Madison County
Madison County Courthouse in Marshall
Madison County Courthouse in Marshall
Flag of Madison County
Official seal of Madison County
Official logo of Madison County
Map of North Carolina highlighting Madison County
Location within the U.S. state of North Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 35°52′N 82°43′W / 35.86°N 82.71°W / 35.86; -82.71
Country United States
State North Carolina
Founded1851
Named forJames Madison
SeatMarshall
Largest townMars Hill
Area
 • Total451 sq mi (1,170 km2)
 • Land450 sq mi (1,200 km2)
 • Water1.9 sq mi (5 km2)  0.4%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2021)
21,502
 • Density47.8/sq mi (18.5/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district11th
Websitewww.madisoncountync.gov
Advertisement for Warm Springs Hotel, Madison County, ca. 1880
Advertisement for Warm Springs Hotel, Madison County, ca. 1880

Madison County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 21,193.[1] Its county seat is Marshall.[2] Madison County is part of the Asheville, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

The county was formed in 1851 from parts of Buncombe County and Yancey County. It was named for James Madison, fourth President of the United States (1809–1817).[3]

As of 1903, Madison County was mostly a sundown county, prohibiting African Americans from living there, except within a mile of the courthouse in Marshall.[4]

Geography

Interactive map of Madison County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 451 square miles (1,170 km2), of which 450 square miles (1,200 km2) is land and 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2) (0.4%) is water.[5]

Madison County is located deep in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina, and much of the county's terrain is rugged, heavily forested, and sparsely populated. The county's northern border is with the State of Tennessee. Madison County's largest river is the French Broad River, which flows north-northwest through the county, first past the county seat of Marshall, then past the resort town of Hot Springs.

National protected area

State and local protected area

Major water bodies

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18605,908
18708,19238.7%
188012,81056.4%
189017,80539.0%
190020,64415.9%
191020,132−2.5%
192020,083−0.2%
193020,3061.1%
194022,52210.9%
195020,522−8.9%
196017,217−16.1%
197016,003−7.1%
198016,8275.1%
199016,9530.7%
200019,63515.8%
201020,7645.7%
202021,1932.1%
2021 (est.)21,502[6]1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[11]
2020[12]

2020 census

Madison County racial composition[13]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 19,233 90.75%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 197 0.93%
Native American 56 0.26%
Asian 84 0.4%
Pacific Islander 1 0.0%
Other/Mixed 874 4.12%
Hispanic or Latino 748 3.53%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 21,193 people, 8,403 households, and 5,456 families residing in the county.

2000 census

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 19,635 people, 8,000 households, and 5,592 families residing in the county. The population density was 44 people per square mile (17/km2). There were 9,722 housing units at an average density of 22 per square mile (8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.63% White, 0.83% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.45% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. 1.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,000 households, out of which 28.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.50% were married couples living together, 8.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.10% were non-families. 26.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 21.20% under the age of 18, 10.30% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 26.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,985, and the median income for a family was $37,383. Males had a median income of $27,950 versus $22,678 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,076. About 10.90% of families and 15.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.60% of those under age 18 and 19.20% of those age 65 or over.

Law, government, and politics

Government

Madison County is governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners who are elected every two years with staggered four year terms as proscribed by North Carolina state law.. The Board selects its own chairman and holds scheduled meetings on the second Monday of each month.[15] Madison County is a member of the Land-of-Sky Regional Council of governments.[16]

Law and policing

The Madison County Sheriff's Office protects the court, manages the jail, protects county owned facilities, and provides patrol and detective services for the unincorporated areas of the county. The towns of Mars Hill, Hot Springs, and Marshall have municipal police departments.

Politics

Due to its Appalachian highland location, Unionist sympathies during the American Civil War, and rural character, Madison County has been a historically Republican county, even during the Solid South Democratic era. For a time the county turned competitive before again becoming strongly Republican – although as recently as 2008, Barack Obama came within two hundred votes of carrying the county. The county is notorious for political machines: the Ponder machine governed the county from the late 1950s to the 1990s, and before that a long-lived Republican machine had ruled the county and kept it in GOP hands between 1880 and 1956:[17] it was one of five North Carolina counties to reject Franklin Roosevelt in all four of his campaigns, and one of only seven each to vote for Alf Landon in 1936 and for Wendell Willkie in 1940.

United States presidential election results for Madison County, North Carolina[18]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 7,979 61.02% 4,901 37.48% 196 1.50%
2016 6,783 60.19% 3,926 34.84% 560 4.97%
2012 5,404 53.44% 4,484 44.34% 225 2.22%
2008 5,192 50.02% 5,026 48.42% 161 1.55%
2004 5,175 54.69% 4,234 44.74% 54 0.57%
2000 4,676 56.17% 3,505 42.10% 144 1.73%
1996 3,110 44.24% 3,333 47.41% 587 8.35%
1992 3,121 39.07% 3,980 49.82% 888 11.12%
1988 3,453 53.07% 3,033 46.62% 20 0.31%
1984 3,666 54.81% 2,988 44.67% 35 0.52%
1980 2,629 44.02% 3,202 53.62% 141 2.36%
1976 2,446 41.49% 3,433 58.24% 16 0.27%
1972 3,273 61.18% 2,039 38.11% 38 0.71%
1968 3,130 49.18% 2,201 34.58% 1,034 16.25%
1964 3,336 46.56% 3,829 53.44% 0 0.00%
1960 4,422 49.31% 4,546 50.69% 0 0.00%
1956 4,263 53.58% 3,693 46.42% 0 0.00%
1952 4,751 56.45% 3,666 43.55% 0 0.00%
1948 3,341 55.73% 2,558 42.67% 96 1.60%
1944 4,388 65.70% 2,291 34.30% 0 0.00%
1940 4,617 59.28% 3,171 40.72% 0 0.00%
1936 5,099 61.94% 3,133 38.06% 0 0.00%
1932 4,552 61.76% 2,769 37.57% 49 0.66%
1928 4,776 81.38% 1,093 18.62% 0 0.00%
1924 3,252 67.79% 1,471 30.66% 74 1.54%
1920 3,616 72.96% 1,340 27.04% 0 0.00%
1916 1,965 66.91% 972 33.09% 0 0.00%
1912 430 16.24% 897 33.89% 1,320 49.87%

Madison is considered a "dry" county, meaning that the sale and/or public consumption of alcoholic beverages is illegal within the county limits. However, individual towns have right of self-determination regarding alcohol sales, and Hot Springs, Marshall and Mars Hill[19] all allow beer and wine sales, but not liquor.

Education

Madison County's public educational system consists of one early college high school, one traditional high school (Madison High School, located in the county seat of Marshall), one middle school (Madison Middle School), and three elementary schools (Brush Creek Elementary, Hot Springs Elementary, and Mars Hill Elementary).[20] Brush Creek Elementary was built as a merger of Marshall Elementary and Walnut Elementary after the latter burned down in 1998.

The county is also home to Mars Hill University, a private, coed, four-year liberal-arts university. Founded in 1856, Mars Hill is the oldest college or university in western North Carolina. The university offers 34 majors and seven degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Social Work, and Master of Education.

Culture

Madison County was historically a center for old-time folk music. Among others, the folk song Rain and Snow likely originated there, in the late 19th century.[21]

Communities

Map of Madison County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Madison County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels

Towns

Townships

The county is divided into eleven townships: Beech Glenn, Ebbs Chapel, Grapevine, Hot Springs, Laurel, Mars Hill, Marshall, Revere Rice Cove, Sandy Mush, Spring Creek and Walnut.[22]

Formerly there were sixteen townships, which were both numbered and named:

Unincorporated communities

See also

References

  1. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Madison County, North Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 3, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 196.
  4. ^ "The Negro in the North". The Laurens Advertiser. Laurens, South Carolina. September 2, 1903. p. 2 – via Chronicling America. Madison County in the mountains of North Carolina is a Republican county. Except within a mile of the court house negroes are not allowed to live.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on January 12, 2015. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  6. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Madison County, North Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  9. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  11. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 19, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Madison County, North Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  13. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  15. ^ "Madison County Website - County Commissioners". Archived from the original on January 4, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
  16. ^ "Home".
  17. ^ Menendez, Albert J.; The Religious Factor in the 1960 Presidential Election: An Analysis of the Kennedy Victory over Anti-Catholic Prejudice, pp. 89-90 ISBN 0786484934
  18. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  19. ^ "Asheville-Citizen Times - Mars Hill voters approved beer, wine sales". March 5, 2008.
  20. ^ "Madison County Schools / Homepage".
  21. ^ Blackman, Patrick (September 10, 2012). "Cold Rain and Snow – Introduction". Sing Out!. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  22. ^ "1991 General Assembly of North Carolina - House Bill 689 - Madison County School Elections" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on December 2, 2007.

Coordinates: 35°52′N 82°43′W / 35.86°N 82.71°W / 35.86; -82.71