In 1732 James Oglethorpe, a Member of the English Parliament, proposed that the area south of Charlesfort and north of the Spanish declared lands of Florida be colonized. Oglethorpe and other English benefactors secured a royal charter as the Trustees of the Nest of Georgia on June 9, 1732. With the slogan, “Not for ourselves, however for others,” the Trustees selected colonists for Georgia. On February 12, 1733, the very first settlers shown up in the ship “Anne” at exactly what was to become the city of Savannah. Georgia was named in honor of King George II of Great Britain.
In the late 1700’s, settlers began moving to the Cherokee indian area of Northeast Georgia. The land was fertile from the Apalachee, Alcovy and Yellow Rivers and newcomers began to settle into the location and work the land.
Walton County was laid out by the Lotto Act of 1818, was organized in 1819, and named in honor of George Walton, one of the three Georgians who signed the Declaration. The very first court kept in Walton County was at Cow Pens, about 3 miles southeast of today courthouse, and Judge John M. Dooley from the northern district administered.
Cow Pens is said to have gotten its name from its use at the time by Richard Easley of Athens, GA. Easley owned big herds of cattle and came into possession of lands surrounding the spot where Cow Pens is now situated. He sent his herd there to graze, putting up sheds and pens for their security and later building a log cabin for his ranchers. Given that Easley owned several grazing locations, when speaking of this specific location, he would call it the “Cow Pens” therefore it ended up being frequently understood by that name.
Later on, the location of a county seat entered into concern and Walter J. Colquitt, a legal representative, and Dr. Thomas Moody used up their house at Cow Pens, believing it would be the county seat and the name was consolidated into one word, Cowpens.
At the very same time, a medical professional by the name of Johnson and an attorney, whose name is unidentified, took up their house at “Spring Place,” now the City of Monroe. They thought that the county seat would lie there.
Elisha Betts of Virginia provided a present of land for county structures, personal and public cemeteries, and six acres surrounding “Spring Location,” this being a public meeting place for citizens in the surrounding neighborhood. This benefactor likewise recommended to offer the town the name of “Monroe” in honor of James Monroe, fifth president of the United States. His deal was accepted and Monroe became referred to as the county seat of Walton County in 1820. The City of Monroe was integrated in 1821.
Elisha Betts assisted the erection of log and frame houses, stores, and a tavern referred to as “Major Humphries Assembly Room,” which was used for public conferences, dancing, and other forms of amusement. His own two-story log home is said to have stood on the lot at the corner of Broad and Washington Streets.
A fire in 1857 swept the entire downtown location of Broad Street between the streets now referred to as Spring and Washington. The Courthouse was the only building left standing.
Following the fire, the first brick buildings were erected, some which are still present in one form or another today. The initial City Hall constructing put up throughout the late 1800’s still stands at the corner of Spring Street and Wayne Street, as does the second Municipal government which was integrated in 1939 on South Broad Street. Lots of other homes and storefronts from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s still exist here today.
Monroe did not make rapid progress till after the “War Between the States,” but because that time, it has grown and succeeded. Monroe became a dynamic cotton/textiles mill town throughout the early half of the 20th century, along with attracting regional markets and developing a strong organization presence both downtown and from one end of town to the other.
It is called among Georgia’s a lot of civil-minded and cultured smaller sized cities. Monroe likewise proudly claims the honor of being the “City of Governors,” having provided seven guys to function as Guv of Georgia. Monroe likewise claims a native child who left Monroe for the West and later became Governor of Texas.