Canton, Mississippi

4th permanent County Seat of Madison County.

40 acres of land called "Deer Stand"
were Purchased in 1834.

Possibly named after a Chinese
servant who was buried here.

 

THE HISTORIC MADISON COUNTY COURTHOUSE

Memories of Canton 1996

The Madison County Courthouse is the only one among seven Pr-Civil War courthouses in Mississippi to be in basically unaltered condition. The well proportioned simplicity of its column and of its porticos needs no description to enhance its beauty.

It is built in the Greek Revival style. It was first used on July 14, 1857, when the Circuit Court gathered there. Despite that earlier meeting, though, the courthouse was not completed and formally received until January 6, 1858. The wrought iron fence which now encloses the Square was erected that same year.

Although the dome of the Canton courthouse has become a familiar part of the building, it did cause considerable controversy. According to one account, "It was reported in the Commonwealth newspaper that E. Moody has been awarded a contract of about $800.00 on December 4, 1857, to remove the dome of the new Courthouse to make the roof secure." Later issues of the paper indicated that a vigorous protest had been initiated by ladies of the town and on December 12, 1857, the Commonwealth announced that the dome would remain.

A tornado struck Canton in March of 1976, and the storm passed through the downstairs of the courthouse. Despite substantial damage to the trees around the Square, the courthouse itself sustained no harm other than minor damage to the dome and some broken windows. In 1980, the Madison County Courthouse was chosen for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1994 and 1995 the Historic Madison County Courthouse was completely renovated by the Madison County Board of supervisors under the direction of the Mississippi Department of archives and History.


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