Monroe township is one of the oldest settled portions of the county, although it was first a portion of Honey Creek then of Gallatin and Harrison townships. It was organized in 1869 and at that time its territory was taken from the two last named townships, and is in area a congressional township. It is bounded on the north by Union, east by Harrison and a corner of Jackson townships, south by the Caldwell county line and west by Sheridan township, and covers an area of twenty-three thousand and. thirty-eight and eighty-eight one-hundredths acres of land of which fully three-fifths is prairie and the balance woodland. The prairies are high and rolling and the natural drainage excellent. Grand River touches it on its northeast corner, Honey Creek and its branches water the northern part, and Lick Fork and branches, the southern. Some broken and rough ground will be found on Grand River and at places along the streams that water it, but not enough to prevent its being one of the best townships of land in the county, being equally well adapted to cereal and fruits or to stock-raising. Besides this there is good building stone in abundance and considerable limestone. All through the central portion of the township from east to west will be found innumerable springs of fine water, which, with the creeks, gives an abundance of water for man and beast. Some splendid farms are to be found in this township and it boasts of the finest barn in Daviess county, the property of John A. Tuggle, built by him on his farm and finished on the 28th of September, 1871. The building is 40×60 feet, built of the best material and in the most substantial manner, costing $4,000 and is surrounded by a handsome, well improved, farm of 1,320 acres.
Monroe township is no exception to the most of those south of the river, in being slow of growth. The first few years the country south of the river improved faster than the north, and with Lick Fork and Grindstone settlements was a little too much for the north side of the river, and thus secured the county seat. But this has all passed away and the north is now rapidly improving and at no distant day Gallatin may find a rival in Jameson for the honor of being the county seat. Another railroad might affect wonders.
Monroe township must wake up. The population in 1870 was 729, and in 1880 it had only risen to 869. This is a gain of 140 in ten years, which, even the natural increase of population ought to have exceeded.
The township has no railroad within its borders, but the St. Louis & Omaha road runs within a half a mile of the northeast corner for a distance of two miles and the Hannibal & St. Joseph passes within a mile of the full extent of the southern border. So far as transportation is concerned it is fairly supplied within reasonable distance, and by competing trunk lines of railroads. The wagon roads are in a fair condition, but a few thousand dollars expended in macadamizing would pay a large percent. Limestone is found within its limits, and such solid improvements would draw settlers.
Monroe township’s principal trading point is Gallatin, although some few on the southern border go to Breckinridge and Hamilton. It is exclusively devoted to agriculture and stock-raising and has a fair assessed valuation in proportion with other townships of like population. The assessment of 1877 was taken by townships throughout the county, and that year Monroe township was assessed as follows:
Real estate $152,984
Personal property. 93,952
Total assessed valuation $246,936:
There has been little of a sensational character to disturb the routine life of the farmers in the township. They have, perhaps, increased the area of their cultivated lands or added to their flocks and herds, but there has been no extraordinary increase. The farmers are out of debt and with full granaries, are not inclined to become excited over ordinary events.
- Monroe Township Biographies
- Early Settlers of Monroe Township
- Early History of Monroe Township
- Monroe Township Officers
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