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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Monfort Family In County Has A Distinguished Past

Dallas Bogan on 6 September 2004
original article by Dallas Bogan
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One of the more prominent and well-known of the early Warren County families was the Monfort family. This family has been renowned in history for over a thousand years.
Lee L. Dodds, former chairman of the Genealogical Division of the Warren County Historical Society, wrote an excellent account of this family from which the writer shall draw.
Dodds writes that the first account of the family was that of Susannah, Countess de Monfort (who died in 843), who married Bruna, Duke of Saxony. She became the great-grandmother of Hugh Capet, King of France, and the ancestor of 32 French kings. (The Warren County and the Miami Valley Monforts are direct descendants of this line.)
Simon de Monfort, a crusader, was chosen by the Pope in 1208 to lead an expedition against the heretics in Switzerland, and was later appointed by the Pope as leader of all the countries captured from the heretics.
The Monforts additionally had an impressive role in England's early history. Simon Monfort II occupied the family estate in England as Earl of Leicester, and married the sister of the mad King Henry III. Simon II eventually became the ruler of all England and was responsible for the framing of the House of Commons, which became the prototype for all the principles of democracy.
Simon II and his son Simon III were later defeated in battle by Prince Edward, son of King Henry III. The Monfort family, along with the families of the losing leaders, fled to Holland where they remained for nearly 400 years.
Pieter and Jan (John) Monfort came to America in the early 1600's and settled on Long Island. The first mention of Pieter in the colonial records is December 15, 1639. He appears to have employed a carpenter to build him a house and plantation. The location was on land now consisting of the business center of Brooklyn. Pieter and his wife probably resided in New Amsterdam (New York) for many years, as all their children were baptized there.
Lawrence Monfort and his wife, Elizabeth Cassat, and children, emigrated from Conewago, Pa., in 1795, to Southwestern Ohio shortly after the Indian Peace Treaty. They resided in Cincinnati until 1799, and then moved to Warren County about three-fourths miles south of Lebanon. The following fall they moved to a farm eight miles west of Lebanon on the Hamilton Road. Three of the sons, Francis, Peter and David, all became Presbyterians ministers.
Rev. Francis Monfort became one of the most celebrated ministers in the County, his name appearing on many marriage records. He was a circuit rider in the Miami Country and played an important role in establishing the many Calvinistic churches. This denomination later changed to the New Light affiliated churches.
Many of Lawrence Monfort's descendants settled in Cincinnati and became prominent citizens.
Peter Monfort, a distant cousin of Lawrence, was born in Somerset County, N.J., in 1768, and died in Warren County in 1823. He left New Jersey in 1816 and settled on a large tract of land south of Lebanon.
He donated about one quarter of an acre of land for the alliance of a school, church and cemetery, which prospered for many years as the "Dog Street" school and church.
Peter Monfort married Eleanor S. Sutfin in New Jersey. She lived to be about 102. Family tradition states that on the morning of her death "she went upstairs to make the beds, and was found later sitting on the edge of a bed, with her snuff box in one hand and a pinch of snuff in the fingers of the other."
All of Peter and Eleanor's children were born in New Jersey. Gertrude, born in 1802, was married in 1821 to Peter Wikoff, son of Peter G. and Catherine Tice Wikoff. To this union were born Catherine, 1822; Peter M., 1826; Helen, 1828; and an infant son born in 1830. Mother and infant son died on August 16, [see gravestone photo which has 26 Aug 1830] and curiously, Catherine and Helen died exactly one month later.
Arthur, the second child of Peter and Eleanor Monfort to wed, married Ellen Hall, in 1822, the daughter of John Thomas and Ann Lowe Hall. This family came to Warren County about 1810. Arthur was born in 1798 and died in 1846. Ellen was born in 1802 and died in 1865.
This couple had eleven children, six who grew to maturity and left descendants. John W.H., born in 1822, married first to Ellen Keever, and secondly to Julia (Bowyer) Cline; Marilla H. married Dr. Benjamin Matthews; Peter, born in 1827, married Elizabeth Keever; Ellen, born about 1835, married James Irwin; Mary, born in 1847, married Nathan Keever; and Julia A., born in 1834, married Dr. S.S. Dana. Elbert died at age 22, and four children died under three years.
Elbert Monfort, the third child, married Nancy Stout. She was born in 1794 and died in 1864. They had five children. Deborah married Reuben Hoff; Andrew Stout married Hannah Murphy; Ellen married first to a Mr. Cochran and secondly to a Mr. Lowe; Margaret married Garret Perrine; and Eliza possibly married a Hoff.
Peter Monfort, the fourth child, born in 1805, married in 1834 to Ann (Hall) Dill, widow of William Dill and a daughter of Thomas Hall and Sarah Ann Wikoff. Peter died in 1848 and Ann died in 1902.
Mariah Monfort, the fifth child married Frederick Cline, Jr., son of Frederick and Hannah Ann Espy Cline, from Lancaster, County, Pa., who had thirteen children. Frederick Sr. was a large man and a story goes that he could lift a barrell of molasses into a wagon, with no assistance.
After the death of his wife, Frederick Sr. lived a solitary life for many years.
He would weekly roast a pig, sheep or calf. He had a very strange custom of placing the pan comprising the roast on a bench and then sit straddle the bench. As the meat was consumed he would place the bones behind him and move the pan forward as he did so, day by day.
Ellen Monfort, the sixth child, married Henry LeFevre.
Ida Monfort, the seventh child, married a Mr. Covert and had four children: John, Mary Ellen, Louisa and Elizabeth A., who married Francis Leonard, son of John Leonard and Catherine Kitchel.
Peter married a second time (1834 or '35) to Elizabeth Clemens. Eight more children were born to this marriage. Sarah Ann married Lemuel Wikoff, a distant cousin; Mary Ann married John Graham; William married Thalia Carter; Jacob married Jennie Shont; James married Cordelia Casner; Jennie married Hyren Esslinger; Helen married Robert Burkett; and Oscar married Eva McIntyre.

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