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Monroe County, Michigan

Coordinates: 41°55′N 83°30′W / 41.92°N 83.50°W / 41.92; -83.50
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Monroe County
Monroe County Courthouse
Monroe County Courthouse
Official seal of Monroe County
Map of Michigan highlighting Monroe County
Location within the U.S. state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 41°55′N 83°30′W / 41.92°N 83.5°W / 41.92; -83.5
Country United States
State Michigan
FoundedJuly 14, 1817[1]
Named forJames Monroe
Largest cityMonroe
 • Total680 sq mi (1,800 km2)
 • Land549 sq mi (1,420 km2)
 • Water131 sq mi (340 km2)  19%
 • Total154,809
 • Estimate 
155,045 Increase
 • Density230/sq mi (88/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts5th, 6th
Map of Monroe County from 1873

Monroe County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 154,809.[2] The largest city and county seat is Monroe.[3] The county was established as the second county (after Wayne County) in the Michigan Territory in 1817 and was named for then-President James Monroe.[4] Monroe County is coterminous with the Monroe metropolitan statistical area.[5]


Before the county's formation, the primary settlement was Frenchtown, which was settled in as early as 1784 along the banks of the River Raisin. The small plot of land was given to the early French settlers by the Potawatomi Native Americans, and the area was claimed for New France. The settlement of Frenchtown, Michigan and the slight northerly settlement of Sandy Creek drew in a total of about 100 inhabitants. During the War of 1812, the area was the site of the Battle of Frenchtown, which was the worst American defeat in the war and remains the deadliest conflict ever on Michigan soil. The site of the battle is now part of the River Raisin National Battlefield Park.[6]

Monroe County was formed from the southern portion of Wayne County in 1817.[1] At the time, the Michigan Territory, which had not yet received statehood, consisted of only Wayne County since Detroit was the only area which had a population over 1,000 people. When the area became more populated, the southern portion of Wayne County was broken off to form Monroe County; the settlement of Frenchtown was platted with the name "Monroe".

The settlement also incorporated as a village in 1817[7] and became the county seat of Monroe County. The county and its county seat were named in honor of then-President James Monroe in anticipation of his upcoming visit to the city.[4] Shortly after its formation, Monroe County's population was recorded at only 336 in the 1820 census.[8] When the county was originally formed, it stretched for 60 miles (97 km) inland (twice its current size), but the western half was split off to form Lenawee County in 1826.[4][9]

Monroe County's most famous resident, George Armstrong Custer (1839–1876), moved to Monroe as a child and lived with his half-sister and brother-in-law. Although not born in Monroe, he attended school in Monroe and later moved away to attend the United States Military Academy. He returned to Monroe in 1864 during the Civil War to marry Elizabeth Bacon (1842–1933), whom he met while previously living in Monroe. Much of Custer's family resided in Monroe, included Elizabeth Bacon, Henry Armstrong Reed (1858–1876), and Boston Custer (1848–1876). After their deaths in the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Henry and Boston were interred and memorialized in Monroe's historic Woodland Cemetery, as are many members of Bacon's family. Although George Custer died in the same battle, he was interred at West Point Cemetery and Elizabeth Bacon was buried next to him when she died many decades later. In 1910, then-President William Howard Taft and the widowed Elizabeth Bacon unveiled an equestrian statue of Custer which now sits at the corner of Elm Street and Monroe Street in the heart of downtown Monroe.[10][11]

Border disputes[edit]

The portion of the Michigan Territory claimed by the State of Ohio known as the Toledo Strip

When the city of Toledo was incorporated in 1833, it was part of Monroe County instead of the state of Ohio.[citation needed] The small strip of land surrounding the mouth of the Maumee River was under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Territory, because the borders originally drawn up for the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 set a territorial boundary as the southernmost edge of Lake Michigan. When Ohio became the first in the Northwest Territory to gain statehood in 1803, the state's northern border claimed this important area, even though the boundaries of the Michigan Territory when it was formally organized in 1805 also included this area. From 1833 to 1836, Toledo belonged to Monroe County, which led to the very heated Toledo War border dispute between the Michigan Territory and the state of Ohio for the area known as the Toledo Strip. In late 1836, President Andrew Jackson, who earlier had appointed his brilliant young aide Stevens T. Mason as the Michigan Territory's "boy governor", intervened to settle the dispute. The federal government gave the Toledo Strip to Ohio in exchange for Michigan getting the Upper Peninsula, then considered a wasteland, when it became a state on January 26, 1837.[12] While Toledo was part of Monroe County, it surpassed Monroe in terms of size and population. In 1915, Michigan Governor Woodbridge N. Ferris and Ohio Governor Frank B. Willis called a ceremonial truce to the border conflict when new state line markers were erected.

The new state line at the end of the Toledo War was established at approximately the 41°44' north latitude line just north of the mouth of the Maumee River. This gave the river and the city of Toledo to the state of Ohio, but it also created an unintended consequence for a specific area of Michigan. The state line also cut through the smaller Ottawa River and inadvertently cut off a small section of Monroe County, creating an exclave known as the "Lost Peninsula" (41°44′08.3″N 83°27′35.6″W / 41.735639°N 83.459889°W / 41.735639; -83.459889). The few Michigan residents that live on the small peninsula must travel south into Lucas County, Ohio on a 10-minute drive before going north to get back to the rest of Michigan. The Lost Peninsula is administered by Erie Township and most of the peninsula contains a marina.[13]

Monroe County's boundary remained unchanged from 1837 to 1973, when a final unresolved dispute from the Toledo War was resolved, 136 years after the conflict. Ownership over the very small, uninhabited Turtle Island in a remote portion of Lake Erie was disputed for decades after the island's lighthouse was shut down. The island was long controlled by Michigan but still disputed by Ohio. On February 22, 1973, an agreement was met, and state lines were redrawn for the last time to cut exactly through the tiny island, which divided the island between Monroe County and Lucas County. Erie Township has jurisdiction over the Michigan half of Turtle Island, and the city of Toledo controls the other half. What to do with the island remains a contentious issue since neither side can come to any agreement. Today, the island has several abandoned structures, and the recent building of new structures was halted by a court order.[14][15]

Economic history[edit]

The Monroe Power Plant, owned by Detroit Edison, has the tallest structures in Monroe County.

Prior to the mid-20th century, Monroe County remained largely agrarian and was well known for its numerous paper mills—the first of which was founded in 1834.[16] In 1916, August Meyer founded Brisk Blast, which was a bicycle pump manufacturer that was later expanded to produce automotive shocks in 1919 as the Monroe Auto Equipment Company. In 1977, the company merged with the international Tenneco company. Today, their world headquarters are located in Monroe Charter Township and continue to manufacture Monroe Shocks and Struts.[16] In 1927, cousins Edward Knabusch and Edwin Shoemaker founded a small furniture making company in their garage. This would later evolve into the worldwide La-Z-Boy Incorporated, and their world headquarters are located on North Telegraph Road in Monroe.[17]

In 1957, the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station first opened in Frenchtown Charter Township near Lake Erie. Today, the plant is operated by Detroit Edison but is entirely owned by parent company DTE Energy. In 1974, the Monroe Power Plant, currently the fourth largest coal firing plant in North America, opened. At 805 feet (245 m) tall, the dual smokestacks are visible from over 25 miles (40 km) away and are among the tallest structures in the state. A third smokestack—shorter and wider than the other two—was constructed as the plant responds to meet environmental regulations.[18] In 1929, Newton Steel opened a manufacturing plant on Lake Erie in Monroe, and this plant would later be purchased by Alcoa in 1942, Kelsey-Hayes in 1947, the Ford Motor Company in 1949 later under their Visteon division in 2000 and then as the Automotive Components Holdings in 2005. The plant, one of the most prominent manufacturing job in the county, produces various car parts for Ford. The plant itself is also well known for its high level of chemicals that once polluted Lake Erie and the River Raisin. Although threatened to close, the factory remains open with 1,200 employees.[19][20] Today the Port of Monroe is still heavily industrialized and various other industries have moved to Monroe County in recent years. In 2001, Cabela's built a store in Dundee. As one of the largest stores of its kind, this location is a major tourist destination and has greatly improved the economy of Dundee.[21] The Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance was also founded in Dundee in 2002.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 680 square miles (1,800 km2), of which 549 square miles (1,420 km2) is land and 131 square miles (340 km2) (19%) is water.[22] Monroe is Michigan's only county on Lake Erie. The River Raisin and Sandy Creek flow through the county. Sterling State Park is the county's only state park and the only of Michigan's 98 state parks located on Lake Erie. The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge extends south into Monroe County and includes part of the North Maumee Bay Archeological District.[23] Monroe County sits at the lowest elevation in Michigan, which is the shores of Lake Erie at 571 feet (174 meters).[24]

Adjacent counties[edit]


Monroe County lies in the humid continental climate zone. The city of Monroe only receives an average of 28.5 inches (72 cm) of snow a year — the lowest average snowfall for any large city in the state. July is the warmest month with an average high temperature of 84 °F (29 °C), and January is the coldest month with an average low temperature of 16 °F (−9 °C). The county does not normally have extremely hot or cold temperatures. On average, the temperature only drops below 0 °F (−18 °C) a couple of times during a winter season, and it is even rarer for the temperature to rise above 100 °F (38 °C) during the summer. The coldest recorded temperature was −21 °F (−29 °C) on February 5, 1918. The highest recorded temperature was 106 °F (41 °C) on July 24, 1934, with another equal temperature recorded on one occasion many years earlier.[25]

Severe weather events are very rare. Monroe County has experienced a total approximately 30 tornadoes since 1950. Infrequent waterspouts can also be seen out on Lake Erie. Many tornadoes have been a part of major outbreaks, and none have directly affected the heavily populated areas. Three separate F4 tornadoes killed 13 people during the 1965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak on April 11, 1965. In the Super Outbreak of April 3–4, 1974, two tornadoes (one F2 and one F3) caused five deaths. The most tornadoes from a single storm came on August 29, 1979, when four tornadoes touched down in and near Monroe. However, the tornadoes were weak (three F1 and one F0), and there were no deaths.[26] The most recent tornado to touchdown and cause significant damage in the county struck Dundee Township in a minor outbreak that caused several tornadoes around the southern portion of Michigan on the morning of June 6, 2010.[27]

Since Monroe is too far north and inland, no hurricanes have struck Monroe County directly. However, some of the strongest hurricanes have affected the county with a few irregular inches of increased rainfall, although they have had no more power in the area than a depression does. Tropical Storm Candy (1968) traveled unusually far inland and dropped 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) of rain. Other storms, such as Hurricane Hugo (1989) and Hurricane Isabel (2003) also dropped trace amounts of rain with over 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) winds—long after they lost their hurricane status.[28]


Historical population
2023 (est.)155,045[29]0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[30]
1790-1960[31] 1900-1990[32]
1990-2000[33] 2010-2019[2]

As of the census[34] of 2000, there were 145,945 people, 53,772 households, and 39,952 families residing in the county. The population density was 265 inhabitants per square mile (102/km2). There were 56,471 housing units at an average density of 102 per square mile (39/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.42% White, 1.90% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.62% from other races, and 1.31% from two or more races. 2.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 28.5% were of German, 8.9% American, 8.3% Polish, 8.2% French, 8.0% Irish, 7.5% English and 5.7% Italian ancestry, 96.4% spoke English and 1.5% Spanish as their first language.

There were 53,772 households, out of which 36.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.00% were married couples living together, 10.10% had a female household with no husband present, and 25.70% were non-families. 21.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.14. In the county, the population was spread out, with 27.40% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 29.80% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 11.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.20 males. The median income for a household in the county was $51,743, and the median income for a family was $59,659. Males had a median income of $46,715 versus $27,421 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,458. About 4.80% of families and 7.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.10% of those under age 18 and 8.30% of those age 65 or over.

In the 2008 census report, the county's population was estimated at 152,949. The leading nationality was German at 34.9%, with Irish at 15.2% and French at 11.1%. Other national origins include 10.5% Polish and 8.9% English. The smallest population of any large nationality in the United States is Danish with only 45 people of Danish descent in the county.[35] The highest ethnicity reported in the county in 2008 was white at 95.3%. Black people accounted for only 2.4%, while other ethnic groups include 0.7% Asian and 0.3% total for Native Americans and Alaska Natives. Hispanic and Latino Americans accounted for 2.7%.[36]


Monroe County contains nine public school districts. There are approximately 23,000 students in public schools in the county.[37] Public school district boundaries are not conterminous with the county boundary or any municipality boundaries within the county. The county is a "district of choice" county, and students have the option to attend any district in the county, even if they do not live within a particular district. Students near the county line, especially those in northern locations such as Milan, Flat Rock, Milan Township, and London Township, are assigned to districts in the neighboring counties of Wayne and Washtenaw. Located primarily in Monroe County, Airport Community Schools and Whiteford Agricultural Schools have boundaries that extend into neighboring counties thus a small number of out-of-county students attend schools in Monroe County.[38]

There are two charter schools in the county with a total of 750 students. There are also 15 parochial schools with approximately 2,200 students enrolled in the private sector.[37] The county is also served by one independent school district, the Monroe County Intermediate School District, which provides education services and staff support at all of the county's schools. Established in 1964 and first opened to students in 1967, Monroe County Community College is the only higher education institution in the county. Marygrove College, sponsored by the local Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM), was founded in Monroe in 1905 as a Catholic, liberal arts college. The college moved to its current location in Detroit in 1927. The IHM also operated a boarding school, the Hall of the Divine Child, in Monroe from 1918 to 1980. Students in the county may be homeschooled.

K-12 education[edit]

Monroe County is served by 14 public school districts, with nine of them based in the county. The largest of these is Monroe Public Schools, which enrolls approximately 6,450 students in the city of Monroe and outlying area of the city limits.[37] With around 2,100 students, Monroe High School is one of the largest high schools in the state. The Monroe County Intermediate School District is an independent school district that provides services to both public and private schools in the county. Students in Monroe County can choose to enroll in any public school district in the county, granted the district has available space. If a student attends a school outside of their normal district, the school will usually not provide transportation for the student. The district boundary map is provided by the Michigan Department of Information Technology.[38] All district's athletic teams are governed by the Michigan High School Athletic Association. A small number of schools have been closed down or reused for different purposes, and some of the smaller districts consists of a single elementary school and a combined middle and high school.


School districts include:[39]


Public schools in Monroe County
  Specialized learning centers
District School Location
Airport Community Schools
Airport Senior High School Ash Township 42°02′24″N 83°22′35″W / 42.04000°N 83.37639°W / 42.04000; -83.37639 (Airport Senior High School)
Edith M. Wagar Middle School Ash Township 42°02′18″N 83°22′44″W / 42.03833°N 83.37889°W / 42.03833; -83.37889 (Edith M. Wagar Middle School)
Fred W. Ritter Elementary School South Rockwood 42°03′43″N 83°16′21″W / 42.06194°N 83.27250°W / 42.06194; -83.27250 (Fred W. Ritter Elementary School)
Joseph C. Sterling Elementary School Ash Township 42°02′31″N 83°22′39″W / 42.04194°N 83.37750°W / 42.04194; -83.37750 (Joseph C. Sterling Elementary School)
Loren Eyler Elementary School Ash Township 42°03′56″N 83°21′10″W / 42.06556°N 83.35278°W / 42.06556; -83.35278 (Loren Eyler Elementary School)
Niedermeier Elementary School Berlin Township 41°59′57″N 83°18′36″W / 41.99917°N 83.31000°W / 41.99917; -83.31000 (Niedermeier Elementary School)
Bedford Public Schools Bedford Junior High School Temperance 41°46′07″N 83°35′19″W / 41.76861°N 83.58861°W / 41.76861; -83.58861 (Bedford Junior High School)
Bedford Senior High School Temperance 41°45′58″N 83°35′20″W / 41.76611°N 83.58889°W / 41.76611; -83.58889 (Bedford Senior High School)
Douglas Road Elementary School Lambertville 41°44′26″N 83°36′26″W / 41.74056°N 83.60722°W / 41.74056; -83.60722 (Douglas Road Elementary School)
Jackman Road Elementary School Temperance 41°45′41″N 83°35′10″W / 41.76139°N 83.58611°W / 41.76139; -83.58611 (Jackman Road Elementary School)
Monroe Road Elementary School Lambertville 41°45′26″N 83°38′17″W / 41.75722°N 83.63806°W / 41.75722; -83.63806 (Monroe Road Elementary School)
Open Door Alternative High School Temperance 41°44′58″N 83°35′01″W / 41.74944°N 83.58361°W / 41.74944; -83.58361 (Open Door Alternative High School)
Smith Road Elementary School Temperance 41°44′06″N 83°34′14″W / 41.73500°N 83.57056°W / 41.73500; -83.57056 (Smith Road Elementary School)
Temperance Road Elementary School Temperance 41°46′41″N 83°34′59″W / 41.77806°N 83.58306°W / 41.77806; -83.58306 (Temperance Road Elementary School)
Dundee Community Schools Dundee Alternative High School Dundee 41°57′13″N 83°39′33″W / 41.95361°N 83.65917°W / 41.95361; -83.65917 (Dundee Alternative High School)
Dundee Elementary School Dundee 41°57′37″N 83°39′28″W / 41.96028°N 83.65778°W / 41.96028; -83.65778 (Dundee Elementary School)
Dundee High School Dundee 41°57′45″N 83°39′44″W / 41.96250°N 83.66222°W / 41.96250; -83.66222 (Dundee High School)
Dundee Middle School Dundee 41°57′40″N 83°39′32″W / 41.96111°N 83.65889°W / 41.96111; -83.65889 (Dundee Middle School)
Ida Public Schools Ida Elementary School Ida Township 41°54′27″N 83°34′04″W / 41.90750°N 83.56778°W / 41.90750; -83.56778 (Ida Elementary School)
Ida High School Ida Township 41°54′23″N 83°34′11″W / 41.90639°N 83.56972°W / 41.90639; -83.56972 (Ida High School)
Ida Middle School Ida Township 41°54′22″N 83°34′17″W / 41.90611°N 83.57139°W / 41.90611; -83.57139 (Ida Middle School)
Jefferson Schools Harold F. Sodt Elementary School Frenchtown Township 41°56′45″N 83°19′14″W / 41.94583°N 83.32056°W / 41.94583; -83.32056 (Harold F. Sodt Elementary School)
Jefferson 5/6 Elementary School Frenchtown Township 41°57′12″N 83°18′46″W / 41.95333°N 83.31278°W / 41.95333; -83.31278 (Jefferson 5/6 Elementary School)
Jefferson Early Childhood Center Frenchtown Township 41°56′17″N 83°20′56″W / 41.93806°N 83.34889°W / 41.93806; -83.34889 (Jefferson Early Childhood Center)
Jefferson High School Frenchtown Township 41°57′24″N 83°18′42″W / 41.95667°N 83.31167°W / 41.95667; -83.31167 (Jefferson High School)
Jefferson Middle School Frenchtown Township 41°57′15″N 83°18′45″W / 41.95417°N 83.31250°W / 41.95417; -83.31250 (Jefferson Middle School)
North Elementary School Berlin Township 41°59′55″N 83°16′43″W / 41.99861°N 83.27861°W / 41.99861; -83.27861 (North Elementary School)
Mason Consolidated Schools Mason Central Elementary School Erie Township 41°48′38″N 83°29′27″W / 41.81056°N 83.49083°W / 41.81056; -83.49083 (Mason Central Elementary School)
Mason Middle School Erie Township 41°48′38″N 83°29′36″W / 41.81056°N 83.49333°W / 41.81056; -83.49333 (Ida High School)
Mason Senior High School Erie Township 41°48′48″N 83°29′29″W / 41.81333°N 83.49139°W / 41.81333; -83.49139 (Mason Senior High School)
Monroe Public Schools Custer #1 Elementary School South Monroe 41°53′01″N 83°25′57″W / 41.88361°N 83.43250°W / 41.88361; -83.43250 (Custer #1 Elementary School)
Custer #2 Elementary School South Monroe 41°52′58″N 83°26′04″W / 41.88278°N 83.43444°W / 41.88278; -83.43444 (Custer #2 Elementary School)
Cantrick Elementary School Monroe 41°55′37″N 83°22′56″W / 41.92694°N 83.38222°W / 41.92694; -83.38222 (Cantrick Elementary School)
Hollywood Elementary School Monroe 41°55′45″N 83°22′58″W / 41.92917°N 83.38278°W / 41.92917; -83.38278 (Hollywood Elementary School)
Knabusch Mathematics & Science Center Monroe Township 41°52′30″N 83°23′27″W / 41.87500°N 83.39083°W / 41.87500; -83.39083 (Knabusch Math & Science Center)
Manor Elementary School Monroe 41°55′56″N 83°25′05″W / 41.93222°N 83.41806°W / 41.93222; -83.41806 (Manor Elementary School)
Monroe High School West Monroe 41°55′07″N 83°26′17″W / 41.91861°N 83.43806°W / 41.91861; -83.43806 (Monroe High School)
Monroe Middle School Monroe 41°54′39″N 83°23′58″W / 41.91083°N 83.39944°W / 41.91083; -83.39944 (Monroe Middle School)
Orchard Center High School Monroe 41°54′05″N 83°22′42″W / 41.90139°N 83.37833°W / 41.90139; -83.37833 (Orchard Center High School)
Raisinville Elementary School Raisinville Township 41°58′14″N 83°26′47″W / 41.97056°N 83.44639°W / 41.97056; -83.44639 (Raisinville Elementary School)
Riverside Early Childhood Center Monroe 41°55′21″N 83°24′31″W / 41.92250°N 83.40861°W / 41.92250; -83.40861 (Riverside Early Childhood Center)
Waterloo Elementary School West Monroe 41°55′12″N 83°25′33″W / 41.92000°N 83.42583°W / 41.92000; -83.42583 (Waterloo Elementary School)
Summerfield Schools Summerfield Elementary School Petersburg 41°53′59″N 83°42′32″W / 41.89972°N 83.70889°W / 41.89972; -83.70889 (Summerfield Elementary School)
Summerfield High School Petersburg 41°54′18″N 83°42′07″W / 41.90500°N 83.70194°W / 41.90500; -83.70194 (Summerfield High School)
Summerfield Middle School Petersburg 41°54′20″N 83°42′09″W / 41.90556°N 83.70250°W / 41.90556; -83.70250 (Summerfield Middle School)
Whiteford Agricultural Schools Whiteford Elementary School Whiteford Township 41°45′58″N 83°42′15″W / 41.76611°N 83.70417°W / 41.76611; -83.70417 (Summerfield Elementary School)
Whiteford High School Whiteford Township 41°46′05″N 83°42′08″W / 41.76806°N 83.70222°W / 41.76806; -83.70222 (Whiteford High School)
Whiteford Middle School Whiteford Township 41°46′04″N 83°42′14″W / 41.76778°N 83.70389°W / 41.76778; -83.70389 (Whiteford Middle School)
Private schools in Monroe County
  Public charter school
  Independent school
School Location Grades Enrollment[37]
Holy Ghost Lutheran School Raisinville Township 41°59′32″N 83°25′44″W / 41.99222°N 83.42889°W / 41.99222; -83.42889 (Holy Ghost Lutheran School) Pre–8 100
Meadow Montessori School Raisinville Township 41°54′50″N 83°28′39″W / 41.91389°N 83.47750°W / 41.91389; -83.47750 (Meadow Montessori School) Infant–12 180
Monroe Catholic Elementary Schools: St. Michael Early Elementary School, St. John Elementary School, St. Mary Middle School Monroe N/A Infant–8 531
New Bedford Academy Lambertville 41°43′48″N 83°37′37″W / 41.73000°N 83.62694°W / 41.73000; -83.62694 (New Bedford Academy) K–8 150
St. Charles School Berlin Township 41°59′43″N 83°17′18″W / 41.99528°N 83.28833°W / 41.99528; -83.28833 (St. Charles School) Pre–8 177
St. Joseph School Erie Township 41°54′42″N 83°24′05″W / 41.91167°N 83.40139°W / 41.91167; -83.40139 (St. Joseph School) Pre–8 110
St. Mary Catholic Central High School Monroe 41°55′10″N 83°23′53″W / 41.91944°N 83.39806°W / 41.91944; -83.39806 (St. Mary Catholic Central) 9–12 425
St. Patrick Catholic School Ash Township 42°01′32″N 83°25′06″W / 42.02556°N 83.41833°W / 42.02556; -83.41833 (St. Patrick Catholic School) K–8 134
State Line Christian School Temperance 41°44′03″N 83°33′59″W / 41.73417°N 83.56639°W / 41.73417; -83.56639 (State Line Christian School) Pre–12 275
Trinity Lutheran School Monroe 41°54′42″N 83°23′46″W / 41.91167°N 83.39611°W / 41.91167; -83.39611 (Trinity Lutheran School) Pre–8 205
Triumph Academy Frenchtown Township 41°57′13″N 83°21′43″W / 41.95361°N 83.36194°W / 41.95361; -83.36194 (Triumph Academy) K–8 600
Zion Lutheran School Frenchtown Township 41°56′12″N 83°23′00″W / 41.93667°N 83.38333°W / 41.93667; -83.38333 (Zion Lutheran School) Pre–8 94


United States presidential election results for Monroe County, Michigan[40]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 52,710 60.39% 32,975 37.78% 1,597 1.83%
2016 43,261 57.95% 26,863 35.98% 4,531 6.07%
2012 35,593 48.69% 36,310 49.68% 1,192 1.63%
2008 35,858 46.79% 39,180 51.13% 1,593 2.08%
2004 37,470 50.54% 36,089 48.68% 573 0.77%
2000 28,940 46.83% 31,555 51.06% 1,300 2.10%
1996 19,678 37.46% 26,072 49.63% 6,779 12.91%
1992 20,250 34.30% 24,957 42.28% 13,824 23.42%
1988 26,189 54.19% 21,847 45.21% 288 0.60%
1984 29,419 59.69% 19,617 39.80% 251 0.51%
1980 25,612 51.26% 20,578 41.19% 3,774 7.55%
1976 20,676 46.36% 23,290 52.22% 631 1.41%
1972 23,263 54.76% 17,726 41.73% 1,490 3.51%
1968 15,685 39.64% 18,921 47.81% 4,966 12.55%
1964 11,499 30.17% 26,528 69.61% 84 0.22%
1960 18,607 48.43% 19,684 51.23% 132 0.34%
1956 18,782 56.39% 14,414 43.28% 109 0.33%
1952 17,159 57.06% 12,758 42.42% 157 0.52%
1948 11,070 50.72% 10,434 47.81% 320 1.47%
1944 13,478 56.54% 10,275 43.11% 83 0.35%
1940 13,517 56.45% 10,368 43.30% 60 0.25%
1936 8,330 39.14% 11,075 52.03% 1,879 8.83%
1932 7,255 36.26% 12,417 62.05% 338 1.69%
1928 10,202 58.27% 7,242 41.37% 63 0.36%
1924 8,940 58.12% 4,981 32.38% 1,462 9.50%
1920 8,646 61.34% 5,224 37.06% 226 1.60%
1916 3,787 46.64% 4,202 51.76% 130 1.60%
1912 2,253 30.88% 2,995 41.04% 2,049 28.08%
1908 4,206 53.07% 3,451 43.54% 269 3.39%
1904 4,407 56.95% 3,127 40.41% 205 2.65%
1900 3,876 48.88% 3,859 48.67% 194 2.45%
1896 4,053 48.13% 4,208 49.97% 160 1.90%
1892 2,914 41.50% 3,769 53.68% 338 4.81%
1888 3,430 45.33% 3,940 52.07% 197 2.60%
1884 3,025 41.88% 3,920 54.27% 278 3.85%

Monroe County is a swing county in presidential elections. It has voted for the winning candidate for president in 13 of the last 16 presidential elections, the only exceptions being in 1968, 2000, and 2020. In 2016, Donald Trump received 58% of the vote, the largest percentage since Ronald Reagan in 1984. In 2020, Trump outdid his 2016 total by winning 60.4% of the vote, possibly marking an end for Monroe's swing county status.

The county prohibits construction of solar power plants.[41]

Landmarks and attractions[edit]


Portions of Monroe County are served by the Lake Erie Transit public transportation bus system. Established in 1975, Lake Erie Transit currently has a fleet of 31 buses and serves approximately 400,000 riders every year. In 2008, the system logged 764,000 miles.[51] The system operates buses on eight fixed routes in and around the city of Monroe. It also serves several neighboring townships outside of its normal routes should a passenger call ahead for a ride. From Bedford Township, its provides transportation to and from two shopping malls in Toledo, Ohio.

  • I-75 travels through the eastern portion of the county and provides access to Toledo to the south and Detroit to the north. I-75 provides an uninterrupted route as far south as South Florida and as far north as the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge.
  • I-275 has its southern terminus just north of Monroe in the northeast portion of the county. Splitting off from I-75, I-275 is a western bypass around Detroit but does not actually merge back with I-75. I-275 serves as a main route to the Metro Airport.
  • US 23 runs along the western portion of the county, passing right through Dundee and proceeding north through Ann Arbor. US 23 is a limited-access freeway with interchanges rather than intersections.
  • US 24 travels through Monroe and provides access to Toledo and western portions of Detroit. The road is known locally as North Telegraph and South Telegraph—divided at the River Raisin. US 24 also connects to I-275 just north of Monroe.
  • US 25 was the designated name for the portion of Dixie Highway north of Cincinnati, including the portion running through Monroe. Like Dixie Highway, US 25 was largely replaced, and the existing highway was truncated at Cincinnati.
  • US 223 only runs a short distance through the southwestern corner of the county, where it connects Toledo to US 127 in Michigan. In Monroe County, it is known as St. Anthony Road, and the US 223 designation continues on a 90° bend south with US 23.
  • M-50 has its eastern terminus is in Monroe at US 24 and provides a direct route from Monroe to Dundee and further into the state. In Monroe, M-50 is known locally as South Custer Road. In Dundee, it is referred to as East Monroe Street and, after the River Raisin, Tecumseh Road.
  • M-125 travels directly through downtown Monroe before merging into US 24 north of Monroe. South of downtown after Jones Avenue, it is called South Dixie Highway. In the downtown area, it is South Monroe Street. North of the River Raisin, it is North Monroe Street.
  • M-130 was a state highway existing from 1930 to 1955 and ran along the north banks of the River Raisin. M-130 had its eastern terminus at US 24 and ran for just over nine miles (14 km). In 1955, control of the highway was transferred back to the county and is now called North Custer Road.
  • M-151 was a state highway existing from 1935 to 1977. It ran through the southern portion of the county, connecting US 23 to the now-decommissioned US 25. Today, the road is called Samaria Road, with the eastern portion called Lakeside Road.
  • Dixie Highway ran through Monroe County in as early as 1915. Originally one of the few ways to reach places like Florida, the highway was largely replaced by I-75 beginning in the 1960s. Today, the namesake of the highway is used for two non-connecting highways (one being M-125), although the same route and remnants of the original highway are long gone.
  • Custer Airport was built in 1946 and is located just west of downtown Monroe. It is a general aviation airport, with no commercial or passenger service. The airport has one paved runway primarily used by small private aircraft. There is also a small aviation school on the site.[52]
  • Toledo Suburban Airport, not to be confused with the much larger Toledo Express Airport, is located in the southwest portion of the county near Lambertville. Like the Custer Airport, this is a general aviation facility with one paved runway and no scheduled flights. It serves as a fueling station, a test center, and a flight instruction center.[53]


U.S. Census data map showing local municipal boundaries within Monroe County. Shaded areas represent incorporated cities



Charter townships[edit]

Civil townships[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Bibliography on Monroe County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "List of Michigan counties with creation date". Archived from the original on July 28, 2009.
  5. ^ https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/OMB-Bulletin-23-01.pdf
  6. ^ Battle of Frenchtown Archived July 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Romig, Walter (1986) [1973]. Michigan Place Names. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1838-X.
  8. ^ "1820 Federal Population Census". tripod.com.
  9. ^ "State and County Maps of Michigan". MapGeeks.org. October 2, 2019.
  10. ^ History of the Custer statue
  11. ^ Custer statue moved Archived September 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "DMVA - The Toledo War". michigan.gov.
  13. ^ Lost Peninsula Marina. "Lost Peninsula Marina". Archived from the original on May 14, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2009.
  14. ^ "History of Turtle Island" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 23, 2006. Retrieved June 9, 2009.
  15. ^ "Aerial Photography by Don Coles, Great Lakes Aerial Photos - Lighthouse Turtle Island, Lake Erie. Michigan / Ohio". aerialpics.com.
  16. ^ a b City of Monroe (2007). "City of Monroe – Industry". Archived from the original on July 28, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2009.
  17. ^ La-Z-Boy Incorporated (2009). "La-Z-Boy: Making history since 1927". Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  18. ^ The Center for Land Use Interpretation (2009). "Monroe Power Plant". Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  19. ^ Bogle, Charles (September 18, 2007). "Closing of Monroe, Michigan, factory marks the end of a way of life". Archived from the original on October 8, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  20. ^ Kolak, Sheri (May 13, 1995). "Ford Motor Company, Monroe Stamping Plant" (PDF). Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  21. ^ Toledo Business Journal (March 1, 2000). "Dundee site of $15m Cabela's project". Retrieved August 18, 2009. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  22. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  23. ^ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (2009). "Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge". Archived from the original on June 30, 2009. Retrieved June 17, 2009.
  24. ^ U.S. Geological Survey (2005). "USGS Elevations and Distances in the United States". Archived from the original on November 2, 2011. Retrieved June 4, 2009.
  25. ^ Climate of Monroe Archived July 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "Detroit/Pontiac, MI". noaa.gov.
  27. ^ Detroit Free Press (2010). "Tornado Damage in Southeast Michigan". Retrieved July 20, 2010.
  28. ^ "National Weather Service Detroit/Pontiac". noaa.gov.
  29. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2023". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 4, 2024.
  30. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  31. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  32. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  33. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  34. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  35. ^ "Merci or danke? What are we?". Monroe Evening News. Monroe, Michigan. Associated Press. September 22, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  36. ^ U.S. Census Bureau (September 4, 2009). "Monroe County, Michigan County QuickFacts". Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  37. ^ a b c d Monroe County Intermediate School District (2009). "Monroe County Educational Directory 2009–10" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on January 30, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  38. ^ a b Michigan Department of Information Technology (March 2008). "Monroe ISD public school boundaries" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on February 14, 2004. Retrieved February 23, 2010.
  39. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Monroe County, MI" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 22, 2022. - Text list
  40. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections".
  41. ^ Gelles, David (December 30, 2022). "The U.S. Will Need Thousands of Wind Farms. Will Small Towns Go Along?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 31, 2022.
  42. ^ "Eby Log Cabin". Archived from the original on February 7, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
  43. ^ "Martha Barker Country Store Museum". Archived from the original on February 7, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
  44. ^ "Monroe County Fair".
  45. ^ "Monroe County Michigan Historical Museum Main Site". historicmonroe.org. Archived from the original on July 6, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
  46. ^ "Monroe County Labor History Museum". monroelabor.org. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013.
  47. ^ "Monroe County Vietnam Veterans Historical Museum". Archived from the original on February 7, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
  48. ^ Monroe Multi-Sports Complex Archived February 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  49. ^ "River Raisin Battlefield Visitor Center". Archived from the original on October 24, 2010. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
  50. ^ "River Raisin Centre for the Arts". riverraisincentre.org.
  51. ^ "MDOT - Lake Erie Transit". michigan.gov.
  52. ^ Custer Airport details Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  53. ^ Toledo Express Airport Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  54. ^ Smith, David (2002–2005). "Elizabeth Upham McWebb". Retrieved August 17, 2009.
  55. ^ Stiffler, Ronda (2009). "Arbor Day founder's roots trace back to Monroe, Michigan". Retrieved March 9, 2010.

Further reading[edit]

  • Nicholas, J.R., G.L. Rowe, and J.R. Brannen. (1996). Hydrology, water quality, and effects of drought in Monroe County, Michigan [Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4161]. Lansing, MI: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.

External links[edit]

41°55′N 83°30′W / 41.92°N 83.50°W / 41.92; -83.50