Madison County


            The first settlers in Madison County who came between the years 1846 and 1848, were principally from the State of Missouri. They had lived in a sparsely settled country, were a simple living folk, caring for little beyond their immediate wants, hence they were no town builders.

              In 1848, 49, 50 and later, there was a large influx of settlers from  Indiana, Ohio, and the eastern states. They were more ambitious and visionary than the first settlers. They saw the possibilities of towns springing up on the broad prairies of Iowa. Thus as the County began to settle up, someone would lay out and plat a town site and offer lots free to those who would start some business. Soon a general store would be started, a post office established, and a blacksmith and wagon shop set up. (Herman A. Mueller)

Click on the town name to access a detailed history, usually including family names of early town settlers.

Map of Current & Abandoned Towns & Post Offices


AMAZON The name of the post office from 1850 to 1851 at the village of Richmond.
BARNEY Click on the link to see a history of Barney including many family names.
BELL'S RIDGE Was a post office from 1851 to 1854 in the north western part of section 1 in South Township.
BEVINGTON No information yet
BLOOMINGDALE A post office in 1857 and 1858 in section 35 of Jefferson Township.
BRIDGEPORT Bridgeport was described in a Winterset Madisonian advertisement 30 Sep 1871 as being 2 miles west of St. Charles on Clanton Creek. The advertisement was for a sawmill located there, operated by Daniel Daniel. The location would put it in the northwest quarter of Section 22, South Township.
BROOKLYN Was a town in the southwest quarter of section 14, Walnut Township, laid out in 1855. It was a post office from 1857 to 1860.
BUFFALO A hamlet on the southeast side of Middle River, about one and a half miles south of Winterset. Its mill was its main enterprise. The hamlet flourished from the 1850s to the 1880s.
CHARLOTTSVILLE A post office from 1858 to 1861 in Section 24 of Jackson Township.
CLANTON A post office from 1859 to 1894, located in various farm houses in Monroe Township; in 1875 it was on the north line of section 1.
EARLHAM A town born of the coming of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad.
EAST PERU East Peru was developed when the railroad came through a mile south of old Peru.
EGO The former name of the town of Truro. The post office was Ego from 1881 to 1884.
ELLSWORTH A post office from 1861 to 1873 near the center of section 21, Crawford Township.
FAIRVIEW It was laid out in 1850 as a town in the northeast part of section 24, South Township, one-fourth mile northeast of the present town of St. Charles, but it was never built up.
FOSTER A post office from 1879 to 1882, first in Walnut and later in Scott Township.
GEAR A post office from 1879 to 1903, located in two or more places in Monroe Township, part of the time being in section 24.
GILPIN A post office from 1885 to 1888 in section 1 of Union Township.


(Lee Township)

In 1857, two years after the Monroe "Grandview" was established, another town named Grandview was laid out in the north part of section 27, Lee Township. It was ambitiously planned, but died before building began.

(Monroe Township)

It was laid out as a town in 1855 in section 22 of Monroe Township. It never had but two small buildings, and soon was abandoned. 
HANLEY No information yet
HARRISON A post office from 1900 to 1905 near the center of Webster Township.
HEATON A post office from 1858 to 1861 in section 33 of Lee Township.
INDEPENDENCE The name for a short time in 1849 of the post office at the location that would soon become Winterset.
KASSON A post office from 1861 to 1905 in the southwestern part of Monroe Township.
LAVEGA It was laid out as a town in 1855 in the northwestern part of section 15, Grand River Township, adjacent to where the present town of Macksburg was later built. Lavega never materialized any further than the platting.
LAFEVER A post office from 1892 to 1894 in the southwestern part of section 31, in Grand River Township.
MACKSBURG A town in Grand River Township established in1874.
MAPLE GROVE Was a post office in the southern part of Jackson Township from 1874 to 1889 and the northern part of Webster Township from 1889 to 1903.
MCBRIDE A post office in the southern part of Jefferson Township from 1889 to 1901.
MCPHERSON A post office from 1876 to 1900 in the northwestern part of Monroe Township.
MIDDLE RIVER The name of the post office from 1855 to 1903 at the town of Webster.
MONTPELIER The name of the first post office in the county, 1848 to 1849 in section 26 of Union Township, at Tileville. It was moved in 1849 to the center of the county where Winterset now is, and the name changed to Independence.
NARROWS Otherwise know as Tileville.
NORTH A post office from 1861 to 1869 in the northern part of section 32, Madison Township, at or near the hamlet of Worthington.
NORTH BRANCH A post office form 1853 to 1860 in section 26 of Madison Township.
NORTH RIVER A post office in the western part of section 5, Jackson Township, from 1872 - 1876.
OHIO A post office from 1862 to 1889 in the eastern part of Walnut Township.
ORD A post office from 1888 to 1905 in section 34 of Lincoln Township.
PATTERSON No information yet
PERU Peru, now called Old Peru, was laid out in 1855 near the center of section 3 in Walnut Township, about one mile northwest of the present town of East Peru. It was prosperous until the coming of the nearby railroad. It was a post office from 1853 to 1903.
PITZER A post office from 1889 to 1906 in the central part of Jackson Township.
PLEASANT VIEW A post office from 1870 to 1876 in the eastern part of Webster Township.
PRICE A post office for a brief time in 1876 in section 34 of Lincoln Township.
QUEEN’S POINT A post office from 1854 to 1867 in the western part of South Township.
REED A post office in 1881 and 1882 in the northeastern part of section 21 in Ohio Township.
RICHMOND It was laid out as a town in 1849 in the southern part of section 12 in Scott Township. Its only building was a store. It’s post office was named Amazon.
ST. CHARLES A town laid out on the Osceola-Winterset road in 1851.
TILEVILLE Sometimes called Narrows. It was a hamlet in the late 1840’s where, or near where, the post office of Montpelier was located. Tileville was also the name of a railroad station about four miles east of Winterset, which was near where the original hamlet of Tileville stood.
TRURO A railroad town laid out in 1881.
VENUS A post office from 1863 to 1873 near the center of Grand River Township.
WEBSTER It was laid out as a town in 1855 along the central part of the north line of section 6 in Webster Township and it never became much more that a hamlet. Its post office was named Middle River.
WELLS It was a post office from 1871 to 1896 in section 6 of Grand River Township.
WINTERSET No information yet.
WORTHINGTON It was laid out as a town in 1857 in the eastern part of section 32 in Madison Township. It was only a hamlet, consisting of a store and a few other dwellings. Its post office was called North. Worthington was another victim of being bypassed by the railroad.


Some of the above was taken from a study done by David C. Mott entitled "Abandoned Towns, Villages and Post Offices of Iowa," printed in the Annals of Iowa, Vols. XVII and XVII, 1930–1931 and reprinted in 1973 by J. W. Huffman and S. L. Purington, Council Bluffs, Iowa. Transcribed from a newspaper article in the Winterset Madisonian that had no date on it. — Judy Wight Branson


Maintained by the County Coordinator

This page was created on July 10, 2004.
This page was last updated Thursday, 13-Apr-2017 16:43:40 EDT .