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Situated in southeastern Madison County, the city of Madison is one of the wealthiest cities in Mississippi. Named for the fourth president of the United States, James Madison, the city began as a railroad town in 1856, when the Illinois Central Railroad opened Madison Station, as the community was first known. The now defunct town of Madisonville had been established along the stagecoach route on the Natchez Trace, and served as the first county seat in 1828. When it was bypassed by the railroad, its businesses and residents moved to the new railroad town. Madison Station suffered a great deal of damage during the War of Northern Aggression, and was mostly destroyed in 1863 following the July Siege of Jackson. No battles were fought in Madison Station, but Confederate Major General Stephen D. Lee was headquartered there in February of 1864. At the end of the Civil War, the railroad continued to be a significant contributor to the town’s economy. In 1897, Madison Station was incorporated as a village, although its charter was later lost due to a failure to hold regular elections. Madison is currently incorporated as a city. Madison is situated along US Highway 55, just north of Ridgeland and west of the Ross R. Barnett Reservoir. Other nearby communities include Annandale, Gluckstadt, and Meltonville. The state capital of Jackson, Mississippi is about fourteen miles south of Madison.


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