Welcome to Monroe Township! Here you will find a growing amount of data pertaining to the township, the towns, the people and it's history. Contributions are welcome as this site continues to grow.
Monroe township was named in honor of James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States. It is located in the northeastern corner of Muskingum County, Ohio. It is bounded on the west by Madison and Adams townships, on the south by Highland township, on the east by Guernsey County and on the north by Coshocton Co.
The township was set aside by the Muskingum County Commisioners on July 2, 1819. Though some settlers had come before this date, the area was not formerly recognized as Monroe township before that date. Like it's neighboring townships, it was created from the larger Highland township that existed prior to 1819. The largest population center was Otsego which was built on the site of an Indian village. Wills creek runs through the northern part of the township and was traversible by canoe to the Muskingum River in Adams Mills, up-river from Dresden. Many settlers followed the creek to Monroe and the area was well known among the early pioneers for it's game.
Many of the early settlers had to carve their own trails to the township. Some came by canoe up the Wills Creek to White Eyes Creek. This being the end of their journey, the beginning starting in Marietta, up the Muskingum past Dresden to Wills Creek. Others would later disembark at Marquand Mills and follow what roads had by then been cut to whatever tract of land they had managed to obtain. Some came by covered wagon led by horses or oxen from Cambridge or via the Wheeling road through Union and Highland townships. It should be mentioned that these early settlers found the area heavily forested and had to clear their land before they could begin to farm it. The first few winters were tough as some crops failed and if it wasn't for the abundant game and their skills as hunters, they would have starved. At the same time they were clearing their land, hunting and starting their farms, they also had to deal with some indians that remained hostile as well as some white men who saw an opportunity to prey on the poorly defended settlers. It was a hard life and through it all, many of these early settlers lived very long lifes. A few early pioneers such as Charles Marquand and James Sprague lived into their nineties. These were sturdy men well deserving of the name pioneer.
Though Wills creek is located in the township, It is White Eyes Creek that drains most of the township until it flows into Wills creek. Wills Creek today is part of the Muskingum Watershed Conservatory District and is regulated by a damn on Wills creek which has created a reservoir and game preserve.
Coal can be found in abundance and was an early source of fuel and income for the early settlers. Is is still being strip mined today but the area has lost much of it's forested area and wild game except for what is protected by the Watershed. The area has supported agricultural and livestock trades and also many mills that were built on the waterways throughout the township. It is generally hilly but not so much that farming would be difficult.
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Last Updated on May 12, 2008