Monroe is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 20,733 at the 2010 census. It is the largest city and county seat of Monroe County. The city is bordered on the south by Monroe Charter Township, but both are politically independent. The city is located approximately 14 miles (23 km) north of Toledo, Ohio and 25 miles (40 km) south of Detroit. The United States Census Bureau lists Monroe as the core city in the Monroe Metropolitan Area, which had a population of 152,021 in 2010. Monroe itself is officially part of the Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint CSA, and Monroe is also sometimes unofficially included as a northerly extension of the Toledo Metropolitan Area.
Settled as early as 1784, Monroe was platted in 1817 and was named after then-President James Monroe. Today, the city has a strong sense of historic preservationism and is remembered for the Battle of Frenchtown during the War of 1812, as well as being the childhood residence of George Armstrong Custer and other members of his family, including his wife Elizabeth Bacon and brother Boston Custer. The city has numerous historic museums and landmarks. Monroe is also recognized as the home of the La-Z-Boy world headquarters.
The area was settled by Indian tribes (specifically the Potawatomi) hundreds of years before the French reached the area for the first time in the late seventeenth-century. Robert de LaSalle claimed the area for New France after his 1679 exhibition on the Griffon. In 1784, Francis Navarre was given a portion of land south of the River Raisin by the Potawatomi. Frenchtown was settled shortly thereafter as the third European settlement in the state. Around the same time, the Sandy Creek Settlement was established just north of Frenchtown by Joseph Porlier Benec.