Montrose was founded upon the lands of D.C. Cross and Joseph Patten in 1871. At the time of the founding of Montrose, Germantown, which was located four and one-half miles northwest, was a thriving little village of several hundred inhabitants, and was the business point of quite an extensive scope of country. Until 1870, Germantown seemed to have a bright future, but the location of the railroad three miles away attracted people to the present site of Montrose. Some ancestors of present day residents arrived by Orphan Trains in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
The town was presented to the Court for action of incorporation on July 23, 1874. The Court granted the petitioin on the same day. Montrose then became an incorporated town, and since that time has grown and prospered. The first officers were W. Hart, Mayor; H.C. Beckman, Clerk; H.S. Marvin, Treasurer; A.J. Baker, Marshal; Andrew Wally, Ed Hart, H. Halden, and M. Heiman, Aldermen.
Among the early industries represented in the newly incorporated town were a flour mill, an elevator, several grain warehouses, a bank, two hotels, two hardware and implement stores, two furniture stores, three dry goods stores, four blacksmiths, two barber shops, three millinery shops, two newspapers, and a livery stable to name a few.
The Montrose Savings Bank was organized June 4, 1895 and began operating the following day. The first directors were R.H. Dugan, E.W. Blew, O.P. Wilson, Henry Welling, Nick Erhart, Joseph DeBold and W.S. Winkler.
Churches in 1900 were Baptist, Christian, Methodist Episcopal North, Methodist Episcopal South 1876, Cumberland Presbyterian 1869, Presbyterian, and Immaculate Conception Catholic 1879. Other churches in the community were Mt. Hope, St. Ludger's Catholic 1832, Adobe Presbyterian 1850, Hopewell Cumberland Presbyterian 1872, Bear Creek Methodist 1830's, Stone's Chapel Methodist 1838 and Teays Chapel 1881.