History

Prior to 1890 Madison was patrolled by Marshals who drew a salary of $100 per year.  This was back in 1881.  The town grew tired of depending on a lone individual and added a second Marshall to the force.  These men did not cover a beat but you went in search of them at their usual hang-out which more than likely was a hotel.  The merchants feared inadequate patrolling so in 1890 Edward Coonan was appointed as Madison's first police officer.  Coonan was paid fifty-cents for an arrest and conviction.  Morris County paid sixty-cents for serving a summons in a criminal case.

In 1890 there were only two licensed places in town where alcholic drinks were served.  These were J.V. McGraths Madison House and James C. Bellingham's American House.  Both McGrath and Belengham were careful of their establishments and ran them so well that the citizens of Madison would protest if anybody else tried to open another establishment in town.  Their protests were carried to a judge in Morristown.  It was not until the repeal of the 18th amendment that censes permitting the sale of spirits.