Township celebrates bicentennial

By Cecilia Fox -

MONROE TWP. — With presentations and proclamations, Monroe Township celebrated its bicentennial Monday night.

“It’s a special night for us in Monroe Township,” trustee Phil Cox said.

The meeting celebrated 200 years since the first meeting of the Monroe Township trustees convened on Feb. 3, 1818.

The trustees read proclamations from Sen. Bill Beagle and Rep. Steve Huffman and accepted two 1818 flags from the Masons of Tippecanoe Lodge 174.

The flag was chosen because it was the only American flag to feature 20 stars and it was only used for one year. The Congress of the time realized it was impractical to add a star and a stripe for each new state, and enacted legislation in 1818 to return to 13 stripes and add only a star for each new state. A new flag was made in 1819.

The township was named after President James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States who served from 1817 to 1825. The name was chosen by one of the township’s founders to honor the sitting president of the day, according to Jackie Wahl, who shared information about the township’s early days on behalf of the historical society.

The trustees also displayed a constable’s uniform. Ron Re, a retired police officer, presented some information about constables in the township throughout the years. The first one found on record was called “Big Tiny” Drury, Re said.

Cox said the township form of government was brought to the United States by the pilgrims and is used in 20 states. He described it as the “most personal form of government.”

County commissioner and former Monroe Township trustee Jack Evans also spoke at the event, highlighting the importance of townships to the county.

“No one, unless you’ve been here, realizes how many things these guys do… They do a grand job,” Evans said. “This township is vitally important to Miami County.”

By Cecilia Fox

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