Madison County was established in 1913. It was named for James Madison, the fourth president of the United States. It was created from Fremont County, with whose history it is associated. First settlers in the county were Mormons from Utah, who built the first irrigation system and the farms. Water was diverted from the North Fork of the Snake River, the Teton River, and the main Snake River. Among the cities and their dates of founding are Rexburg (1883), Salem and Lyman (1884), Archer (1885) and Thornton (1887). Ricks College was founded in 1888 as the Bannock State Academy. The name was changed to Ricks in 1903. The name has since been changed to Brigham Young University-Idaho. Flooding caused by the collapse of the Teton Dam in 1976 did millions of dollars in damage to the county.
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Madison County Map, 1917