Monroe County Library System,  Monroe, MI 48162


Bygones of Monroe:


Monroe Commercial, pg 1, May 4, 1876

Sept. 2, 1826.

Died in this village yesterday, Col. Francis Navarre, one of the associate justices of the Monroe County Court, aged 66 years. Col. Navarre was born in Detroit, and settled on the river Raisin in the spring of 1785; being one year previous to the location here of any other white settler, and upwards of 41 years since. He located here at the solicitation of the Indians, the then sole possessors of the soil, who granted him a tract of 1,200 or 1,500 acres of land, comprising the present site of this village, and land adjacent, extending from the river Raisin back to the farms adjoining those laid out on Otter Creek. At the time of his death he retained about 500 acres, of great value, which he has willed to his children. Col. Navarre was the first person who attempted the establishment of military discipline, and introduced the forms of civil government in this county. He was first appointed Captain, and afterwards Colonel in the first regiment formed here. He has held at different times and for long periods, distinguished civil offices, such as Justice of the county Court, etc. He maintained during his whole life, great influence over the Indians, and was particularly distinguished for his energy in aiding to bring about the celebrated Indian treaty concluded at Greenville, O., in 1795, under the direction of General Wayne, by which the United States became possessed of an immense body of land, and secured the right of constructing roads through a valuable portion of the present territory of Michigan. Col. Navarre was an extensive traveler through the western country, was intimately acquainted with the individuals and language of many of the Indian tribes; and has died after a long life, chequered with all the hardships incident to a new country. He witnessed the first commencement of a fine settlement here, saw the same settlement destroyed, the homes of the inhabitants sacked and burned upon the battle field, and finally lived to see the remaining inhabitants recover from the shock occasioned by the war, settle themselves anew in comparative affluence, and build up a flourishing village within a few rods of his own door. Through life he was remarkable for his habits of temperance, industry, and frugality. He was hospitable to new comers in the early settlement of the country, and was noted for the strictest honesty and uprightness in all his intercourse with mankind.

Some of our local historians place the earliest white settlement in Monroe in 1784, but it will be seen that Mr. Ellis fixes the date of the location here, of the first white settler, (Col. Navarre,) in 1785. Col. Navarre was at that time, according to his journal, 25 years old. The treaty mentioned by Mr. Ellis as taking place in 1795, is also spoken of in the Monroe Directory as having taken place in 1785, the very year in which, according to Mr. Ellis, Col. Navarre came to the Raisin. - Ed. Commercial.

Monroe Commercial, pg 1, May 4, 1876

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