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Monroe Family Reunion


Posted By: Sheryl McClure (email)
Date: 1/1/2020 at 15:06:40

What was probably the most remarkable family reunion ever held in the state of Iowa, was the one held in this city last Saturday in honor of the fiftieth birthday of Mr. E. Monroe, at which there was present a family of eight brothers and two sisters, the youngest fifty years of age and the oldest past seventy, and in this large family there had never been a death aside from the parents, Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Monroe, the father dying at the age of 43 years only a few months after the birth of his youngest son, and the mother passing away at the age of 63 years. In addition to all the brothers and sisters there were also their wives and husbands and many of their children present.
On Jan. 27, 1895, the first family reunion was held at Sullivan, Illinois, when Christopher, the eldest son, reached the age of fifty years, and each time one of his brothers or sisters reached that age, there was a big family reunion, but circumstances were such that only once were all the brothers and sisters able to be together before, at the home of Millard T. Monroe, who resides on the old Monroe homestead near Sullivan, Ill., and the reunion held in this city last Saturday will probably be the last time this interesting family will all be together, for they are getting well along in years and are somewhat scattered. Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Monroe had been looking forward to this event with great anticipation and had made plans for a big celebration at which they expected to entertain many of their Leon friends, but just a few days before Mrs. Monroe's father, Mr. George Brotherton, of Sullivan, Ill., who with his wife are spending the winter at the home of his daughter in this city, was taken  seriously ill, and for several days his death was expected at any minute. It was feared that the reunion would have to be called off, but as some of the brothers were already on their way to Leon, it was decided to go ahead and trust to luck, and we are happy to say that Mr. Brotherton is now improving and will recover.
The advance guard arrived Friday evening and Saturday morning the balance came in, there being twenty-nine who arrived on the early morning /train Saturday morning. The illness of Mr. Brotherton prevented any attempt at their being entertained at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Monroe, but their daughter-in-law, Mrs. Carl Monroe, insisted that she could take care of them all at her home, and had a steaming hot breakfast ready for all when the busses got through bringing them up from the depot, and with the assistance of her sisters, Mrs. George Penniwell of this city, Mrs. J. C. Atz of Osceola, and Miss Eula Waight of St. Joe, they went ahead and had the big dinner party Saturday, and many were the compliments passed to these ladies on their splendid cooking and service.

It certainly was a jolly group and they enjoyed themselves to the utmost during their staying in this city. And they attracted a great deal of our attention, ladies and gentlemen both, for they were sure a fine looking bunch of people, but they all insisted that E. G. was the black sheep of the family. If he is, the balance are little short of saints. One of them told us in explaining Ed's snow white hair at his early age, said that when he was a boy he was so lazy he would not work but would sit under a shade tree all day and that when he finally did get out in the sun his hair all bleached out.
Sunday the entire party were entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Monroe at dinner at Hotel Leon, Mrs. Markley arranging one big table at which all were seated at once, and she served a most splendid dinner to them. Several of them had to leave Sunday afternoon, others went Monday and the last of the big party got away Tuesday night, with the most pleasant recollections of the family reunion. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Monroe started from here on an extended trip to California.
When the first reunion was held the brothers and sisters presented the eldest brother with a fine rocking chair and this custom has been kept up as each one reached their fiftieth milestone, so E. G. was not surprised when he was presented with a fine leather chair, but there was a surprise coming to his son Carl, whose birthday was Sunday, when the relatives decided to secure the finest chair they could find in Leon and presented it to Carl and his wife as a token of their appreciation of their efforts to make their stay in Leon a pleasant one, and they tell us that for once Carl was knocked clear off the Christmas tree, for he had forgotten in the excitement all about Sunday being his birthday, just one day after that of his father.
E. G. Monroe, the youngest member of this big family came to Decatur county from Sullivan, Illinois, in 1896 and settled on a farm at Garden Grove, where he was successful as an up-to-date farmer and soon purchased a farm and still owns a mighty fine farm just south of Garden Grove. He resided on the farm until he was elected county treasurer in 1906, since which time he has resided in this city. After serving four years in a most acceptable manner as county treasurer, he entered the banking business, being elected cashier of the Exchange National Bank, and assumed his duties Jan.
1, 1911, and has since been active in the management of this bank. He has also been a factor in city affairs and has served as a member of the city council for a number of years. He and his family have a large circle of warm friends in this city and county.

The following is a list of the relatives in attendance at the reunion:
Christopher Monroe, age 70, and daughters, Misses Clara and Dollie, of Sullivan, Illinois.
Wm. H. Monroe, age 68, of Elton, Louisiana.
Thomas Monroe, age 66, and wife, of Sullivan, Illinois.
Isaac Monroe, age 64, of Sullivan, Illinois.
Mrs. A. T. Wright, age 62, Mr. Wright and daughters, Miss Luru, of Bloomington, Illinois, and Mrs. Altona Yantis, of Finley, Illinois
G. W. Monroe, age 60, and daughter, Miss Lorah, of Bloomington, Ill.
Millard T. Monroe, age 58, wife and daughter, Miss Blanche, of Sullivan, Illinois.
John Monroe, age 57, of Chicago, Illinois.Mrs. W. H. McCaig, age 53, Mr. McCaig and daughter, Miss Bernardine, of Sullivan, Illinois.
Jack Monroe and wife, of Texarkana, Ark., son of Christopher Monroe.
Charles Monroe, wife and daughter, Miss Katherine, of Sullivan, Ill., son of Thomas Monroe.J. B. Michael, wife and daughter, Miss Mary Elizabeth and son Edward, of Sullivan, Illinois, daughter of Christopher Monroe.
Ralph Monroe, of Decatur, Illinois, a prominent attorney at that city, son of Millard Monroe.
Mr. and Mrs. Carl Monroe, Leon, Iowa, son of E. G. Monroe.
Mr. and Mrs. George Brotherton, of Sullivan, Illinois, parents of Mrs. E. G. Monroe.
Mrs. Sophia Dolan and grandson Glen Dolan, of Sullivan, Illlnois, a sister of Mrs. E. G. Monroe.
Mrs. Etta Dixon, of Chillicothe, Ohio, a cousin.
Mr. and Mrs. William Timmons, of Yale, Iowa, cousins.  (Leon Reporter, March 4, 1915)


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