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Edwardsville is a city of roughly 20 square miles and the county seat of Madison County, Illinois. Incorporated in 1818, the year Illinois became a U.S. state, the city was named in honor of Ninian Edwards, then governor of the Illinois Territory, and later State Governor and U.S. Senator, by his friend Thomas Kirkpatrick, the first settler, who laid out the community in 1805. Edwardsville is considered a part of Southern Illinois, the Metro East region, and Greater St. Louis. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,293, but a special census three years ago, due to rapid growth, puts the current population at 26,600. A 2010 issue of Family Circle Magazine named Edwardsville third of their “Top 10 Best Towns for Families.”