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Alexandria Monroe Township Historical Society

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Sketch of Alexandria

By Samuel Harden

This town is situated a little to the east of center of Monroe Township and eleven miles north of Anderson. Whether it derived its name from the man who, it is said, wept because there were no more kingdoms t conquer, or from the ancient ciety of that name, we are not advised; be as it may, we have a modern Alexandria. Thugh it may not compare with the ancient Alexandria, it is, nevertheless, a handsome, and thriving little town. The site was well chosen, on an elevated piece of ground, on the north side of Pipe Creek, and on the land originally belonging to Conner and Stephenson. It was laid out in the year 1835. Among the firswt citizens we find the name David Pickard, N. Berry, Mr. Stephenson, and Joseph Finnemore. The first physicians were W.F. Spence, Cyrus WEsterfield and David Perry. The first hotel was kept by David Pickard. The first tanyard was started by Aaron Williams. From the Indiana Manual of 1846 we gain the following information: The merchants were Cottingham & Son; the attorney at law, P.H. Lemon; the postmaster, N.E. Tomlinson. Among the principal business firms of the present are: Merchants, N.E. Tomlinson and S.B. Hinshaw. Druggists, E.H. Menefee and D.K. Carver & Co. Shoemakers, Nathan O'Brian and John Silcott. Hardware merchant, W.G. Kelly. Grocer, Gideon Keiper. Grocer and baker, R. Zimmerman. Harness maker, A.Birtche. Blacksmiths, Finch & O'Kain, Finch & Fritz, and J.L. Humes. Wagon maker, Thomas Shepherd. Furniture dealer, J.P. Condo. Carpernters, Perry & Painter. Physicians, J.E. Inlow, Brakston Baker, Wayne McMahan, John Sullivan and C.H. Cullum. Attorneys at law, Charles Nation and Floyd S. Ellison. Millers, John E. Young & Co. Proprietors of the planing mill, Perry & Painter. Tanner, Frank Sparks. Alexandria contains an excellent brick M.E. Church, Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges, a splendid grist mill, some of the finest business houses in the county, and several handsome residences. It is the third town in importance in the county and contains a population of six hundred. It is on the line of the Lafayette & Muncie Railroad, and when this road is completed Alexandria will become a town of no small importance. The proposed railroad from White Pigeon, Mich., to Anderson will doubtless pass through this town. Alexandria has an extensive trade, amounting in the aggregate to $300,000; and, on the completion of the above roads, its trade wll be tripled.

Monroe Township
By Samuel Harden

This township derived its name from Ex-President Monroe, and is the largest in the county, extending more than half way across the entire width of the county and containing an area of fifty-one square miles. In point of population it ranks third in the county.

Among the first settlers of this township were Joseph Hall, Peter Cassell, Baxter Davis, John Chitwood, Stephen Norris, Elijah Snodgrass, Hildria Lee, John Brunt, Evan Ellis, John Cree, Jacob Price, Morgan and James James, John Banks, Elijah Williamson, Macajah Chamness, David Pickard and Lorenzo Carver.

Among those who have served as Justices of the Peace we find the names of Aaron Williams, David Pickard, Jesse Ellis, William Wilson, Daniel King, Moses Harris, Stephen Norris, Jesse Williams, Jacob Cassell and James Russell.

The population of the township in 1850 was twelve hundred and forty-four; in 1860 it was one thousand seven hundred and forty-one; in 1870 it was two thousand two hundred and twenty-one, and in 1874 estimated at two thousand four hundred.

The number of acres of improved land in 1870 was sixteen thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven; value of farms and farm implements, $1095,463; value of live stock, $161,596; number of bushels of corn, one hundred and thirty-four thousand five hundred and forty-seven; value of school property, including grounds, houses, maps, charts, globes, etc, $8000. The number of school children in 1858 was seven hundred; the number is 1873 was nine hundred and sixty-one, and in 1874 it was nine hundred and thirty-one

Monroe contains two towns, Alexandria and Osceola, both spoken of in separate places. Pipe Creek passes through and flows in a southwesterly direction, and several of its smaller tributaries take their rise in this township.

The LaFayette and Muncie Railroad passes through from the southeast to the northwest. The township contains one grist mill, four steam saw mills, five churches, five Physicians, eight stores, one tan yard, one planning mill, one harness shop, four shoe shops, two lawyers, two post offices, one hotel, four local preachers, eight Sabbath schools and four miles of pike.

Among the public men who have filled county offices are William Wilson, Evan Ellis, Frederick Black, Dr. Pugh, D.K. Carver and Robert Cree. The first brick house was built in 1835 by Peter Edwards on the farm now owned by Abram Miller, south of Alexandria. In the year 1836 some small mills were built on Pipe Creek by James James, Peter Cassell, Daniel Franklin and Henry Hough. They all numbered among the things of the past with the exception of one, three miles west of Alexandria, and now owned by David Festler. It does a small custom work.

In the year 1866 William Daniels built an extensive distillery at Alexandria, but it is not now in operation. Within this township lived and died the oldest man in the county, Moses Maynard, an account of whom will be given in another place.

Among the first physicians were W.F. Spence, David Perry and Cyrus Westerfield. Among the first ministers were Revs. Craig, H. Smith, James Havens, James Robie, M.G. Beeks, Wade Posey and J.H. Hull. The first school teachers were Henry Shark and P.H. Lemon. The first blacksmith was Joseph Finnemore. The first merchant was N. Berry. The present trustee is Daniel M. Scott.

Monroe township ranks among the first in the county and will most likely keep its position. On the completion of the LaFayette and Muncie Railroad it will have a market at home in place of hauling their produce to Anderson, of which they are getting tired. When this road is completed Alexandria will not only command its own trade but that of Boone and of Van Buren townships.

We have hastily glanced over the history of Monroe township. During a period of forty years it has grown from a few pioneers to a prosperous population of twenty-four hundred.