Charles Jay MONROE

Charles Jay MONROE

Male 1839 - 1919

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  • Name  Charles Jay MONROE 
    Born  20 Nov 1839  Lawrence, Van Buren Co., Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  2 Oct 1919 
    Person ID  I8898  Munro
    Last Modified  27 May 2001 

    Father  Jay Randolph MONROE,   b. 11 Apr 1806, Surry, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Oct 1876, South Haven, Van Buren Co., Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Fanny RAWSON,   b. 28 May 1815, Erving, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Oct 1907, South Haven, Van Buren Co., Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  10 Sep 1836 
    Family ID  F300  Group Sheet

    Family 1  Hattie MOREHOUSE,   b. Abt 1841, Albion, Calhoun Co., Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jun 1903 
    Married  1866 
    >1. Stephen Blackmar MONROE,   b. 11 Jun 1869, South Haven, Van Buren Co., Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Mar 1946, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Co., Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
    >2. George C. MONROE,   b. 20 Feb 1871, South Haven, Van Buren Co., Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jan 1933, Prob., South Haven, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Cora J. MONROE,   b. Abt 1873,   d. 1906
     4. Lucy E. MONROE,   b. 2 Oct 1875,   d. 21 Jul 1905
    >5. Charles Oliver MONROE,   b. 20 Jun 1881,   d. 9 Oct 1949
    Last Modified  20 Jan 2009 
    Family ID  F3314  Group Sheet

    Family 2  Clara O. ATKINSON,   b. Abt 1841,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married  16 Sep 1905 
    Last Modified  20 Jan 2009 
    Family ID  F3315  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • Hon. Charles Jay Monroe. If the people of Van Buren county were challenged to name an admirable product the high type of their citizenship they might with eminent propriety say: "Here is Hon. Charles Jay Monroe--show us his fellow! Behold the fruit and the representative of our civilization! 'of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble-bush gather the grapes!'." In every field of duty and his have been numerous, and in every relation of life, Mr. Monroe has exemplified sterling manhood, elevated citizenship, and all the other fine attributes of the genuine American gentleman.

      Mr. Monroe is wholly a product of Van Buren county. He was born in the township of Lawrence on 20 Nov. 1839. He obtained his elementary education and first impressions of his relations to his fellow men in the country school near his home. He grew to manhood on his father's farm and did his part of the labor necessary for its cultivation, acquiring therein habits of useful industry, a practical knowledge of farming, and an interest in his native soil that has grown with his years and been intensified by his experience. The activities, aspirations and tendencies of the people of this locality have also been objects of the greatest interest to him at all times, for he has been one of them and fully imbued with their spirit and in sympathy with their desires.

      Moreover, he taught their children in the schools, surveyed their land, served them wisely and faithfully in many important public capacities, and in time became, in large measure, their banker. And when, in the pride and power of his young manhood, he bowed beneath the flowery yoke of Eros, he united himself in marriage with one of their most estimable and accomplished young ladies, with whom he walked life's troubled way for over forty years.

      Mr. Monroe is of Scottish ancestry on his father's side of the house. His grandfather, Isaac Monroe, was a physician who lived in Surry, New Hampshire. In 1816 he moved to Hamilton, Madison County, New York, where he passed the remainder of his days. He reared a family of eleven children, of whom his son Jay R. Monroe, the father of Charles, Jay, was the eighth in the order of birth, and came into being on April 11, 1806, in Surry, New Hampshire, where the family was then living.

      About the time Charles Jay Monroe completed his seventeenth year the State Agricultural College was ready to receive students, and he was one of the first to be enrolled. He was present at its opening session, and remained under its beneficent instructions two years and a half. Then, on account of weakness in his eyes, he was obliged to give up his studies. His father, however, found employment for him that he was able to attend to by placing him in charge of the land agency business he was conducting. In connection with this he taught school eight terms, and also did surveying in Van Buren and Allegan counties, serving as county surveyor for the former two terms, and being in frequent requisition for work in the same line in the latter, both while he was in office and afterward.

      In Jan 1867, in partnership with S. R. Boardman, Charles opened a private bank, which was the first enterprise of that kind in South Haven. In 1871 the First National Bank of South Haven was organized, with Mr. Boardman as president and Charles as cashier of the institution. After serving the bank as cashier for some four years, Charles was elected vice president and the next year president. He held this position until 1889, when the bank was reorganized as the First State Bank of South Haven. He was chosen president of the new organization.

      In 1879, Charles pursued a course of instruction in the law department of the University of Michigan, not with any intention of practicing the profession, but to assist him in carrying on his many business ventures. As he stated the case, he had more business than knowledge, so he quit business for a time to obtain more knowledge. In 1880 or 1881, he organized the West Michigan Savings Bank of Bangor, and he served as its president until he sold his interest in it. He also organized the Kalamazoo Savings Bank, and was its president for some years. In addition, he was president of the Van Buren county Pioneers' Society, and one of the most active men connected with that organization.

      In politics, Charles gave his allegiance steadfastly and continuously to the Republican party, and as its candidate, was elected township supervisor for three terms, county surveyor for two terms, and school inspector for many years. In 1883, he was elected state senator for Van Buren and Allegan counties, and to this office he was twice re-elected, serving three consecutive terms in all. In the state senate he was chairman of the committee on banks and banking and a member of other important committees. He was the author of the banking law at the time, which he had enacted while he was in the senate. In his last term he was unanimously elected president pro tempore of the senate, and during the term, he was in the chair almost every day.

      The interests of South Haven were of great importance to Charles, and he did his part in promoting them. He built a number of brick business blocks and other houses, and did valuable work in many ways for the advancement and improvement of the city. He also gave the welfare and progress of the county his careful and helpful attention, looking after its interests in every field of effort, intellectual, moral, social and business afairs. His farm of three hundred and twenty acres was in the country, just outside of South Haven, and it was a source of considerable addition to the mercantile and commercial wealth of the county. Here he carried on for some years an extensive dairy business, which was a great convenience to the residents of the city and townships, and on the farm he raised large quantities of fine fruit, of various kinds, his peach orchard alone comprising thirty acres, with the other orchards in proportion.

      In Jun 1911, he was elected president of the Michigan Bankers Association. He was a Freemason of Royal Arch degree.

      Van Buren county has never had a citizen whom its people esteemed more highly or more universally, or one who was more worthy of their confidence, and hearty regard and good will. He had the good fortune of being estimated at his real value during his life, which is a rare experience among men, and must have been due to merit made clear and services beyond question.

      Ref: "History and Genealogy of the Lexington, Mass. Munroes", 2nd ed. by R. S.
      Munroe - Florence, Massachusetts (1986) - 13-8/11-82