Madisonville Fire Department History: In 1889, the population of Madisonville, KY was approximately 2,300. At that time, there wasn’t even enough interest in fire protection among the citizens of Madisonville, KY to raise $50.00 to buy some buckets and ladders for the downtown area. This changed in the late 1890’s and early 1900 when numerous areas in the town were destroyed by fire. Seventeen buildings were destroyed by a fire that occurred in March, 1901.
Madisonville Regional Airport was built in 1942, S. J. Campbell Co., a Chicago-based furniture manufacturing company located a plant in Madisonville, Kentucky to manufacture and test parachutes for the military. They needed an airstrip for the company plane to use in testing. Mr. Campbell and Walter Watkins, a local aviation enthusiast, bought 89.91 acres of land in Anton. Ed Heeden was hired as the company's pilot to do the testing and developed the airfield.