Abraham Monnett

1883 Marion County History Biography

Note: Before reading this biography, one should keep in mind that the publishing of a county history was/is generally a commercial affair. Biographies included in such works were generally self written or were dictated to those organizing the publication of such works.  Therefore, while the base information is probably correct, the content should be considered as all the information suitable for posterity.
"ABRAHAM MONNETT (deceased). (Scott Township) Few of the pioneer settlers of Marion County ever rose to a position of such prominence as a citizen and a man of sterling worth and business ability as that attained by tile honored and highly esteemed subject of this sketch, Mr. Abraham Monnett. He was a descendant of Mr. Abraham Monnett, who with his family moved from Virginia to Ohio in the year 1800, settling near the village of Chillicothe, Ohio. His family consisted of Isaac, Thomas, Margaret, Jeremiah (father of our subject), John, William Osborn and Elizabeth. Jeremiah Monnett returned to Virginia, where he married Miss Alice Slagle. They settled near Cumberland, on the Potomac River, residing there until 1814. He then, with his family, consisting of his wife and five small children, one of whom was the subject of this memoir removed to Ohio, settling in Pickaway County. Their trip was attended with many difficulties, and probably would not have been undertaken but for the timely assistance of a Widow Jones, who accompanied them to this State. Upon arriving at the above destination, Mr. Monnett had only $5 in money, his team and a small supply of household goods. He was a regularly ordained minister of the M. E. Church, and a resident of that county until 1835, when lie removed to Crawford County, locating four and a half miles south of Bucyrus, living there until his death, in September of 1863. 

"Mr. Abraham Monnett was born on the 12th of October 1811, in the Old Dominion, near the Maryland line. He passed his life in the place of his nativity until he removed with his parents to Ohio. In that early day of the settlement of Pickaway County, but limited opportunities were afforded him for obtaining an education. Always active, energetic and decisive in character, he had, before leaving the above county with his father in 1835, exercised a potent influence in local matters: and while residing there, he joined a company of militia and became its First Lieutenant. His commission for the office was signed by George McArthur. Soon after coming to Marion County, he purchased forty acres of land in Scott Township, and about that time he became a member of the Marion County Militia, and succeeded to the First Lieutenancy again. In June of 1836, he returned to Pickaway County, and, on the eighth of that month, married Miss Catherine Brougher1 , who had been an orphan from her fourth year, and by whom he received $2,500, the proceeds of a sale of land of which she was the heir. This, with the exception of $120 given him by his father, was the only means received by him, and the only part of his extensive fortune not acquired by his individual energy, industry and economy. Shortly after his marriage, Mr. Monnett took up his residence in Scott township. In 1838, he commenced handling cattle, bringing them often from Illinois, the drive requiring sometimes thirty-five days. Later in life, he assisted in the organization of the Marion County banking institution, in which he continued to hold an interest, and of which he was President from June 1864, until his death. He was also President of the Farmers' Bank at Marion, and at the head of the Crawford County Bank of Bucyrus, where he spent most of the time during the last years of his life. Mr. Monnett owned at one time in Marion. and Crawford Counties 11,000 acres of choice land. Truly, this was, a princely fortune for one to accumulate, whose early life was environed by the vicissitudes incidental to pioneer life, and whose school was located two and a half miles from his father's residence. 

"Mr. Monnett was not only successful in financial affairs, but in the rearing of a family children2 to honorable manhood and womanhood. They are situated as follows: Ephraim B., farmer, of Dallas Township, Crawford County; Martha, wife of G. W. Wright, of Marion; Oliver, farmer, of Dallas Township, Crawford County; John T., of Grand Prairie Township; Alcy (Elsie), wife of James Malcolm, of Bucyrus, Augustus, farmer, of Bucyrus Township, Crawford County; Marvin J., farmer and stock-dealer, of Dallas Township, Crawford County ; Mary J., wife of George Hull, banker at Findley, Ohio; Madison W., Teller in Crawford County Bank of Bucyrus; Melvin, on the homestead in Scott Township Amina J., wife of Calvin Tobias, Bucyrus; and Kate, wife of Lewis Ross, farmer, of Dallas Township, Crawford County. Mrs. Monnett died February 8, 1875, and May 30, 1877, Mr. Monnett was again married. The name of this (second) wife was Mrs. Jane Johnston, daughter of Samuel Ludwig.

"In his early manhood, Mr. Monnett was identified with the Whig party, but since the formation of the Republican party he cast his vote and influence for its support. His first Presidential vote was for J. Q. Adams. Mr. Monnett was a man of unbounded public enterprises, and no movement either of a public or private character was ever presented to him but what it received his cordial and generous support. He was liberal to a marked degree, and no man in Marion County gave more to religious, educational and benevolent enterprises than Mr. Monnett. He aided by contribution to build the majority of the Methodist Episcopal Churches in the county. This was the church of his choice, and he held a membership relation with it from the time he was eighteen years of age. In 1850, he bestowed a large sum on the Female Seminary of Delaware, and, in 1853, to the Ohio Wesleyan University at that place. Mr. Monnett's life was one of usefulness and success equaled by very few. He was a man of uncompromising honor and integrity, and enjoyed the respect and esteem of all who knew him. He departed the scenes of this life March 7, 1881, leaving a large estate and a name that was pure and free from any stain. (SOURCE 1883 Marion County Ohio History)

1 The correct spelling of the name is BRAUCHER. Since this posthumously published, the information in this was probably dictated, accounting for the misspelling.

2 It is interesting to note that the author of this failed to give Catherine Braucher Monnett any credit the effort of bearing these children and raising them!

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