Last month we discussed the development of Monroe County from 1840-1860. This series is by no means a comprehensive report of all events. For that, we recommend reserving your own copy of the two-volume book that will be published after the Bicentennial Celebration.
Monroe County approached the tumult of the Civil War with a population recorded as 12,832 in 1860. In the next two decades it would grow steadily to 13,682 – an increase of 6.6 percent.
The violence of the Civil War would not directly come to the county, and it is probably not possible to know how many here were directly impacted. Nearly 3 million served on both sides, and records indicate 298 are buried in Monroe County. It is impossible to know if those 298 accurately reflect the number of local soldiers who served, since, in the years following the end of the war, tens of thousands of bodies were recovered from battlefields and reinterred, many in national cemeteries.
A Waterloo student and Boy Scout, Shane Douglas, for his Eagle Scout project undertook the task of locating and marking the graves of Civil War veterans in Waterloo alone – some 99 of them, last year.
We know that in 1864, an “Alms House,” or poor house was built in Waterloo. It was located near the old nursing home site, where the new Waterloo Fire Department has been constructed.
At the end of the war, large quantities of surplus military items were put up for sale as the country tried to pay off the conflict’s costs. And in 1865, then Monroe County Clerk Ambrose Hoener spearheaded a dance to raise funds to buy a cannon.
It was set up on the Court House Square, and for patriotic events and other observances it was loaded with gun powder and fired. This generated both excitement and anger, especially for business owners and nearby residents, who suffered frequent broken windows, which the county usually paid to repair…>>>
Read this story in the April 20 issue of the Republic-Times. If you don’t already receive the paper, you can subscribe by calling 939-3814 or clicking here. Or you can pick up a copy at the R-T office at 205 W. Mill Street in Waterloo or at any of these other locations.