History of Monroe Township, Darke County Ohio
From: History of Darke County, Ohio
From its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time
By: Frazer E. Wilson
The Hibart Publishing Company
Milford, Ohio 1914


This township occupies the southeast corner of the county, and was erected in June, 1836, by detaching from the east side of Twin township all of township 7 north, range 4 east, that is in Darke county, together with the eastern tier of sections of township 8 north, range 3 east, making it six miles north and south and four miles east and west.

Ludlow creek, which rises in the northwestern portion and trends southeastward, drains about three fourths of its area. The surface is quite level, and in early days the network of small branches forming the headwaters of Ludlow creek spread out into swamps and quagmires, covering a large part of the township. The drainage of these low wet areas revealed a rich, deep vegetable loam, which has made Monroe one of the most fertile tracts in the entire county.

Asa Jones and Henry Addington settled in the northern part in section 8, about 1819, being the first to penetrate and open up this howling swamp ash wilderness. John Mote and family followed in about a year. Thomas Jones settled in the northern part and George Gable in the southern part in 1823. On account of the gloomy and forbidding condition of the country, however, settlement was retarded, but others soon cast their lot with the pioneers. Among these were William and John Richardson, in the northern part, Samuel Cams and Peter Shank in the southern part, and Joseph Brown, Peter, Abraham and John Snorph in the southwestern part.

The first school district was laid out in 1836. It was three miles long, east and west, and one mile wide. A school house was started in this district, but much dissatisfaction arose on account of the shape and size of the district which resulted in the forming of new districts two miles square. The partly finished school building was transferred to section 28, and completed in 1837.

Asa Jones, the first settler, also became the first teacher. On account of the sparse settlements and the swampy condition much difficulty and danger was encountered by the children, who followed the long blazed paths to school. Difficulties encountered, however, developed strong and stalwart characters, and the little log school with its puncheon floor and seats, its big fire place, rude furnishings and primitive text books, sent out many, many a citizen of ability and integrity.

The first election in the township is said to have been held in the fall of 1836, at which time John Oakes cast the first ballot and Ezekiel Mote the second.

Several families of German Baptists settled in the township at an early day, and Philip Younce was one of their early preachers. For a fuller account of the establishment and growth of this denomination in the township and county the reader is referred to the article on this church in chapter ten. Today the members of this church own much of the land in the township and have made of it a thrifty and substantial community. There is a German Baptist church in the north east corner of section 6 and one in the southwest quarter of section 1, besides a Lutheran church in section 19 and a M. E. church in Pitshurg.

The township is well drained, and has pikes on most of the section lines, besides the old state road which crosses the western line near the northwest corner of section 12, and runs in a straight line southeasterly crossing the east line near the center of the eastern boundary of section 33, and continuing on through Salem and Phillipsburg to Dayton.

Pitsburg.

The only village in the township is Pitsburg, which is built on both sides of the line dividing sections 7 and 12. Its early history, prior to the building of the Peoria and Eastern (formerly I. B. & W.) railway, was one of struggle against adverse conditions, and as late as 1880, the historian wrote of it: "There is no village or city within the boundaries of this township, but a place that bears the name of Pittsburg, of which perhaps in a day away back in the past, some had an idle dream of future greatness. But, alas, the ravages of time, the destroyer of all things, have lain in the dust the ambitions of its founders, and Pittsburg lives only in name in story."

Could the writer of these lines have postponed his verdict until today he would have had quite a different tale to tell for the Pitsburg of today is probably the best built and most prosperous village of its size in Darken county. The last few years have wrought a great transformation in its appearance for it now contains a public school, an M. E. church, a bank, hotel, fire department, elevators, lumber yards, besides warehouses, good stores and public conveniences and in the neighborhood of a hundred buildings in all. It is an especially good shipping point for the grain and immense crops of tobacco raised in the surrounding country, and does a large mercantile business with the prosperous farmers of this section.

For several years this village was known as Arnettsville but the name was changed in 1909.

The census of 1910 gave the village a population of 240, and the township 1,539, it being one of the few townships which showed an actual increase over the census of 1900.

The real property of Pittsburg was assessed at $167,090 and the chattels at $166,020, while the entire township showed valuations of $1,880,700, and $746,290, respectively in 1913.

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