Snow Birds, Settlers, and Saving History

They were proud to be called “snow birds.” A snow bird, more than a century ago, was anyone who had been in Madison County before the winter of the deep snow, that is the winter of 1830-1831. This not only qualified them as early settlers of Madison County, but it also meant they were survivors. That winter was especially harsh with a lot of snow and no warming temperatures to melt it all winter. Settlers were trapped in their cabins for weeks, many running low on food as well as wood for the fire. The snow birds decided they needed to preserve these early stories and started an association, the Madison County Old Settlers Union. In 1921, a committee from the Old Settlers founded the Madison County Historical Society.