Madison County, the 38th county formed in Georgia, was created in 1811 from parts of Clarke, Elbert, Franklin, Jackson and Oglethorpe counties. It was named for President James Madison.
The county has six municipalities, with Danielsville serving as the county seat. The other communities are Carlton, Colbert, Comer, Hull and Ila. Carlton was once called Berkeley and was incorporated by Georgia General Assembly in 1892. Colbert was incorporated in 1899 and known as Town of Five Forks and was officially renamed Colbert in 1909 after James Fletcher Colbert, an early settler. Comer was incorporated in 1893 and named after A.J. Comer, a pioneer Citizen. Danielsville was named for General Allen Daniel (1772-1836) was designated county seat in 1812 and incorporated as a city in 1908. Hull was incorporated in 1905 and was most likely named after Reverend Hope Hull, a Methodist Church Leader. Ila was incorporated in 1910 and derived its name from the Choctaw Language meaning "Dead".
Crawford W. Long, the first doctor to use ether in surgery, was born in Danielsville in 1815. His childhood home is located in Danielsville and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Early agriculture in Madison County was devoted to food crops and livestock (cattle, hogs, and sheep), which were sufficient to feed the population. Just after the Civil War ended, the demand for a cash crop led to major reliance on cotton. The soils of Madison County were heavily damaged by the cotton monoculture common in this region prior to the 1930s. Presently, 23% of the land is considered prime agricultural land. Agribusiness dominates the local economy, with poultry and egg production particularly important.
Madison and Oglethorpe counties share Watson Mill Bridge State Park; the site of the longest covered bridge in Georgia. The bridge, which is over 100 years old, spans 229 feet of the South Fork of the Broad River. The bridge was constructed in 1885, costing $3228.00 to build. The original framework of the bridge is still there, however the bridge was renovated and repaired in the early 1970's. There are also facilities for camping, hiking trails, picnicking and fishing in the park.
The Madison County Courthouse, one of the most ornate in Georgia, was built in 1901 for the sum of $18,314. The Courthouse was designed by J.W. Golucke who was also the architect for 19 other Courthouses in the state of Georgia. The lead Contractor for the building of the Courthouse was Fred Wagener of Atlanta. Construction of the Courthouse began in April of 1901 and was mostly completed for the first court sessions in September of 1901. The historic courthouse was in regular use by county offices for 95 years before it became overcrowded and additional space was needed. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At this time the courthouse is not occupied by government offices but may be used in the future.
New Hope Presbyterian Church, established in 1788, is the third oldest church in Georgia.
The Madison County Government Complex now houses most of the government offices and the courts. Situated at 91 Albany Avenue, in Danielsville, and within view of the Historic Courthouse, the Complex was previously the site of the Danielsville Elementary School. The building was renovated and has been occupied since June 1997.
Some of the local festivals include the Georgia Indian Awareness Weekend, the Madison County Agricultural Fair and Christmas on the Lawn.
The 2020 Census indicated the population of Madison County to be 30,120.
(Some information provided by the Georgia Dept. of Community Affairs)