History of the Madison County Historical Society

In 1915, the Old Settlers Union made a motion to organize a “historical society for the purpose of collecting relics and valuable information of all kinds pertaining to the history of Madison County.” The Madison County Historical Society was formally organized in 1916, but remained inactive until 1921, when the new charter aimed to “stimulate a general interest in the history of Madison County; to encourage historical research and investigation; to collect and preserve all forms of data bearing upon the history of Madison County.”

In 1923, the Madison County Board of Supervisors set aside the courthouse’s grand jury room for the society’s historical collections. This was the beginning of the Madison County Historical Museum and Archival Library.

In 1963, the Society purchased the Weir House at 715 North Main in Edwardsville. After restoration of the house, the collection was moved from the courthouse, and the museum opened in the Weir House on November 1, 1964. The collecting of artifacts, documents and books continued.

The one-story library building, dedicated March 3, 2002, was made possible through state grants secured by Illinois State Senator Evelyn Bowles and fundraising efforts of the Madison County Historical Society.