In the summer of 1863, Latter-day Saint apostle George A. Smith called upon George Washington Bean to take a small company of men and explore the valley of the Sevier River in south-central Utah. As a result of this early exploration, a small community named Fort Alma was founded on the east side of the Sevier River. Indian hostilities during the Black Hawk War drove the original settlers from Alma during 1866. By 1871 Moses Gifford, Walter Jones, Andrew Rassmussen, and several other men reclaimed the abandoned fort, planted crops, and built homes in preparation for moving their families to the Sevier Valley.
They made application to the federal government for a post office. The permission was soon granted, and the community was renamed Monroe after the fifth president of the United States. Monroe was incorporated in 1898, with Andrew Larson elected as the city's first mayor.