Re: Irish in Monroe Co.
Hi John......The pioneers who settled in southern Michigan came primarily for the same two reasons that brought hundreds of thousands of Europeans to America in the great waves of immigration between 1830 and 1860. These men and women longed for a better place to live, a place where they could really own a little plot of land which would spell economic security of a kind they had never known in the old home. These men and women longed for a home where their children would have a better chance than they had known, a home where opportunities, educational, social, and economic, would be more equalized.
Both the Irish and German immigrants had lived under land systems where a man in the ordinary walks of life could not possess a single acre in his own right, where landlordism, with all the evils it connotes, prevailed. They had lived in countries where caste and class were fixed, however much the facts might be blinked. They wanted something better for there children.
True, in pursuit of this objective, the pioneers and their descendants for a generation had to endure great hardships; many had to revert temporarily, to an even lower standard of living then they had known in the Old Country. But this self-sacrifice was the down-payment on the security that many of them lived to enjoy, Self-sacrifice was, as it must always be, the price of victory.
The price of an acre of land in the Monroe area in the early 1830's was about $1.25 and acre, so with a little hard work, they could afford to buy a few acres. I'm sure many of the first settlers in the Monroe area wrote home,to tell family members and friends, about this great new land they had discovered. So the word spread fast. I'm not sure if that really answered your question or not, but none of know for sure how the word spread to our own family for sure.
Most of the above was published in the St. Patrick's Church book from 1947.
Mike in Reno, Nevada