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Madison County, located in the northeastern part of Nebraska, has a rich and interesting history. Here are seven facts that you may not have known about this fascinating county:

1. Madison County was founded in 1856, making it one of the oldest counties in the state. It was named after James Madison, the fourth President of the United States.

2. The first settlement in Madison County was established in 1856 by a group of Mormon pioneers. They settled near the Elkhorn River and established a town they called Elkhorn.

3. The first courthouse in Madison County was built in 1875 in the town of Madison. However, a fire destroyed the building in 1885, and a new courthouse was built in Norfolk, the county seat, in 1886.

4. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Madison County was home to several famous figures. William Jennings Bryan, a three-time Democratic nominee for President, was born in Salem, a small town in the county. J. Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day, also lived in the county for a time.

5. During World War II, Madison County was home to a German prisoner-of-war camp. The camp, located near Norfolk, held around 4,000 German soldiers and officers. Many of them worked in agriculture and helped to alleviate the labor shortage caused by the war.

6. In the 1960s and 1970s, Madison County was a center of civil rights activism. African Americans in the county, led by local activists and members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), staged protests and sit-ins at local businesses to demand equal treatment.

7. Today, Madison County is known for its thriving agricultural industry. The county is home to numerous farms and ranches that produce corn, soybeans, cattle, and other crops and livestock. It is also home to several major industries, including manufacturing and healthcare.

In conclusion, Madison County has a rich and varied history that has shaped its present-day culture and economy. From its early settlement by Mormon pioneers to its role in the civil rights movement, this county has always been a fascinating and important part of Nebraska's history.

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