County History

Madison County is located in Northwest Arkansas and is bordered on the North by Carroll County, on the East by Carroll and Newton Counties, on the South by Franklin and Johnson Counties, and on the West by Washington and Benton Counties. It has an area of 836 square miles and the average elevation is 1,200 feet.

Madison County Arkansas was created from part of Washington County on September 30, 1836 and was named in honor of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States. Huntsville is the county seat and is home to the Madison County Courthouse and the Madison County Genealogical & Historical Society which house early history of the county.  Two former Arkansas Governors have come from Madison County: Isaac Murphy (1864-1868) and Orval Faubus (1955-1967).

The county is sparsely populated (15,717 according to the 2010 Census) and has great natural beauty. Poultry and beef cattle are raised on small farms throughout the county. A high percentage of residents commute to more industrialized neighboring counties for work.

 The landscape of Madison County is rugged terrain of the Ozark Mountains. The Kings River in Madison County, the only free flowing stream running into the White River, was the first stream in Arkansas to receive legislative recognition and protection. Kings River Falls is protected by a state-owned 17 acre natural area, also protected is the Sweden Creek Falls Natural Area which has an eighty- foot waterfall. Two wildlife management areas are located in the county, Madison County Wildlife Management Area and White Rock Wildlife Management Area. Both offer excellent hunting, which is a popular sport in the county. War Eagle Creek is also located in Madison County, and flows through Withrow Springs State Park, offering family recreation with fishing, canoeing, and camping. The scenic beauty of Madison County draws not only local citizens but many visitors each year. For more county history visit the Madison County Genealogical & Historical Society.