The village of Warren, 10 miles north, is three years older than Monroe City. It was laid out in 1854 and contained 12 blocks of 10 lots each and had five streets running north and south and two east and west. The first house was built by George Edelin and Wilson McElroy for a store and post office. Under the old militia law, company and battalion musters were held at the present site of Warren. It is known that Indians passed through the village in 1869.
C. M. Cearfoss, a native of Maryland, with the help of J. F. Renshaw, founded the first telephone system in 1899 and owned it for 35 years. Among the operators have been Mrs. Kate Christian, Dan Baldwin, James McGlasson, Mrs. Alma Rhoades, Dan Wagner, Ed Grunwalt and C. B. McCormick. Dan Baldwin operated the hotel and telephone exchange. The telephone system is scheduled to go on the REA dial system in the near future.
Among operators of one of two stores in Warren have been Madison ‘Payne, Wilbur Hipkins, Tom Sams, John Burditt and the property is now owned by Mrs. Chester Garnett, but the store is not operating.
O’Bryan’s store was established by Tucker Rhoades, who was followed in ownership by Ote Rhoades, Ed Longacre, Will Morthland and J. L. O’Bryan.
Mrs. Josephine Ragar, who is 87 years of age, was born in Warren in 1870. She and her brother, Emmett Morthland, make their home together in Warren now. He is 83 and was born in Monroe City in 1874.
First mail through Warren was a Palmyra, Warren and Shelbyville star route. A Mr. Jackson of Clarence was the first carrier, going over the route by horseback. L. K. Davis was another early mail carrier. When Rural Free Delivery was established, the mail to Warren was directed from the Monroe City post office. In recent years the Warren office was discontinued and all mail to the village is served on Route 3 out of Monroe City.
Dr. H. A. Terrill was a physician in Warren 40 years.
Warren Baptist Church
The Harmony (Warren) Baptist church was organized August 19, 1842 with 18 constituent members. According to a sketch prepared by Vernon Morthland in 1906, the meeting was held between Warren and New Market, the church was organized in the log school house, a short distance south of the cemetery. Before the organization of the Warren church there had been and was a Baptist church named Providence located a little east of New Market. The land was given by John and Cynthia Burch and was deeded to John Davis and Thomas Cobbs, trustees, on August 3, 1838.
This church was organized in 1824 uniting with the Salt River Association in 1825 and in 1834 was dismissed and became a constituent church of the Bethel Association and entertained the first annual meeting of the association in 1835. Messengers were J. Martin, J. Davis and W. See, with the church membership of 31.
After the Harmony (Warren) church was organized, services were held in the brick school house west of Warren, later in the Day school house, and the Old Presbyterian church, In 1876 the people built their own house of worship, the dedication sermon being preached by W. Pope Yeaman. The building was remodeled in 1899 and again in 1925.
The first members of the church were recorded in Marion County history as follows: A. W. Johnson, Andrew B. Hawkins, Edward Searcy, Judith P. Searcy, Win. T. Keith, Eliza Hawkins, Philmilia Johnson, Mary Reno, W. H. Pepper, W.F. G. Lansdale, Ann T. Wallace, Jane Ann Couch, Delilah Johnson, Nancy Ann Sams, Marsena Maxey, Mary Vanlandingham, Thomas Day, Sarah Pepper, Sarah S. Reed, Emeline Tolliver, Milton Crockett, Elizabeth Pepper, Robert Lewis, Henry M. Nicol, Eliza Nicol, Charlotte Glenn and J. Q. Christian, thirty-seven names in all.
Warren Christian Church
The ground for Warren Christian church was deeded by Ed Longacre. The church was founded by the Rev. Hoffman, who held a protracted meeting to raise funds to erect a building. Assisting the minister with construction were Hubb Baldwin and Howard Johnson.
It is not known when the church was dedicated or who the charter members were, but among the names of some of the oldest members are Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Longacre, Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Foster Mr. and Mrs. D. C. Baldwin, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Baldwin, Mr. and Mrs. Hardy Lilly, Mr. and Mrs. Alex Cramer, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Ellington, J. M. Smith, Mrs. Lucy Belle Payne, Mrs. Annie McGlasson, Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzo Gupton, Mr. and Mrs. John Batty and Mr. and Mrs. William Baker. All are deceased. The church has 78 members at the present time.
Among pastors who have served the church since 1913 are the Rev. Holloway, Rev. Thomas, Rev. John W. Golden, Rev. R. L. Wilson, Rev. Book, Rev. J. R. Hutcherson, Rev. Clayson, Rev. Malia, Rev. Hallis and Rev. B. L. Knight. The Rev. Golden is the present pastor and has served for a longer period than any of the others. Mrs. J. L. O’Bryan is church secretary.
The church building has been redecorated and is in good financial condition. Average attendance at present is 32 at regular services, and 25 at Sunday school.
A village now extinct is New Market located about 13 miles southeast of Warren. It was laid out in 1836 by Hawkins Burch and at one time was a flourishing village of five streets and a factory or two, including the making of wine. An old muster ground was there in early days and elections were held.