because of the failure of the "land boom".

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