Madison County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is part of the Asheville, North Carolina, Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2000, the population was 19,635. Its county seat is Marshall.
The county was formed in 1851 from parts of Buncombe County and Yancey County. It was named for James Madison, fourth President of the United States (1809-1817). The first settler to Madison County was Samuel Davidson in 1784.
Madison County is located deep in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina, and much of the county’s terrain is rugged, heavily forested, and sparsely populated. The county’s northern border is with the State of Tennessee. Madison County’s largest river is the French Broad River, which flows north-northwest through the county, first past the county seat of Marshall, then past the resort town of Hot Springs.