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First County Court
first county court of Monroe county was held at the house or Green V.
Caldwell, on Saturday, February 26, 1831. Andrew Rogers, John Curry and
William P. Stephenson had been commissioned justices of the court by Gov.
John Miller, and all were present and took their seats. They were
commissioned to serve four years, unless sooner removed according to law.
The court, after organizing, appointed Ebenezer W. McBride clerk of the
court, who immediately executed a bond in the sum of $3,000, with Edward
M. Holder, David Gentry, Richard Cave and Christopher C. Acuff as
sureties. The appointment of McBride was all the business transacted by
the. court at its first term. During vacation, and on March 25th
following, the court having failed to appoint an assessor for the county,
E. W. McBride, the clerk, appointed John S McGee assessor to that office.
The next regular term of the court was held on the 2d day of May, 1831, commencing on Monday. In the meantime, and during the vacation, John Curry and William P. Stephenson, two of the justices who were first commissioned, resigned, and Robert Simpson and Reese Davis were appointed to fill the vacancies. The two latter named, with Arthur Rogers, constituted the court. Robert Simpson was chosen president. The court then appointed William Runkle sheriff, and Samuel H. Smith collector of the county. It then proceeded to divide the county into townships as follows : All that portion of the county lying east of a line running north and south across the county, including ten miles in width, composed the lower or eastern township, and was called Jefferson township; the middle township embraced eleven miles in width, and was called Jackson, and all the territory lying west of Jackson township and attached to Monroe county was called Union township, making three original townships. After laying out and naming the townships, the court designated the places of holding elections and appointing the judges thereof as follows:
Jefferson township, at the residence of John Witt: judges, Asaph E. Hubbard, Richard Cave and Robert Donaldson.
Jackson township, at the residence of Green V. Caldwell; judges, James Mappin, Joseph Sprowl and John W. Kenney.
township, at the residence of Reese Davis; judges, Joseph Stephens, Jacob
Whittenburg and George Saling. McBride was drowned in January, 1867, in
the Mississippi river, six miles below Memphis, Tenn. He was at the time
of his death en route for Greenville, Miss., whither he was going
to collect some debts due him at that place. He took the steamer Platte
Valley, at St. Louis, and when reaching a point, as stated above, six
miles below Memphis, the boat struck the wreck of the old gunboat Jeff.
Thompson, and sank. Mr. McBride and one of the employees of the boat- a
boy- floated off on an ice-chest. The chest finally sank; the boy swam to
a snag near by and was rescued, but Mr. McBride, who was then an old man,
was drowned. Mr. McBride had accumulated quite a fortune, and was one of
the most highly respected citizens of the county. He traded in horses and
mules, which he sold to Southern markets.
Coppedge was appointed constable for Jackson township, Milton Wilkerson,
for Jefferson, and Elliott Burton, for Union. Asaph E. Hubbard and Robert
Donaldson, for Jefferson township, and Jacob Whittenburg and George Saling
and Reese Davis and Joseph Stephens, for Union township, were recommended
by the court to the Governor as suitable persons for justices of the
met again June 4th, 1831, at the residence of Green V. Caldwell (Caldwell
having recently died), the judges last mentioned being present. The clerk
was ordered to issue ten licenses for merchandise. Stephen Glascock was
paid $4 out of funds arising from the sale of lots in Paris for surveying
the town site. It was ordered that John S. McGee be allowed one dollar
and seventy-five cents
per day for twenty-five days' services, rendered in assessing the
county. This would amount to only $35 for assessing the entire county
in 1831. The assessor now (1884) receives about $1,200 for assessing the
personal and real estate. James R. Abernathy was appointed commissioner of
the township school lands. John S. McGee was appointed county surveyor.
James C. Fox was appointed town commissioner of Paris. It was ordered that
seventy-five cents be levied as a county tax.
Burton was allowed $4.50 out of his state and county tax. The court met
again June 21st, 1831, at the same place. Present, Robert Simpson and
Reese Davis. In the proceedings we find the following: Ordered by the
court, That James C. Fox, commissioner of the town of Paris, the seat
of justice for Monroe county, proceed to give notice of the sale of lots
in said town of Paris, by having it inserted in two public newspapers
printed in this State, sixty days previous to the day of sale, and said
commissioner shall proceed to sell said lots, in said town of Paris, on
the 12th day of September next, on a credit of six, twelve and eighteen
months, one-third payable at each term. The first license for the sale of
wines and spirituous liquors was issued at this term of the court; also
the first license for a tavern or public house of entertainment.
first road overseers were appointed at the August term of the court.
Robert Greening was appointed overseer of road district number 1, of the
Palmyra road, which was upon the line of Marion and Monroe counties. Abram
Kirtland was made overseer of district number 2, which laid between the
North fork of Salt river and the township line dividing Jefferson and
Jackson townships. Matthew Mappin was made overseer of district number 3,
between the township line dividing Jefferson and Jackson townships, and
range line dividing range 9 and 10. Stephen Scobee was made overseer of
road district number 1, of the old London road in Jefferson township,
which laid between the Monroe county line east and John A. Ives. Charles
Eales was appointed overseer of district number 2, of the London road,
which laid between John A. Ives, and township line dividing Jefferson and
Jackson townships. James S. McGee, Alexander Thompson, Hasten Fike, Grant
Noel James Noel and Larken Stamper were appointed road overseers of other
were then ordered to be laid off from the town of Paris to Columbia, Boone
county; from Paris to the London road at the west end of John McLamey's
lane; from Paris to intersect the Fayette and Franklin road; from Paris to
the town of Florida. Archibald Rice was the first guardian appointed by
the court. His ward was Lourey Adams, child of William Adams, deceased.
His bond was fixed at $600. Quill pens were evidently used in those days,
for in looking over the proceedings of the court, November term, 1831, we
find this order:
It is ordered by the court, that the sum of $5 be allowed to Ebenezer W. McBride, clerk of this court, for paper, ink powder and quills furnished by him for the use of his office, to be paid out of any money in the county treasury not otherwise appropriated. For the year 1832, the delinquent State tax amounted to $13.97 and the delinquent county tax to $9.89. Edward M. Holden was granted a license to keep a ferry across the Middle fork of Salt river, near the town of Paris, at the place where the road leading from Paris to Palmyra crosses that stream. The court fixed the charges for ferriage as follows: Single person, 10 cents; horse, mule or jack, 5 cents; horse and gig, 50 cents; horse and dearborn, 621 cents; two horses and wagon, 621 cents; four horses and wagon, 75 cents; neat cattle, 5 cents each; hogs and sheep, 2 cents each. Five hundred dollars were appropriated by tort the court to clearing out of Salt river below the forks. A bridge was built across the Middle fork of Salt river, opposite Paris, in 1834.