Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County, Alabama. As of the 2010 census, Huntsville has a population just over 180,000 and is the fourth-largest city in the state of Alabama, though the Huntsville metropolitan area is the second-largest in the state.

John Hunt, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, settled on land near Big Spring in 1805, and the following year the U.S. government signed a treaty granting them dominion over the land. Five years later, in 1811, Huntsville became the first incorporated city in the state of Alabama, though residents still consider 1805 to be the town’s inaugural year.

Nicknamed “The Rocket City,” Huntsville has deep ties to U.S. space missions. Placing America’s first satellite into orbit using a Jupiter-C launch vehicle, Huntsville was officially on the map (so to speak) on January 31, 1958. While Huntsville’s foray into the space industry waned throughout the 1970s, the Space Shuttle and International Space Station led to something of a resurgence.

The city of Huntsville is bordered by numerous communities, including Athens, Decatur, Owens Cross Roads, Triana, Madison, Harvest, Meridianville, Moores Mill and Redstone Arsenal (a U.S. Army base). The median age of a Huntsville resident is 37, and the median income is $41,074 — $40,003 for men and $26,085 for women.

Notable Huntsville employers include Redstone Arsenal, Cummings Research Park, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, ADTRAN, Intergraph, Avocent, Deltacom, Inc., Cinram and Sanmina-SCI. In terms of higher education, Huntsville is home to Alabama A&M University, J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College, Oakwood University and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

When it comes to recreation, Huntsville boasts Big Spring International Park, Creekwood Park, Huntsville Botanical Garden, Burritt on the Mountain, Jones Farm Park, the Land Trust of Huntsville & North Alabama, Lydia Gold Skatepark, Monte Sano State Park and John Hunt Park.

Madison County Courthouse is located at 100 Northside Square in Huntsville, Alabama, 35801.