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Fort Madison is the site of the 1st US Infantry outpost in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, following the Louisiana Purchase. Old Fort Madison, named for President James Madison stood on the bank of the Mississippi from 1808 to 1813. Fort Madison is home to Historic Iowa State Penitentiary, circa 1839, the oldest continually used prison in the United States & the proud location of one of Iowa's top 10 Historic Main Street communities. From entrepreneurs like Walter Sheaffer & engineers like Octave Chanute, the designer of Fort Madison's original swing-span bridge and the inspiration behind Wilbur & Orville Wright's flying machine. Be inspired by history! Request further information on the place where Iowa began.

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