At 4 p.m. on December 20, 2014, the Madison County Historical Society will mark a birthday of 130 years old. It was on this date, December 20, 1884, that the Articles of Association creating the Society were filed in the recorder’s office and timed to 4 p.m. The original signers of the Articles of Association were William Roach, Samuel Harden, C. E. Diven, Charles B. Gerand, Francis J. Walker, B. J. Spaun, Stephen Metcalf, R. I. Hamilton, I. T. Luse, Dory Biddle, M. F. Bosworth, O. L. Kells, M. F. Hunt, B. H. Campbell, and M. F. Chipman.
Finding a home has been elusive through the years. In 1926, the Society was incorporated under Indiana law and became the Madison County Historical Society, Inc. By 1970, meetings were being held in the old YWCA building on Jackson Street. Sometime after that the Society began meeting at the Anderson Public Library where it remained until September, 1999 when it moved to 1931 Brown Street.
During those years, several persons made significant contributions to the growing success of the Society. Several of those people making a very important mark and contribution to the Society were Howard Eldon, Elwood Phillips, Charles and Esther Dittlinger, Helen Harvey Baumer, Linda Shelton, Gloria Lamper, Lucille Brown, John and Mary Chismar, and Maude Ward.
In 2004, the Society moved again. This time to its present location at 15 West 11th Street, Anderson, Indiana. Our building contains almost 23,000 square feet, spread over two floors and a basement. Shortly after moving in, a group of dedicated individuals with various skills began the process of transforming the former Citizens Bank building into a historical society; one of which the citizens of Madison County can be proud.
Located on the first floor are our administrative offices, a genealogy research library, the Dr. Jack B. Nicholson Library, the Bowman Room, Exhibit Hall, and the Historical Photo Gallery. The model trains have found a home in the basement rooms where the “railroad” guys do their “thing”. On the second floor, we have a number of storage rooms and small exhibit rooms. A future museum is planned for the very large area on the west side of the building upstairs.
The public is invited to visit us anytime on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.