William Newton Monroe
b. 4 June 1841, Flat Creek, Scott County, Indiana, to Sanders Alexander and Katherine Elizabeth (Monroe) Monroe
d. 26 December 1935, Monrovia, California
m. 24 December 1863, Fort Kearney, Nebraska
Mary Jane Hall
b. 1 January 1846, LaGrange, Lewis County, Missouri, to Milton S. and Nianna Hall
d. 8 February 1932, Monrovia, California
Children with Mary Jane Hall:
- Milton Sanders (d. 1899)
- George Otto married Anetta Evans
- Myrtle Mignonette married Bruce C. Bailey
- Jesse Lee (d. age 7)
- Mabelle Huntington married Thomas Dyer
William’s family moved to Liberty Bell, Iowa, when he was only eleven years old. After finishing grammar school, he went to Ashland University, Iowa, and graduated at eighteen years old. Following graduation, he taught school in the John Wiley district on the Des Moines River. He had thirty-six pupils and received a salary of forty dollars a month. He took turns boarding with parents of his pupils.
On 3 August 1861, William enlisted in the Union Army at Ottumwa, Iowa. He joined the First Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Cavalry and his regiment fought in battles in Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas. He was subsequently commissioned First Lieutenant and was mustered out in 1865 with the rank of Major.
After the Civil War, William engaged in railroad construction work in association with his father-in-law, building twenty-five miles of railroad from Omaha to Fremont, Nebraska. More railroad construction followed, taking the family from California to Texas, to Chile, South America, to Mexico, and to Alaska. Along the way he bought land, helped found the town of Monrovia, named in his honor, and served as the new town’s first mayor.
In 1935, at the age of ninety-four, he led the Monrovia Day parade when Monrovia celebrated its forty-ninth anniversary.
Naomi Keith Sexton