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Monroe County, named for James Monroe, fifth President of the United States, was established by a proclamation of Governor Holmes of Mississippi Territory, dated June 29, 1815. It originally embraced the lands ceded by the Muscogee Indians at the treaty of Fort Jackson; that is to say, all the county east of the ridge dividing the waters of the Alabama and Cahaba from the Tombigbee and Tuscaloosa rivers; south of the mountains of Blount and St. Clair; north of the present southern boundary line of the State, and west of the Coosa and the line southeast from Wetumka to a point below Eufaula; or nearly half of the present area of the State. But this was cut up within a year or two by the formation of Montgomery, Conecuh, and Wilcox Counties, and the present shape has been retained since 1819. It now lies south of Wilcox, east of Clarke, west of Conecuh, and north of Escambia and Conecuh. The county seat is in Monroeville.

In 1815, Monroe County was created from lands ceded by the Creek Indians in the Treaty of Fort Jackson. By the time that Alabama achieved statehood in 1819, Montgomery, Conecuh, and Wilcox counties had been created from territory originally in Monroe County. Named for President James Monroe, the county seat is Monroeville.


Source: Alabama As It Is by Benjamin Franklin Riley, D. D., The Brown Printing Co, State Printers and Binders, 1893 , Transcribed by Veneta McKinney

MONROE county was created in 1815, and named in honor of President Monroe, of Virginia. It was one of the first counties of the State settled by the whites, and its people have been uniformly thrifty while engaged chiefly in planting. Many of the productive lands belonging to the Timber Belt are found in this county. Like many others, Monroe has been greatly checked in its progress because of the remoteness of transportation from the larger part of the population. It has an area of 1,030 square miles. Population in 1880, 17,091; population in 1890, 18,990. White, 8,379; colored, 10,611.

Area planted in cotton, 41,882 acres; in corn, 26,715 acres; in oats, 4,704 acres; in rice, 78 acres; in sugarcane, 329 acres; in tobacco, 2 acres; in rye, 18 acres; in sweet potatoes, 920 acres. Cotton production—15,959 bales.

In the northern portion of Monroe, the surface is broken; in the central and southern parts it is undulating. The several soils belonging to the county are the thin, sandy lands, which characterize the pine regions in this Belt; the lime hills, which are usually in the neighborhood of the principal streams; the loamy soils, which belong to the uplands, and the alluvial bottoms which border the large creeks and the Alabama River. The bottoms are largely influenced by the washings from the limy hills. Notwithstanding the broken surface in the northern portion of Monroe, some of the most prosperous planters are found there. The most valuable lands of the county, and those upon which are established the thriftiest farms, are in the bottoms of Flat and Limestone Creeks and the Alabama River. These are more difficult of cultivation, however, than the loamy uplands, because of their stiffness. The better class of uplands are very desirable, however, and are classed among the safe farming lands. The higher pine lands have a sandy surface, with a deep clay subsoil. Cotton, corn, oats, peas, potatoes, millet, sorghum, sugarcane, and ground peas are the chief productions. Apples, peaches, pears, plums, quinces, pomegranates, raspberries, and grapes are the fruits commonly grown. Vast crops of wild fruits are annually produced, such as hickory nuts, persimmons, blackberries, dewberries, and chestnuts. In the swamps which usually follow the large streams there are immense quantities of acorns and beech mast, upon which the hogs readily thrive. The timbers are long and short-leaf pine, the different species of oak, hickory, beech, poplar, elm, cedar, cypress, maple and dogwood. Immense domains of pine forests abound in different parts of the county. These timbers will prove valuable when the county has greater transportation facilities. The county is bounteously supplied with water by Flat Creek and its several forks, Limestone, Tallatchee, Lovett and Randall Creeks, and the Alabama River. Innumerable freestone wells and springs are found. Monroe Springs, in the north-eastern part of the county, are valuable for their mineral properties, chief among which are sulphur and chalybeate.

They were once a noted resort, but their inaccessibility has prevented the maintenance of their reputation before the public. They are destined to come again into prominence. Marl deposits of value have been discovered upon Flat Creek, near Burnt Corn, and in the high bluffs, near Claiborne. Green sand marl is also seen at Bell's Landing and Johnson's Woodyard, on the Alabama River. These are supposed to extend across the county and to give fertility to the lands lying along Flat Creek, and are enriching the soil of northern Conecuh. The points of interest are Monroeville, the county-seat, with a population of 400, Perdue Hill, Buena Vista, Burnt Corn and Pineville. The school and church advantages of the county are good Transportation is afforded by the Alabama River, and by the Selma & Pensacola Railroad, in Wilcox, and the Louisville & Nashville, as it passes through the adjoining county of Conecuh. A short gap of the Selma & Pensacola Railroad is uncompleted in the county. When finished it will open it up to the Gulf.

Lands may be had for figures running from $1.25 to $10 per acre. About 50,000 acres of public lands exist in the county. Anxious to have the prosperity of the county enhanced, and its unoccupied lands taken, the people would hail with delight the influx of an industrious population.