The Monroe Lake area was, until the early 1700's, undisputed Miami Indian land, even though occupied by both the Miami and Delaware tribes. The lake area was acquired legally from the Indians as part of
Harrison's Purchase, by the Treaty of Fort Wayne, on September 30,1809.
The first recorded white settlers arrived in 1815, but were undoubtedly preceded by hunters and refugees from the law. A
typical landholder farmed a few acres claimed from the woods and harvested the plentiful wild game of the area. Many of the original settlers were thrifty and industrious, although squatters and land
speculators abounded, seeking to make a fortune in the new territory.
The rolling hills of southern Indiana produced tremendous amounts of lumber from native stands of poplar, maple, cherry, walnut, and
ash. Forest clearing allowed development of a farming economy which still a local mainstay.