Madison County

Population (2010): 15,779

Land Area: 561 Square Miles

Homeownership Rate (2012): 77.4%

Median House Hold Income (2012): $56,765










County History

Madison County was organized in 1846 and is named after James Madison, the fourth President of the United States. Its picturesque terrain features an abundance of rivers and creeks. Originally boasting 21 covered bridges, six remain today with five being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Birthplace of John Wayne 

Born Marion Robert Morrison in 1907, John Wayne began life in a modest home in Winterset. The home has been restored to its 1907 appearance with authentic furnishings, and features memorabilia such as the eye patch worn in True Grit. Guided tours are available daily. John Wayne-related items are now available for purchase at their site. Sales of products help support the John Wayne Birthplace Society.

Madison County Courthouse

The present courthouse is actually the second structure to reside on the site. The original courthouse was burned down in 1875. The second and present day structure is identical to the first structure and was built in 1876 and made of limestone. The Madison County Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Delicious Apple

Jesse Hiatt was a farmer who discovered an unusual seedling in his apple orchard in 1872. He carefully nurtured the tree, and found its first fruit to be of a remarkable flavor. Originally named Hiatt’s “Hawkeye,” the apple was entered in the Missouri State Fair in 1893. Upon biting into the apple, one judge proclaimed it “delicious” and that name stuck. A descendant of the original Delicious apple tree still stands just north of Peru, and residents celebrate each year with an Apple Days festival. (Source: Madison County Chamber of Commerce)

Picture Source: Madisoncounty.com