Monroe, a town surveyed in 1837 in section 13 of West Marion Township, probably could have been the county sear if people had remembered it two years. The Franklin County surveyor platted a town on Johnson Wren’s farm in Poor Prairie at the time petitions for a county division first went to the legislature at Vandalia.
Mr. Wren lived on the St. Louis road northwest of Frankfort. The forty acres he owned in West Marion Township was bought as an investment, and he probably dreamed of being the proprietor of a town site that would have all the advantages that accrue to a county seat.
But the legislature failed to act in 1837, no one moved into the town of Monroe, and William Benson offered superior advantages when the Williamson County seat was located by the commissioners. Now Marion has covered the old plat of Monroe, and the township high school stands where a courthouse might have stood.
(Extracted from Pioneer Folks and Places, Barbara Barr Hubbs, 1939, on sale at the Williamson County Museum)