Biography of Hon. John Monroe

Hon. John Monroe, deceased, late of Charleston; was born in Glasgow, Barren Co., Ky., Sept. 24, 1811; his boyhood was passed in the private schools of his native town; his father dying when he was but a boy, he entered the apothecary-shop of his uncle, Dr. George Rogers, a physician of Glasgow, and there became familiar with the compounding of medicines, and also studied medicine under his uncle’s instruction; he first began practice in Tennessee, and, in November, 1833, came to Illinois and engaged in the practice of his profession in Shelbyville, soon removing to Charleston, and, a few years later, he engaged in business as a dry goods merchant. Returning to Kentucky, he was married, April 4, 1840, to Mrs. Martha Ferrish, a widow lady of Greensburg. in that State, and came again to Charleston; they had six children, two of whom are still living – Mrs. Stanley Walker and Lewis Monroe, of Charleston. His wife died May 14, 1854, and, on the 6th of November, 1854, he married Miss Hannah Chambers, a daughter of James and Sally Chambers, of Cynthiana, Ky., who came to Coles Co. with her parents in 1851; of five children of this marriage, three are now living – Emma (wife of Thomas T. Threlkeld, of Charleston), Virginia and Henrietta. Dr. Monroe continued in the dry goods trade in Charleston until 1858, when he moved to Lafayette Tp., where he owned a farm of 1,700 acres. He laid out the village of Stockton, building the switch and a warehouse and store at that place; he still, however, retained .his interest in business in Charleston, and, in 1865, returned to that city. He was an enterprising, successful business man, genial in manlier, and, although carrying on a variety of important enterprises, he never allowed the cares of’ business to weigh upon him; he had great faith in human nature, of which he was an excellent judge; he trusted largely to others, although he kept his business well in hand, and, happily, his confidence was never betrayed; he took special pleasure in assisting worthy young men in business, and numerous instances can be found of men, now prosperous, who owe their start in life to Dr. Monroe. He owned, at his death, a fine farm of 800 acres, besides eight business houses and two dwellings in Charleston. He was an active Democrat, but never an office-seeker; he was, however, for a number of years one of the Supervisors of the county, and one of the most efficient members ever on that Board; he also represented this county at one time in the State Legislature. He died July 29, 1877. Mrs. Monroe still resides in Charleston, surrounded by an interesting family and in the enjoyment of an ample fortune.



Chapman Brothers Portrait and biographical album of Coles County, Illinois Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887.

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