Madison County, located in central East Texas, is surrounded by Leon County to the north, Houston County to the northeast, Walker County to the southeast, Grimes County to the south and Brazos County to the southwest. Madisonville, the county seat and largest town, is near interstate Highway 45 about 100 miles northwest of Houston.
Cities, Towns & Communities
Antioch | Bullard | Cammack | Connor | Cottonwood | Elwood | Island Community | Madisonville – county seat | Midway | Mount Tabor | Normangee (mostly in Leon County) | North Zulch | Trinidad | Zulch (Willowhole)
Judicial Madison County was formed on February 2, 1842, from Montgomery County. (Judicial counties were later declared unconstitutional because they had no legislative representation.) Because residents of the northern parts of Walker and Grimes counties lived forty to fifty miles from their county seats, they petitioned the legislature for the establishment of a new county. The formation of Madison County from Grimes, Walker, and Leon counties was approved on January 27, 1853, and organization followed on August 7, 1854. Kittrell was instrumental in this effort, and became the county’s first representative in the legislature. He selected the site for the county seat, which was preferred because of its central location; he named the county and its seat for the nation’s fourth president, James Madison. Dr. Kittrell was also Sam Houston’s physician and was in attendance at the general’s death. Of numerous early settlements, only three flourished. Midway, the oldest town in Madison County, was settled in 1829 by J. H. Young. It was located in the eastern end of the county approximately three miles from the Trinity River and named Midway in 1855, when Professor Joseph A. Clark arrived from Midway, Kentucky. North Zulch, in the west end of the county, was named for Julius Zulch, who emigrated from Germany in 1848 and founded the settlement named Zulch. Around 1906, the community moved to the railroad and became North Zulch. Madisonville, the county seat, was established upon the formation of the county, in compliance with the legislature’s ruling that county seats be no more than five miles removed from the centers of the counties. By 1854 Elwood, one of the largest communities in the county, was a rival to Madisonville for designation as the county seat. But after being passed over, it did not continue to prosper. Read Madison County History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>
A History of Madison County, 1984, by the Madison County Historical Commission.
Madison County Library
605 S May St
Madisonville, TX 77864
(936) 348-6118 website