Genealogy and History of Madison County, Nebraska

Madison County is in the third tier of counties, south from the Missouri River, on the north line of the State, and the fourth tier from the same river on the east line of the State. Its area contains 576 square miles, or 368,640 acres.

The county was created in 1856, by the Territorial Legislature, and its boundary lines fixed by statute; nor have these original boundaries since been changed.

The surface of Madison County is composed of upland, valley, bluff and bottom lands in the following proportions: Upland, 40 per cent; valley, 40 per cent; bluff and sandy lands, 15 per cent; bottom lands, 5 per cent. The bottom lands lying immediately along the creeks are subject to overflow; the sandy lands lie mainly in the eastern part of the county, midway from north to south; they furnish excellent pasture, and constitute 12 per cent of the surface; the Elkhorn Valley extends across the northern end of the county, varying from three to six miles in width; Union and Taylor Valleys are in the southeastern comer, and Shell Creek Valley in the hundred feet above the bottom lands.

The surface soil of the bottom lands, uplands and valleys, is mainly a dark sandy loam, varying in depth from two to eight feet. Beneath this the subsoil is either sand or clay, which lie upon each other to an unknown depth, the rock below not having been reached in any deep borings as yet. At a depth of about twelve feet in some places, a coarse gravelly layer is found.

Biographies of Madison County, Nebraska

History of Madison County, Nebraska

Maps of Madison County, Nebraska

Townships of Madison County, Nebraska

Source: Andreas, A. T. History of the State of Nebraska, p. 1102-11. Chicago: The Western Historical Company. 1882.

8 thoughts on “Genealogy and History of Madison County, Nebraska”

  1. I was asked to find a Home Stead by Knut Wingestad from Norway, by some family members also from Norway. I was told Knut had a claim close to Newman Grove. I also know Knut went back to Norway years later. So any chance to go through to see if someone can find the location of the home stead?
    That would be great. I would then take a photo and send it to Norway, as long as it’s ok by todays owner.
    This may be Boone, Madison, or Platte counties.

  2. My great uncle, John S. Avery (originally from NY, lived in Iowa for a time) last appears in a Veterans Schedule – a surviving portion on the 1890 census – in Battle Creek Nebraska. His widow later appears in Wyoming in the 1900 census. I have no idea what happens to him between 1890 and 1900. I have found nothing on any of the major genealogy sites. Are there death records in these places? Who might I contact to track down his place of death IF it was even in Newbraska?
    Thanks in advance for any responses.

  3. Hello,
    I am looking for a divorce record for Emil August Schoenfeldt. He was married to Julia Fetterley in 1924. The marriage took place in Minnesota. 2nd March in 1925 there’s a son, Vernon Emil Schoenfeldt, born in Madison, NE – link Ancestry –

    Only one parent registered, Emil A Schoenfeldt.

    In 1930 census Emil is listed as divorced – link Ancestry –

    Also living with him is his son Vernon, both in Norfolk, Madison, NE.

    Link to Find A Grave –

    Could you please advise as to where I can locate a divorce record, or perhaps something is written in a local newspaper?

    Egil J

  4. Does anyone know about the history of the Oxnard Hotel in downtown Norfolk? Am writing an autobiography – lived with my father in either the Oxnard Hotel or Norfolk Hotel for about 2 months before moving into a rented house – September/October 1960. Do you know of any photographs that I could obtain scanned? Are these two different time periods — Would 1960 have had a newer building than the one built in 1906? The building was on the corner of South 2nd Street and Norfolk Ave as I remember.
    I worked at Behmer’s Music Center 1960-62 when I was in high school. Any photos of downtown Norfolk – 302 Norfolk Avenue? Especially if the sign is visible. Happy to pay for them.
    Any information about these two areas especially – would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.
    Thank you.

  5. Hello,
    I am a local historian in my hometown Langen, Hesse, Germany. I am currently writing a documentary about the emigrants from Langen to America. One family, Michael Bauch, settled in Madison, Nebraska. I would like to use a historical picture of Medison in my publication. Is there such a picture and who could provide it to me? Is there any information about Michael Bauch and his family.
    Thank you
    Gaby Klein

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