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By 1837 Madison had made great progress. It was a major river port and manufacturing center. Its population growth had accelerated in the latter part of the 1830s and it had been awarded the contract for the first railroad in the state and was the terminus for the first interstate highway. It was a gateway from the east and west for settlers moving into the interior of the state and other northern and western points. The business and residential areas of Madison had expanded beyond East and West Streets, the original east to west boundaries, and it was pushing northward where it met the unyielding hills. It was politically and financially powerful. Therefore, in 1837 it qualified for city status and applied for such standing. The State Assembly granted it a charter to change its rank from a town to a city. This charter was to be in effect from and after the first Monday in April, 1837.
The boundaries of the city were defined at that time and administrative officers described. The officers of the city consisted of a mayor, to serve a three year term and eight councilmen, one from each ward. They, in turn, appointed a city clerk, assessor, collector, treasurer and marshal. Moody Park was elected the first mayor. He was considered to be a progressive, educated gentleman, well suited to leadership and he served as mayor for twelve years.
MJCPL: History of Jefferson County by E. O. Muncie
MJCPL: Historical Files
Our local history-genealogy specialist is
Monday and Wednesday 1-5; Thursday 4-9 and Saturday 9-5. You can ask a question online or by phone at 812-265-2744.
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The History Rescue Project :: © 2008-2009 by the Jefferson County Public Library. 420 W. Main St., Madison, IN 47250. (812) 265-2744.
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