Madras was incorporated as a city in 1911. An Army Air Corps base was built nearby during World War II. This airfield now serves as City-County Airport. Homesteads about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of the city on Agency Plains were based on dryland wheat. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.7 Square Kilometer), all of it land.