The area which is now Madison County was originally inhabited by the Creek and Cherokee Indians.
By 1773, most of this land was ceded by the Cherokee Indians to the Colonial Governor of Georgia,
opening the area to frontier settlement. Two large counties were formed out of this land; Wilkes County in 1777
and Franklin County in 1784.
Wilkes and Franklin were soon divided into several
smaller counties, and Madison was subsequently formed in 1811 from 281
square miles of Elbert, Franklin, Clarke, Jackson and Oglethorpe Counties,
and named for James Madison, who was President at the time. Madison County was Georgia’s 38th county.
Botanist William Bartram accompanied the men who surveyed the boundary of
1773 land secession from which part of the county of Madison would
eventually be formed. Although the land did have earlier settlers, his
descriptions provide one of the earliest written descriptions of this
The Old Madison County
Land grants to Revolutionary War veterans and others were the most
popular way of disbursing the land. Among the more famous was a grant to
Count D'estaing, Frenchman who helped the freedom fighters of the American
Revolution lose the battle of Savannah.
Organized originally as Wilkes County, The lands to the west were
acquired from the Cherokee in the Secession of 1783-4. At that time a string
of forts marked the western boundary of the Georgia expansion. Four of these
forts were in present-day Madison County including Jones Station.
Farmers grew corn, beans and pumpkin at the start of the 19th century.
Cotton production had not made it this far west at the time, and for most
farming was a subsistence life. Starting about 1800 the agricultural base of
the county began to diversify and products expanded to in cotton, beef,
dairy and oats.
The county was created on Dec. 5 1811 from portions of Clarke,
Oglethorpe, Elbert, Franklin and Jackson counties. The Henry Strickland home
was used as the first courthouse. James Long of Danielsville was well
recognized in the early history of the county. He was one of the first
"bankers" albeit without the bank. He would loan money to the farmers, who
would pay him back when the crop came in.
His son, Crawford Long, is generally recognized today as being the first
doctor to anesthetize his patients. Long, who practiced in Danielsville
before moving to Jefferson in 1841 had a brother who was a doctor and
remained in Danielsville.