The Madison County Courthouse is located at 101 West Main Street, Richmond, KY 40475; phone: 859-624-4700.
Native Americans who left very little in the way of visible "footprints" with the exceptions of burial mounds, trails and scattered artifacts initially settled Madison County. In the 1700s white settlers began to move through the Cumberland Gap into this area, resulting in the establishment of Fort Boonesboro in 1775. The number of immigrants swelled during the late 1700s and early 1800s and the cultural landscape began to change appreciably. From its initial political status as part of Virginia in 1786, Madison county became one of the original counties of Kentucky in 1792.
Madison County was a largely rural area with agriculture being the primary source of employment during these early years. The City of Richmond was established in 1798, followed by Berea in 1854. By the beginning of the 20th century, Madison County's population had grown to 25,607, with 4,653 people residing in Richmond and 762 in Berea. Both Richmond and Berea functioned largely as small service centers for the surrounding agricultural hinterland.
The greatest period of change occurred during the latter part of the 20th century, from 1960 to 2000 where the 1960 population of 33,482 more than doubled during this interval, reaching a total of 70,872 in 2000. The population growth was matched by physical development of the landscape; numerous residential subdivisions, shipping centers, industrial parks, a dense network of roads and highways, and increasing numbers of motor vehicles, schools, etc.