Sheaffer Pens were developed and made in Fort Madison for many years.
Fort Madison has the last remaining double swing-span bridge on the Mississippi River, the Fort Madison Toll Bridge. It has a top level for cars and a bottom level for trains; it is also the world's largest.
According to the Sauk leader Black Hawk, his people did not understand why a fort was being built, and they were told it was for a trader, who could offer them great provisions. The Sauk, due to a promise from Washington, hoped to receive goods from the trader at Fort Madison on credit, but they were denied. This, Black Hawk says, is the reason the Sauk decided to side with the British during the war.
The original Fort Madison was burned to the ground by its own soldiers as they fled from the Native Americans. A replica of the original fort was erected in 1983 and serves as an interactive museum.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.9 square miles (33.5 km²), of which, 9.2 square miles (23.9 km²) of it is land and 3.7 square miles (9.7 km²) of it (28.88%) is water.
Fort Madison is famous for the Tri-State Rodeo & the Mexican Fiesta
There were 4,617 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.87.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,318, and the median income for a family was $42,067. Males had a median income of $32,530 versus $21,170 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,124. About 9.8% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.1% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.