I’ve dabbled around in local history lately, reading some publications from our Historical Society and even the James Lanier biography. All things considered, now is the best time in history to have lived in Madison, Indiana.
Often you get the impression that the 1850-1870’s were the golden age of Madison. In those years, the city was a major political and economic force in the American West. We had Michigan Road, the Madison & Indianapolis Railroad, and the series of successful banks. This town was a regional economic powerhouse with steamboats, factories, and massive agricultural output.
Then there was the slow decline only broken by the post WWII baby boom. That’s when we built new schools, merged with North Madison, and our boys won the State Basketball Championship. Of course, our place among Indiana’s leading cities was never recovered. The long steady slide since the 1970’s is even projected to continue for the next 40 years.
Any honest comparison with historic Madison will recognize that contemporary Madison is doing just fine. The quality of life today far outshines those faded legends.
The Internet has truly abolished space and time, giving us equal access to the world. This humble blog post you’re reading can be accessed everywhere around the globe.
King’s Daughers’ provides world-class healthcare and will become a regional hospital at its new location.
Hundreds of events, both large and small, bring this community together. Children can enjoy high quality education, unlimited activities, and a place to call home.
In short, we have the best of all worlds. Our community is safe, hospitable, and affords an incredible quality of life. We lack nothing and have no peers worthy of our envy.
City and county leaders are taking a serious look at how they promote economic development. The Imagine Madison project has offered a host of new ideas and sparked excitement for the future. Main Street Madison carries the torch for a bright future downtown.
It’s easy to find fault and bicker over a vain desire for growth. Many of our members are struggling to find honest work and a living wage. Let’s just not forget that not all growth leads to prosperity. Things can get better and we should all work to build an even stronger community. Let’s remember that no matter our struggles, this is the best time to have ever lived in Madison, Indiana.
We must choose to make Madison a better place. It starts with our family, community, and doing good for others.
What will you decide?