ORGANIZATION OF THE COUNTY
The H.H. Hardesty history of Monroe County provides an historical view of how the County was originally formed. That section of the Hardesty book that is titled, “ORGANIZATION OF THE COUNTY” is reproduced below. It is primarily a technical description of the dates, actions, and boundaries that ultimately defined the new legal jurisdiction of Monroe County, Ohio.
On the 29th day of January, 1813, An act to erect the county of Monroe was passed by the legislature. Section one provided that so much of the counties of Belmont, Washington, and Guernsey as comes within the boundaries, viz: being at the Ohio river in Belmont county, on the township line, between the third and fourth township in the third range: thence running west along the township line to the line running between the seventh and eight ranges, in the county of Guernsey; thence running south with said range line to the line running between the fourth and fifth townships in the said seventh range; thence east with said township line to the Ohio river; thence up said river, by and with the meanders thereof, to the place of beginning, be and is hereby erected into a county, by the name of Monroe, to be organized whenever the legislature shall hereafter think proper; but to remain attached to the said counties of Belmont, Washington and Guernsey as already by law provided, until said county of Monroe shall be organized.
Section two provided for the appointment of commissioners to locate the county seat and make report to the court of common pleas for the county of Belmont.
On the 21st day of December, 1814, the following resolution was passed: “Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio: That James Dunlap, of Ross county, John Barr, of Pickaway county, and George Clark of Columbiana county, be and they are hereby appointed commissioners to fix the seat of justice of the county of Monroe.
On the 3rd day of February, 1815, AAn act to attach part of the county of Washington to the county of Monroe, and to organize the county of Monroe into a separate county,: was passed. By the first, section of said act, fractional township number one, in the fourth range, in Washington county, was attached to and made part of Monroe county.
By section two said county of Monroe was declared organized into a separate county.
Section three provided that all suits and actions then before instituted should be prosecuted to final judgment and execution the same as if the county had not been erected; and that all taxes levied and unpaid at that time, should be collected by the collectors of Belmont, Washington and Guernsey counties, respectively.
By section four it was provided that the then justices of the peace should hold their office until their respective terms should expire.
Section five provided that the county officers should be elected on the first Monday of April 1815, to hold their offices until the next annual election; and where any election township should be divided by establishment of Monroe county, in such manner that the place of holding the township election should fall within the counties of Belmont, Guernsey, or Washington, in that case, the electors of said fractional township should vote at the next adjoining township in the county of Monroe.
Section six provided that the courts for the county should be holden at the house of Levin Okey until the permanent seat of justice should be established, and that the act should take effect on the first day of March 1815.
On the 24th day of December, 1819, “An act to attach part of county of Morgan to the county of Monroe,” was passed. By said act so much of Morgan as was contained in the sixth and seventh townships of range eight, were attached to the county of Monroe; and the same provisions as to justice of the peace, suits or actions, and taxes, were made as in the preceding act.
By the erection of Noble county, in 1851, the townships of Elk, Enoch, Union, Stock, and parts of Seneca and Franklin were detached from Monroe, and a strip of territory two miles wide and thirteen miles in length, or twenty-six sections, were taken from Washington county and added to Monroe. The greatest extent of the county, east and west, is twenty-six and a half miles, by twenty-two miles north and south, and contains 470 square miles.
The old line between Washington and Belmont counties began on the Ohio river between sections twenty-one and twenty-two, in township one, of range three, thence west between sections three and four to the boundary line.
The above description of the organization of Monroe County was reproduced from a book titled, the "Combined History and Atlas of Monroe County, Ohio." The material for this book was taken from two nineteenth century books: (1) 'History of Monroe County Ohio,' a product of the H.H. Hardesty & Co., publishers, Chicago and Toledo, 1882 and (2) 'Caldwell's Atlas of Monroe County, Ohio,' a product of Atlas Publishing Company, Mount Vernon, Ohio, 1898. The "Combined History and Atlas of Monroe County, Ohio" was reprinted and is available from the Monroe County Historical Society