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The city of Madison, Nebraska was founded in 1867, and named for Madison County, for which it was designated the county seat in 1875. The Homestead Act of 1862 encouraged several people to travel west in the quest for free land. Among these was a group of people from Wisconsin, who were of German descent. When they arrived at the junction of the Elkhorn and North Fox rivers, they found a small group of settlers from Illinois there. Not wanting to live with the Germans, the Illinois group moved to Columbus, while several other settlers resettled on Union Creek, forming what became Madison, Nebraska. The gold rush in the Black Hills brought travelers through the area, offering trade opportunities, and the railroad brought additional opportunities and settlers to Madison County. Madison is south of Warnerville and Norfolk, and north of Humphrey and Columbus.



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