Biography of N. S. Monroe

N. S. Monroe, of Arthur, and the well-known road-machine manufacturer, is a native of Shelby County, Indiana, having been born eight miles from Shelbyville, the County seat, January 8, 1851. His parents were Andrew J. and Julia Ann (Huffman) Monroe, who were also natives of Shelby County, Indiana. His father was a farmer and came to Illinois in [856 and settled in Richland County, thence in 1866 to Coles County, and three years ago moved to Arcola, where he is living a retired life. N. S. Monroe’s grandfathers, Samuel Monroe and Jacob Huffman, were both Virginians by birth and were pioneer settlers in Shelby County, [Indiana. His grandfather Monroe resided in Shelbyville sixty years. John Raynes (maternal great-grandfather) was born in Maine. John Monroe (paternal great-grandfather) was born in Virginia and was engaged in the Methodist ministry for about sixty years, living to be ninety-six years old ; he also had several brothers who were preachers in the Methodist Church. N. S. Monroe grew upon the farm and received only a common-school education. He removed to Douglas County and in 1876 he located on a farm in Bourbon Township, where he continued to farm up till 1896. The farm upon which he resided he still owns; it contains three hundred and seventeen acres.

In 1876 Mr. Monroe was married to Miss Martha A. Leggett, who was born in Terre Haute. Seven children have blessed their union : Charles W., Andrew J., Margaret M.. George W., Julia E., Ora B. and Alice J. He is a member of the Methodist Church and the Masonic fraternity. In 1894 he founded his present road-machine manufactory at Arthur, and it promises to be one of the leading industries of its kind in the country. His building is 132×35 feet in size. The advantages of the Monroe road-machine when working on a pike are that you do not have to put one horse in the ditch while cutting off a shoulder, as the bars extend out so that the team and machine can travel on the road. The fact that the Mon-roe road-machine will do so much more work than other machines with the same power lies simply in the construction of the machine. The Lars acting- against each other there is no wide draft and no power lost, and the machine will not slide into the ditch. The bars work in-dependently of the upward and downward ac-ton of the frame caused by the unevenness of the road.

Under date of February 23, 1900, the Arthur Graphic copies from the Southern Review of Commerce, of Louisville, Kentucky, dated February 7, 1900, the following: “As a result we find that `The Monroe Road Ma-chine,’ a product of N. S. Monroe, Arthur, Illinois, who is the patentee and manufacturer of this machine, is the best on the market. In an editorial like this it is impossible to give all the details of our recent investigation of this subject, but we wish to state that the above named machine is vastly superior to all other makes because it is made of the best material regardless of cost; it is constructed strictly on scientific and mechanical principles; is strong and durable and every machine sold by Mr. Monroe is fully guaranteed.

“This machine scrapes ten to twenty feet at a time, leaving a perfectly smooth road and one free from all ridges. It is a practical road ma-chine for successful work on either dirt or gravel roads, and those who have used it pronounce `The Monroe Road Machine’ the finest that is on the market, while practical mechanics say it is the acme of perfection in this line of invention, and that any man of ordinary judgment can operate it with ease and safety and perform perfect work with it. Its efficiency, durability, simplicity and the cheap price at which it is put on the market certainly recommend this machine to all who desire to secure perfect roads.

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“We advise our inquirers, or all interested readers, to write Mr. Monroe direct for further and detailed information. He is a gentleman well known for his business tact and enterprise, his commercial rating is of the highest order and all parties dealing with him can rest assured that he will make good every representation that he may make.

“This unsolicited editorial endorsement is made in strict accordance with the policy of the Review, which is to give credit where credit is due in every investigation that we make for our readers, whose interests alone we seek to serve. The Monroe system of road work should be given careful investigation as it should be adopted to obtain the best results when the machine is used.”



Douglas County IL,

Gresham, John M. Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois Logansport, Indiana: Press of Wilson, Humphreys & Co. 1900.

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