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County’s First Deed Book Preserved

In honor of the 2018 Monroe County Bicentennial, we have had Monroe County’s first deed book preserved. Dating from December 1817-December 1825, this book is a record of the first land transactions in the county. Along with these first land sales, Deed Book A also contains numerous city plat maps. This invaluable piece of Monroe County history can now be viewed in the MCHC Research Library.

Restored Deed Book A3

Bloomington Plat Map, Deed Book A, 1818. Note that this map may have been added in later, or may have been edited by various recorders.

With funds from the Wahl Trust Grant and the Monroe County Recorder’s Office, we sent Deed Book A to Kofile Restoration in late 2015. As you can see from the photo below, this book was in extremely poor condition.

Unrestored Deed Book A

Deed Book A before restoration

If you would like to get involved in saving our county’s precious artifacts, check out the “Adopt and Artifact” program, created by our Collections Manager, Hilary Fleck. This program allows the public to donate funds for the restoration of various items in our permanent collection including the Schmalz Taxidermy Collection and an 1891 Bloomington Photo Album. If you’d like to donate to the “Adopt an Artifact” program, please visit the display in the 1st floor hallway of the History Center, or mail your contribution to the History Center specifying which artifacts you’d like to sponsor. If you have questions, please contact Hilary Fleck at

ADOPT an Artifact

Comments (0)

  1. David Lemon


    Hello. Great job on the restoration. I have one problem with the map though. The map shown could not be the original map from 1818. The Monroe County commissioners, in one of their first meetings in Aug 1818, named the streets around the public square. None of the street names shown on the map match the commissioners’ minutes. For example, Kirkwood Street wasn’t named for Daniel Kirkwood until 1884. I’m guessing that a county employee drew the map to show the original lot sales at a much later date.

  2. Michael Molenda


    In addition to David Lemon’s comment, note that Lincoln and Grant Streets are shown on this plat map. Lincoln was a child in 1816 and Grant was not born yet! It was only after Grant’s presidency ended in 1877 and his death in 1885 that the American public recognized “Lincoln and Grant” as the two “great men” of that age. Thus 1885 would have been the high -water mark of Grant’s fame.

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