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Madison, Indiana


SKU: 30
Product Details

Beautifully engraved antique bond certificate from Madison, Indiana dating back to the early 1900's. This document, which is signed by the city Mayor and Clerk, was printed by Wm. B. Burford Litho, and measures approximately 11" (w) by 17" (h).


This certificate's supurb vignette shows an aerial view of the Madison and its waterfront complete with paddlewheelers and barges.

You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

    Historical Context

    Madison was laid out and platted in 1810, and the first lots were sold in 1811 by John Paul. It had busy early years due to heavy river traffic and its position as an entry point into the Indiana Territory along the historic Old Michigan Road. Madison's location across the Ohio River from Kentucky, a slave state, made it an important location on the Underground Railroad, which worked to free fugitive slaves. George DeBaptiste's barbershop in town became a nerve center of the local group.

    Indiana's first railroad, the Madison & Indianapolis Railroad, was built there from 1836 to 1847. Chartered in 1832 by the Indiana State Legislature as the Madison Indianapolis & Lafayette Railroad, and construction begun September 16, 1836, the railroad was transferred to private ownership on January 31, 1843, as the Madison & Indianapolis Railroad. Successful for more than a decade, the railroad went into decline and was sold at foreclosure in 1862, renamed the Indianapolis & Madison Railroad, and after a series of corporate transfers, became part of the massive Pennsylvania Railroad system in 1921. In March 1924, the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce was founded to aid area business growth and development.

    Madison's days as a leading Indiana city were numbered, however, when river traffic declined and new railroads built between Louisville, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati tapped into Madison's trade network. As a result, Madison's growth did not continue at the same pace it had experienced before the Civil War. During the late nineteenth century, many new buildings were still being built, but in many cases older structures were modernized by adding cast-iron storefronts and ornamental sheet metal cornices. Some earlier buildings survived without major alterations, and the Madison National Landmark Historic District today contains examples of all the major architectural styles of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, from Federal to Art Moderne.