Bygones of Monroe:
THE EARLY DAYS OF MONROE
Extracts from a Journal kept by Edward D. Ellis, Editor and Publisher of the first Newspaper Published in Monroe-1825 to 1836.
ITEMS OF PIONEER TIMES.
MONROE AND LENAWEE.
Monroe, Sept. 6, 1834.-The rapidity with which these two counties, within the last five or six years, have advanced in population, wealth, and improvements, affords the most gratifying evidence of the advancing prosperity of this section of the territory.
The county of Monroe is now subdivided into nine townships, all possessing an active and enterprising population: and it is presumed comprises 5,000 or 6,000 souls. It is well watered, and although it embraces some lowlands along the margin and outlets of the principal stream, yet much of it is elevated and rolling, and susceptible of a high state of cultivation. It is watered by Swan Creek, Ottawa Creek, Plum Creek, the River Raisin and its branches, and Stony Creek, and bounded on the north by the Huron River.
The township of Whiteford, upon the southwestern extreme of the county, is said to be a fine township of land, in which mills have been established and a flourishing settlement formed, principally of immigrants from western New York, under the auspices of Gen. David White, a wealthy and intelligent land holder from Wayne County.
The township of Port Lawrence is an excellent farming township, extending to the Ohio line, and in addition to several streams running in from the interior, it embraces the celebrated Maumee Bay, which connects immediately with Lake Erie, and affords a deep and commodious harbor. At the head of the Bay is situated the flourishing town of Toledo (Port Lawrence and Vistula united), which bids fair to rival the largest towns on the line of the Lakes. Two important Territorial roads running into the interior, and towards the construction of which $20,000 has recently been appropriated by the general government, commence at this place, and in addition to this, its inhabitants are about to construct a railroad westwardly, to intersect the contemplated Michigan and Erie Railroad. And it is a gratifying fact that the country to the west of this, which a few years since was considered unsuitable for cultivation and scarce worth examining, is found upon experience to be valuable and is filling up with unexampled rapidity.
The township of Erie, which was originally settled by French inhabitants, has already received a large accession of numbers from eastern emigration and is found to be a fine agricultural township.
Lasalle, formed from the northern parts of Erie, is tolerably well settled, is bounded on the north by Otter Creek, and particularly up the creek, possesses a very valuable body of land.
Frenchtown commences on the north bank of the River Raisin, and extends to the Huron, which latter stream is the dividing line between the county of Monroe on the south, and the counties of Wayne and Washtenaw on the north. This township is watered by Stony and Swan Creeks, and although some portions of it is low and broken, it is well supplied with mill sites, and along the two creek mentioned, particularly in the interior, there are large bodies of valuable timber.
Raisinville-a healthy and valuable township-is well watered by the Raisin, and affords some excellent lands.
The new and flourishing township of London is situated on the Saline, a branch of the Raisin. It has an increasing population, comprising no inconsiderable intelligence, talent, and enterprise, and is confidently recommended as an invaluable farming region.
The township of Summerfield joins Raisinville on the west, is well timbered, the land is principally high and somewhat rolling, and is well watered. The flourishing manufacturing village of Dundee is situated in this township.
The county of Lenawee is one of the most valuable farming regions in the territory. The country is elevated and rolling, agreeably interspersed with timbered land and openings; and the county is blessed with a hardy, intelligent, and valuable population. The township of Blissfield is one of the best in the territory for farming purposes. The villages of Adrian, Tecumseh, and Clinton are all abundantly supplied with manufacturing privileges, and are rapidly advancing. The LaPlaisance and Chicago roads both pass through this county. In point of health, the excellence of its water, the fertility of its soil, the state of its roads and its proximity to market, this county may be considered one of the most favorable for the immigrant, of any in the territory.
(Monroe Commercial, September 7, 1876.)