In a recent research project, members of the Drew County Historical Society unexpectedly discovered the date the town of Monticello was selected to be organized and founded.
In a narrative history of the Drew County published in 1890, local historians stumbled upon a detailed recording of the local officials in the Rough and Ready area founding a new town north of the village in the aftermath of the creation of Drew County.
Records report after the legislature created the Drew County in 1846, leaders of the Rough and Ready area made a decision to construct a “proper town” in the center of the newly created county to serve as a center of “trade and commerce” for the region.
County Judge W.H. Wells appointed a three person commission to determine the location and to oversee the construction of the new county seat. On July 16, 1849, the commission selected a eighty-three acres tract of land owned by Fountain and Polly Austin, selected the name Monticello, began the sale properties on behalf of the county government, and accepted plans for the construction of a courthouse to be placed on the town square.
At its June meeting, the Drew County Museum Commission approved to recognize July 16th as Founders Day in celebration of the City of Monticello founding.
The Museum's Founders Day open house will include territorial games, bakes goods, and live music.
For more information, contact City Hall 870-367-4400.