On December 6, 1811, by a legislative act of the General Assembly, Madison County became the 38th county in Georgia. It was formed from portions of Franklin, Jackson, Clarke, Oglethorpe and Elbert Counties, and was named after James Madison, fourth president of the United States.
Danielsville, the county seat, was founded in 1812 and named after Revolutionary War veteran General Allen Daniel. Carlton, Comer and Colbert developed along the railroad that now parallels Highway 72. Carlton, named for Congressman H.H. Carlton, was incorporated in 1892. The following year, Comer was incorporated, borrowing its name from a family of large landowners. Colbert, known as Five Forks when it was incorporated in 1900, was later renamed after James Fletcher Colbert. It is also affectionately called “The City of Red Cannas.”
Hull, the Madison County city closest to Athens, was incorporated in 1905, and has become a “bedroom community” for commuters to Clarke County and the University of Georgia campus. Located at the western end of the county, Ila was incorporated in 1910, the last in Madison County.
Other colorful communities in the area include Sanford (formerly Sawdust), Neese, Pocataligo, Fort Lamar, Jot-Em-Down, Booger Hill, Vineyard’s Creek, Paoli and Dogsboro.