Madison County Illinois resides just northeast of St. Louis, Missouri on the eastern shore line of the Mississippi River. With a landmass of only 741 miles, the densely populated area has over a quarter of a million residents. Granite City is the largest city in the county, and Edwardsville is the county seat.
Established in September 1812, Madison County was formed from portions of St. Clair and Randolph counties. It got its name from Pres. James Madison. Originally, the county stretched from its southern border north to the area above Wisconsin and Lake Superior. By 1843, the boundary area had been trimmed to its current size.
Madison County saddles up to a variety of counties in both Illinois and Missouri. Illinois counties include Bond (east), Clinton (southeast), St. Clair (south), Jersey (northwest), Macoupin (north) and Montgomery (northeast). Bordering Missouri counties include St. Louis (west) and St. Charles (northwest).
Transportation and Traveling
Due to the close proximity to St. Louis Missouri, Madison County sees significant travel along its interstates. I-55 travels eastward out of St. Louis, heading northward through the county toward Springfield, Illinois. I-70 runs east and west across northern St. Louis County, then across the Mississippi River into Madison County, heading eastward to Terre Haute, Indiana. Interstate 255 heads north/south from Godfrey to Collinsville.
Residents and visitors have access to the Madison County Transit Authority (MCT), with regular bus schedules offering weekday commuter service in and out of downtown St. Louis. In addition, the MCT transit company provides city-to-city transport within Madison County, local shuttle service and connections to Madison County with the St. Louis MetroLink.
Madison County is home to a variety of private and public airports including the St. Louis regional Airport east of Alton. In addition, pilots can land or take off from Lake Westwind Airport in Godfrey, Highland-Winet Airport in Highland, Silver Creek Gliderport in New Douglas and the St. Louis Metro-East Shafer Field Airport in St. Jacob. Lambert Field St. Louis International Airport (STL) in Missouri is only 29 miles from downtown Edwardsville, Illinois.
Because of its dense population and close proximity to the major metropolitan area of St. Louis, the residents of Madison County have access to high-quality health care. Local area hospitals include:
- St. Clair’s Hospital (Alton)
- Edwardsville Ambulatory Surgery Center (Glen Carbon)
- Anderson Hospital Express Care (Glen Carbon)
- Gateway Regional Medical Center (Granite City)
- St. Anthony’s Health Center (Alton)
Madison County Court System
The Madison County Courthouse is located at 155 North Main St. in Edwardsville, hearing cases under the Illinois third judicial Circuit Court. With over 90,000 cases every year, the Madison County Circuit Court handles felonies, misdemeanors, civil cases, small claims, traffic tickets and disputes.
The county also offers a legal self-help center for residents, with access to a variety of forms for filing a small claim, changing a name or adjusting child-support payments. The self-help center provides valuable legal information and free assistance with public access computers, along with answers to many common general questions.
Madison County is home to a variety of colleges and universities including Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville located at 1 Hairpin Dr. in Edwardsville. Students also attend the Lewis and Clark Community College at 5800 Godfrey Rd. in Godfrey, along with the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine in Alton.
Privately owned and operated Sanford Brown College in Collinsville offers specialized associate degrees in medical coding and billing, medical assistance, massage therapy, business management, business administration and accounting. They also offer applied science degrees in business management and administration.
An Economically Rich County
With a close proximity to the major metropolitan St. Louis area, and its highly skilled and abundant workforce, Madison County has become an attractive place for business owners, financiers and residents. It maintains direct access to the Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi rivers and four of the major interstates and major rail lines crisscrossing North America. Because of that, many companies are seeing the advantage of Madison County is a distribution point.
The Madison County community development group provides a variety of economic development programs to meet the needs of new entrepreneurs and existing businesses. Their future goals are designed to improve the quality of life for business owners and residents living in Madison County.
The tax incentives and benefits offered by the county attract new businesses every year to the urban, suburban and rural communities of Madison County. Their programs create and retain high-quality jobs for many of the residents of the county while expanding the tax basis of local governments.
Local Entertainment and Attractions
Visitors and residents of Madison County enjoy a variety of activities, attractions and local entertainment. Some of these include:
- Splash City Water Park (Collinsville)
- Gateway Fun Park (Collinsville)
- Tri-City Speedway (Granite City)
- Mineral Springs Haunted Tours (Alton)
- Woodlands Golf Club
- Rusty Wallace Racing Experience (Gateway Motorsports Park)
In addition to entertainment in Madison County, residents and visitors of the county also have access to a variety of things to do in St. Louis, Missouri. This includes the St. Louis Science Center, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the City Museum, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, Forest Park, the St. Louis Zoo and the Gateway Arch.
The county offers a variety of activities year-round, along its western, southern and eastern borders. This includes buying homemade goods at street fairs, walking and biking on the Madison County trail system, enjoying narrated hikes at the watershed nature center, participating in heritage festivals and art in the park events. Edwardsville is known for its annual LeClaire Park Fest, St. Jacob for its Strawberry Festival and Collinsville for its Fall Festival.
Many people are moving into Madison County and staying because of its exemplary school systems, reduced crime rates, pristine parks, excellent healthcare facilities and emergency services, all in a small town environment. It has close proximity to St. Louis’ entertainment centers, professional sports venues and top-notch eating establishments. As a result, many families are deciding that Madison County is the ideal location for working, living and playing year-round.
For information on cities in and around Madison County, please look at the pages below: