Founded by Augustas Herbert in November 1853, the Village of Monee was recorded at Will County Courthouse. Herbert recorded his plat of land on November 25.
Lore and legend say the Village is named for a French-Ottawa Indian woman, Marie LeFevre Bailly. She was the daughter of a French fur trader and was a half-French, half-Ottawa Indian woman. An Indian princess, Marie was renowned as one of the most beautiful women in the northwest (Mackinac Island) area. Her father died when she was eight years old and her mother took her to live with Indian relatives. While young Marie was called "Mah-ree" by the French, the Ottawa had no sound corresponding with the letter "r," and thus called the little girl "Mah-nee." French treaty clerks later wrote the name "Mo-nee."
In 1833, the Treaty of Camp Tippecanoe with the Pottawatomie resulted in a gift of property to the four daughters of Marie and her husband Joseph Bailly. The tract encompassed what is now Raccoon Grove, with the intersection of Egyptian Trail and Pauling Road being the center of 1,280 acres.
It is not clear, however, why the site in eastern Will County was chosen as a gift to the girls, unless Bailly foresaw that somewhere at the end of Lake Michigan a great commercial center would develop.
This gift of property is possibly the only link between "Princess Monee" and the village named in her honor. Chicago's first Mayor, William Ogden, purchased the reservation from the Bailly family in 1851 for five dollars an acre.
The Village of Monee was incorporated on November 9, 1874. In 1879, the Court Hall was built and served as the municipal building until 1958. For the next 10 years, village board meetings were held at the village fire station located on Court Street one block east of the ICG Railroad.
In 1968 the Board of Trustees signed a 10-year contract with the Crete-Monee School district to pay $100 a month for use of the old elementary school located at the corner of Main Street and Eastgate Avenue, for the monthly Board of Trustees meetings. Early in 1973, the Board of Trustees agreed to pay the remainder of the lease agreement to the school district to acquire ownership of the old school building.
In September of 1984, the groundbreaking took place for a new village hall and police station to be located on Court Street just east of Fireman's park. The move allowed the village to expand with additional personnel. The one-story structure also houses the Village Clerk's Office; the Village President's Office and the Building Department.
In December 2001, the Police Department moved to its new location on Main Street.
To learn more, please visit the Monee Historical Society website.