From the 1880 History of Miami County Ohio
This township is centrally located on the north by Washington, on the east by the Miami River, on the south by Monroe and part of Union, and on the west by Newton; organized about 1807, and named by the Commissioners appointed for that purpose, Concord, vying with the name given by Samuel Jones to Union. Traversed by excellent turnpikes in all directions, her eastern border laved by the Great Miami, along which runs the canal, drained by numerous streams; rich and fertile soil, capable, within itself, of perpetual regeneration; excellent building material, both stone and timber; central market, in the seat of justice for her produce-she is truly in a happy position to enjoy all the facilities tending to prosperity in every direction.
Among the early settlers, we may mention Aaron Tullis, who came from Kentucky by way of Dayton, in a wagon, with a family of boys, arriving here in 1805; William Barbee, who came about 1804; Reuben Shackelford, Alexander Telford. In 1806, John Peck, with eight children, Jacob, John, Joseph, Isaac, and four daughters, came from Kentucky and settled on Boone's place, one and a half miles from Troy. Mr. Peck came in the winter, selected his land and bought 160 acres, with one acre cleared, for $100. It had a little log cabin on it, containing one room 16 x 18. His stock having been brought from Kentucky, nearly all died the second year, losing eleven horses, beside sheep, hogs and cattle, only leaving him one mare, two or three cows and a few sheep. His land was of the best in the country, having four fine springs and good soil.
Abraham Thomas, another old settler, came in 1805, with two boys and as many girls, and located north of Mr. Peck. Mr. Thomas was in both campaigns of G. R. Clarke against the Indians in this vicinity, in 1780-82. It is said that he came with Boone. James Fourt came from Ireland, first to Georgetown, Ky., married there, and in 1805, came to this township and settled south of Mr. Peck. McGimpsy and Steward wanted the same piece of land, improvised modern Olympics; goal, Cincinnati; the crown, land. The former won it, and got the land just as his competitor was entering the door.
David Jenkins, from South Carolina, cleared a patch and erected a cabin southwest of Mr. Peck's quarter-section, in 1807. The same year, the little community was increased by James Knight, from Pennsylvania, who located one mile east. In the way of agriculture during this period, Gahagan's Prairie yielded a bountiful return, and, having been previously formed by the Indians, it offered no stubborn resistance to the primitive instruments of the pioneer.
Corn was the principal harvest, serving for man and beast, wheat not being raised for several years subsequent to the first settlement. The first attempt of Mr. Peck yielded him forty-one bushels to the acre, perhaps the first acre of wheat sown in the township. These were the days when they went to mill on horseback, with a two-bushel sack, through the woods so thick that the limbs would pull off the sacks. The flour was bolted by hand, and frequently taking two days to go and return. There were only two wagons in this neighborhood up to 1814, and only two mills: Mendenhall's, in Elizabeth Township, and Henry Gerard's, for grinding wheat and corn by water.
The first schoolhouse was of the usual style--round logs and greased paper windows--with a few months' school in the winter, from which the boys were deprived in pretty weather, when they could work at home. Samuel Anderson, from Kentucky, was the first school teacher in this schoolhouse. Mr. Peck had gone to school to him in Kentucky, where he was in the habit of visiting a stillhouse every noon, and, on his return, would cut a beech stick and give each pupil a tap as he came in; but he could get no whiskey here. Puncheon floors, wooden hinges, paper windows, three-legged stools and cavernous fireplaces, were characteristic of all pioneer buildings in those days, while, with the latter convenience, the smoke had no particular direction of egress.
Perhaps twenty or thirty children would come to school wearing moccasins and wading in the snow knee-deep, with rags tied around their legs to keep the water out.
The first meeting was held by the New Lights at the cabin of Mr. Thomas, in 1807, Mr. Thomas Kyle preaching.
Subsequently, the Baptists organized a church, and had preaching sometimes at Mr. Thomas', the first preacher being Stephen Riddle, who had lived with and fought the Indians, and "killed white men until his back ached;" had his ears slit and wore ornaments in them of lead. In 1813 or 1814, a log church was built near Mr. Peck's, heated by an old-fashioned ten-plate stove. The first preacher in this church was a man named Steepleton. A New Light Church was built soon after in Troy, which still remains.
The Methodist Church was early represented by traveling ministers coming monthly or sometimes semi-monthly.
The first blacksmith was Mr. Thomas, who held forth in a log pen for a shop; burned his own charcoal for the forge; shod their horses but once a year, and thought they did well at that, but then there were no graveled pikes to wear off the hoofs, the land was low and soft and horses would sink to their knees; but now, drainage, it is best in the township, then worthless, such has been the change in all things. The panic, during the War of 1812, extended to this township as well as the other frontier, and on the slightest alarm, even barking of a dog, the family would be aroused, and children wrapped up, homes deserted, and places of safety sought in the dense forest, shivering the while from fear of the glittering scalping knife. Notwithstanding all apprehensions, no attack was made by the Indians, whose attention was completely absorbed by the active operations of Gen. Harrison in other localities.
When the cloud of war had passed over, immigration revived with renewed vigor, and the whole aspect of the country assumed a more lively appearance. It is said as many as eighty sleds, loaded with whiskey, would pass on their way to Fort Wayne and St. Mary's during a day, to stimulate the patriotism of the soldiery.
Even up to this date, agriculture was in its infancy. Hogs grew fat on the food of nature, and not five bushels of corn needed to fatten a hundred hogs. Corn was raised simply for food, cultivated by hoeing and digging around stumps. A man who could go to a mill with two bushels of corn was considered a prosperous farmer. Potatoes were a luxury introduced a long time after the first settlement, and commanded a very high price, a French crown being paid for one-half bushel.
Most of the immigrants came here without teams, hiring their furniture, what little they had, hauled by professional movers, who would move one family in and return for another. Having no fences in those days, all the stock was belled, yet, despite this precaution, they were frequently lost. Marketing consisted chiefly of butter and eggs, which were taken to Staunton. Few groceries were bought, as sugar was made at home from the tree, and sage and sassafras took the place of the production of China; rye made good pioneer coffee, and tansy, pennyroyal and other herbs made good medicine. Ague was the most prevalent disease.
The first man was buried in a corn-field. It was the custom then to bury the dead on their own premises. Messrs. Thomas and Kyle started the first graveyard in the neighborhood, but the first regular cemetery was at Troy.
In traveling, people would go many rods around a log or tree-top, as no regular road was made, and circumstances of nature altered each road at will.
Grain was cut with sickles, which process was considered quite expeditious, and the instrument a wonderful invention. Mr. peck raised the first rye in the county, and his son John cut the first handful of the same, at the same time cutting his little finger, which has never become straight since.
Alexander McCullough built the first brick house, in 1813, burnt his own brick and assisted in the work. It stands yet, and is occupied by his grandson.
In those days, they pulled corn in the daytime, threw it in piles under a covering, and invited thirty of forty boys and girls for miles around, and husked it after night. The corn was put in piles, a rail in the center, two umpires chosen, two appointed to choose up, and the work began; the throat soon getting husky, the little brown jug was passed around, and boys and girls each took a "pull", and that so much, too, that they would feel elevating effects to such an extent sometimes as to end in a general row; but the whisky was the pure material, and did not injure any one as it does now. If a neighbor happened in and the bottle was not offered, the host was considered too stingy for social purposes.
Considerable trading was done with the Indians, who traded furs and skins for whisky, sugar, "tobac" and needles, one enterprising merchant demanding a coon-skin for a needle.
The pioneers were independent in the way of dress, raising their own flax and wool. Fine shirts were unknown; anything above 600 thread was considered dandyism. Muslin cost 75 cents then; tow linen was used for pants; they made their own pants, and linsey- woolsey dresses. Crimps, flounces, pull-backs nor spit curls were in vogue.
All the fruit they had was the wild plum and gooseberry, which grew in the woods and prairie. The first fruit trees in the township, and no doubt in the county, were brought from Kentucky in saddle- bags, by Abram Thomas. Mr. Peck had the first peach orchard, from seed brought from Kentucky.
Cord-wood was cheap; sold in Troy for 37 1/2 cents per cord. A man would chop a cord in morning, haul half of it at a time, make two trips, and realize 37 1/2 cents or half-yard of muslin. Corn was 8 cents per bushel, wheat 25, and oats 6 1/4, and after carrying it, in early times, on horseback, it was hard to sell at that. Stock was driven to Baltimore to find a market.
Abraham Thomas, one of the oldest settlers here, was a Revolutionary soldier and came to this township from Kentucky with Daniel Boone. He is said to have cut the first sapling on the site of Cincinnati, and died in 1843.
William Gahagan entered the land Troy was laid out on. He was one of Gen. Wayne's soldiers, and was so proud of it, and referred to it so often, that finally he was called Gen. Wayne. He had three sons and a daughter.
James Orr, with six boys and five girls, came from Kentucky and settled in this township in 1804, on the section now occupied by the Daniel Favorite heirs. At one time, running out of meal, he traded a barrel of whiskey to Jonathon Rollins for that useful article.
Other old settlers were James Gowart, Matthew Caldwell, J. Alexander, A. McCullough, James Marshall, John Johnston, Henry Orbison and Joseph McCorkle, mostly from Kentucky.
Henceforth, the history of Concord is absorbed in the description of Troy, and we shall simply mention a few pikes and bridges, and close with a history of the county seat.
The Troy & Covington pike runs from the southwest corner of Section 2, through Sections 11, 12, 18, 20 and 21, to Troy. The Troy & Newton Pike enters at the southwest corner of Section 23, passes through Sections 21, 30, 29, and 28, and enters Troy on the south.
The Troy & Stillwater pike enters at the northwest corner of Section 4, through Sections 36, 31, 32 and intersects the Newton Pike in Section 29.
The Troy & Frederick pike enters southeast corner of Section 5, and intersects the Troy & Newton pike in Section 28.
The Miami & Montgomery pike enters the southeast corner of Section 4, and runs north into Troy.
The Dayton & Michigan Railroad enters the southeast corner of the township and runs north; enters Troy and crosses the bridge into Staunton Township.
The canal runs along the entire eastern side of the township.
As the Greeks, by divine skill of Pallas, built a mountainous horse, within whose womb destruction lurked for Troy, and when discovered in the deserted camp of the foe, much contention arose. Thymoetes smiles with joy, and advises to take the treacherous design within the gates of Troy, but Capys, more wise, strenuously urges to throw it in the sea. Laocoon, despising the cunning Greeks, thrusts his spear into the monster's side, until within it's caverns, it resounds again, but all opposition gives way, and the instrument of destruction is taken within the walls, and, issuing from their prison, the Greeks set fire to Troy, and open wide the gates to their exulted brethren.
So, likewise, did contention spring up in modern Troy, and the Piquods and Trojans strove, when, at the September term of court, in 1807, the Commissioners ordered the laying out of the seat of justice. Other rivals also joined in the war. By some, Staunton, the original county seat, sought to retain her position as the most desirable. While the attention of the Commissioners was directed to Mr. Marshall's farm, Samuel Beedle sent them an invitation to view his farm, while Piqua regarded its location there sine dubio. Troy, it seems, was equally anxious, but perhaps, conscious of her favorable location, awaited the sequel with more patience.
The first survey of the town was made by Andrew Wallace, December 16, 1807. Originally, eighty-seven lots were laid off, beginning on Water and Clay streets, numbered one, and comprising all between the river and the back street to Short street. On August 21, 1808, a second survey and additions were made, which have since been added to, from time to time. In the 2nd day of December, 1807, Robert Crawford was appointed Town Director, and gave bond in $2,000, conditioned for the faithful discharge of the duties of the office, viz., to purchase land designated by the Commissioners, for the seat of justice, lay off the same in lots, streets and alleys, according to the instructions of the court.
On the 9th of February, 1811, Cornelius Westfall was appointed Director vice Crawford, giving bond in $3,000. The lands comprised in the survey of April 27, 1808, consisted of a tract of thirty acres, deeded to the Director by William Gahagan, out of fractional Section 27, Township 5, Range 6, which was divided into lots, numbered from eighty-eight.
Northwest from the first survey, Lots No. 121 to 168 were laid out. By the same survey, forty-six outlots, including fractions, were laid out southwest of the back street. Whole lots were 16x24 rods. On the 10th of July, 1834, John Gahagan and Thomas L. Barrett, with Jacob Knoop, Surveyor, laid out twenty-nine lots southeast of the second survey. Smith & Barbee, August 28, 1849, with J. B. Fish, Surveyor, laid out lots west of the canal.
The original lands selected for the now beautiful town of Troy were laid off in the center of dense forest, and purchased for $3 per acre. The ground that now forms the square, once was the resting- place of the deer; the spot upon which the piano now stands, re- echoed once to the howl of the wolf.
Among the very first citizens of Troy, was Mr. Overfield, who kept a tavern or travelers' rest in this place.... Mr. Overfield was certainly no respector of persons; epaulets and buckskin breeches were treated with the same urbanity. Through strict economy and close application to business, he made rapid progress on the road to prosperity. On the 24th of March, 1810, he suffered an irreparable loss in the death of his wife, leaving a family of children motherless. His household affairs were taken charge of by Mrs. Tennery, whose husband had, shortly prior to this, died.
Soon, one Thomas Oliver rented his house, and began tavern-keeping again; in the meantime, Mr. Overfield was drafted, and sent to Greenville to perform military duty. While guarding the frontier, he met a Miss Rebecca Simpson. The soldier readily surrendered to her charms, Mark Antony-like, and, as soon as he was mustered out of service, he brought her home as his wife. Mr. Oliver gave up the reins of government, and Mr. Overfield took charge of the tavern;, with Mr. Oliver as boarder.
It seems that one Roberts, of Troy, was also a boarder, and the fair Cleopatra inclined unto him, although legal proceeding were instituted, the offense was finally condoned by Mr. O., and peace once more reigned in Troy. Mr. O's house was the scene of the little renconter between Judge Dunlavy and St. Clair and Kerr, when the rot-gut elevated the latter gentleman to a noisy pitch, unpleasant to the former. Notwithstanding the domestic difficulty, they continued the tavern, and it seems the fare was so tempting that the run of custom suffered no diminution. On the removal of Maj. Hart from the house on the north corner of the square, it was occupied by Mr. O., who continued his tavern here, making one step in advance in an ethical point, by opening his bar-room for prayer- meeting and preaching, the celebrated revivalist, Reuben Dooley, figuring largely on these occasions. Of course, whiskey and religion did not smoothly from the same faucet, therefore meeting- nights were not prolific of whiskey trade. The whole front of Water street consisted of one-story buildings, with the single exception of the tavern, which was a two-story frame. Some time in 1824, an incendiary fire broke out in the one-story buildings and through want of engines or even ladders, all were destroyed. Mr. O's goods were only saved by being carried out. From here, he moved to the Ewing house, north corner of Main and Cherry, where he continued in a prosperous business until his death, in July, 1831. Another of the prominent citizens of Troy, was "Billy" Barbee, who bought a lot on Market street, for $65. In addition, to this, when he married Miss Peggy Marshall, his father gave him eighty acres of land, and his wife was the owner of eighty also. Clearing out a patch on the former, he built a cabin, and when his father died, he threw him improvements in hotch-pot, and came to Troy, built a log- cabin on his lot, rented a kit of blacksmith's tools, hired a journeyman and started a business.
His assistants, not willing to work under his instructions, were discharged. Having learned to shoe a horse, he made a specialty of it during the was of 1812, which at that time was very lucrative. After amassing a little fortune, he formed a partnership with Dr. Telford and Moses L. Meeker, in the dry-goods business and to keep pace with his rising postion built a two-story brick house. While his two partners managed the store, he continued to wield the hammer.
His word was as good as his bond, and he always confined himself strictly to the terms of his contract, and expected the same of the co-contractor. He was very benevolent, many a poor person has been the recipient of his alms. The blacksmithing, under his personal supervision, prospered, but the store soon stranded. Mr. Barbee was the only partner of means, and the Sheriff seized his goods. With the money that he had made in the shop he bought cattle, and drove them to the village of Chicago and liquidated the debt. He now left the shop and began speculating on a large scale, and died worth over $300,000.
Squire Brown came from Staunton during the infancy of Troy, and carried on a saddlery business in a little shop that stood just a little below where John Culbertson's house now is. In that little shop, Henry Culbertson graduated in saddle-making. Here Isaac Peck learned to make his first blind-bridle; here the Squire dispensed law and United States mail. On the next corner Henry Culbertson built a house. He came to Troy in 1814, finished the saddler's trade with James Brown, which he had begun with Col. Reed, of Dayton, at the end of which he conducted a successful business for himself. In 1821 he was elected County Auditor; in 1840, entered into partnership with his brothers and Mr. Dye, in the Bossom Mill, which in 1850, was consumed by fire. The company rebuilt the mill and soon dissolved partnership, Culbertson going into merchandising, when he was again burned out, which seemed to paralyze his energies.
Joseph Culbertson came to Troy in 1808 a poor boy. A lot was presented to him by Mr. Gahagan, from which he cleared the timber, hired Peter Sewell to snake the logs together for a cabin, paying in wool hats for his boys and self. Subsequently erecting a Buckeye shop, he began his trade making wool hats. He traded a fancy hunting-shirt for tools and stock, and carried on a prosperous business, meanwhile educating his brother Samuel and Joseph L. Tennery in the art of hatting. He was elected Township Treasurer and served many years.
On the corner of Mulberry and Water streets stood a weather-boarded log house, the first court house and first tavern, in 1807. The first still-house in this county stood at the mouth.
On the corner of Water and Clay streets stood a plain frame, occupied by William Brown, who, in partnership with John Wallace, started a carpenter shop during the first settlement. Mr. Wallace thought a jug of whiskey was a good preventative of miasma. Brown, though skeptical, consented; Wallace filled the jug first, and Brown the second time, but, perceiving the increase in Wallace's doses, Brown dissolved partnership in the whiskey business, but W. clung to the jug, and died poor, while B. filled the office of County treasurer and became a useful citizen. On the opposite corner of Clay and Water dwelt Dr. DeJoucourt, the Hippocrates of Troy, who dispensed pills and drew blood without stint in those early days; then the anaemic was phlebotomized if he contained no more blood than an Egyptian mummy. On the west corner of Main and Clay a lot was donated by Mr. Gahagan to the Methodist Church, and George H. Houston granting them the privilege to get material from a Mr. Phillips' land, below town, they erected a log building in which to hold divine worship. Methodism was embryonic, and had, as yet, no organized church in Troy, though there was a class at Mr. Winan's, where Raper Chapel now stands. To be sure, the new church was not frescoed, had no gas, pews were not cushioned, had no pipe organ, and all the modern accessories to worship, but then they were led in singing by Henry West, and they sometimes got very happy. The poor were not overawed by the grandeur of the exterior or blazonry of the interior. There was nothing to hinder the human soul from going right up in direct supplication to its God.
The first building called the Clerk's office was a large, two-story frame house, located where Dillaway & Davis' store now is. Back of it was a log kitchen, in which the Clerk lived, and held office in the front.
This was afterward supplanted by a brick building, 12 x 15 feet square, between Mulberry and Walnut. This was not only the Clerk's office, but also, the Recorder's office, post office, Commissioner's office, Town Director's office, Master Commissioner in Chancery's office; for all functions were performed by, and resided in, Mr. Cornelius Westfall, and he was, as our red brethren would say, "Heap much office-holder". When Mr. W. removed from the frame Mr. Fielding Loury occupied it with a store, and moved his family into the kitchen. The house now occupied by W. H. H. Dye was built by Dr. Asa Coleman, who, when quite a young man, in 1811, stopped in Troy and began the practice, of medicine in a little brick office. In 1814, he built the east wing of Mr. D.'s house, subsequently putting up the front. The old market house, on Main Street, was built of pillars of brick, but has long since been torn down.
Stafford's clothing store stands where the old post office was situated. Kinkaid & Davis' store stands where Dr. Coleman once lived.
Thus ends a greater part of the old buildings of Troy.
With the advent of railroads, canals, and pikes, the rich agricultural country surrounding it, Troy increased steadily in wealth and population after the war of 1812, up to the present. Her streets have been improved and beautified, her buildings have been remodeled and enlarged, and new ones erected. Manufactories have sprung into existence, some of which we shall briefly describe.
Beedle & Kelly agricultural works were built by Wright & McGalliard in 1867. The following year they associated with them John Kelley, a practical machinist, from Milton. In the following June, the buildings were completed and operations begun; 1869, McGalliard retired, followed by Wright in 1870, the present proprietors being A. F. Beedle and John Kelly. For a time, the firm made a specialty of plows in connection with a general foundry and machine shop. In 1873, the champion corn planter engaged their attention, of which they now make a specialty. The building at present covers the corner of Race and Mulberry streets, and is about 220 feet long. Estimated value of real estate, merchandise, machinery, furniture and fixtures, about $33,000, and turned out in 1879, 2,000 corn planters besides various other agricultural implements.
The Troy Spring Wagon Company was incorporated in 1872, with a capital stock of $60,000, $53,900 paid in. Officers--H. W. Allen, President; W.H.H.Dye, Vice-President; W.J.Meredith, Secretary and Treasurer. Directors--H.W.Allen, S.K.Harter, G.D.Skinner, N.Toby, W.H.H.Dye, J.H.Young, S.A.Cairns, W.J. Meredith. Employ from sixty to eighty hands; business good, increasing annually. This manufactory covers five acres of ground; has 87,500 square feet of floor, and contains all the latest facilities for doing perfect work.
Besides these, Troy has corn shellers with a capacity of 1,000 bushels per day; male establishment, patent medicine establishments, and various other industrial enterprises.
Hydraulics incorporated under a certificate filed March 5, 1866, and signed by William B. McClung, W.H.H. Dye, C.H.Culbertson, Elias Skinner, John D. Meredith, Samuel Davis, C N.Hoagland, C.D. Coolidge, H.H.Culbertson, John Masserman and M.G.Mitchell; whereby they became a joint stock hydraulic and manufacturing company, the principal object being to furnish Troy with water.
At the organization, W.B.McClung was elected President; S.R. Harter, Treasurer; L. T. Dillaway, Secretary; John Knoop, S.R. Harter, N. Smithers, E. Holden, L. T. Dillaway, H. G. Sellers, H. Coleman, J. C. McCraig and W. B. McClung. A statement made by the President April 20, 1870, showed that $19,500 had been subscribed by fifty-nine names. A canal was dug from above the lock at Farrington's mill and distillary, terminating in a reservoir west of Troy, canal being thirty-five feet wide at the top, and twenty at the bottom, five feet deep, and fall of three inches to the mile, and four and one-half miles long. The reservoir is to be walled in by embankments of solid masonary, with face set in hydraulic cement. John Knoop being the principal stockholder, the property finally went into his hands and after his death was purchased of his heirs by L. Hayner, the present owner.
The first foundry was built in 1838, by John Smeltzer, and afterward sold to Elisha T. Harker, who ran it till 1844, when he took in Orbison, then continued till 1847, and sold to Branduff.
Richard and Dana Shilling, went into the firm till 1849, when Shilling sold out to them. Brandruff and Richard bought it all, then sold out to Shilling Brothers in 1850, who built and run it under name of Shilling & Brother for seven years. Since that time Dana Shilling is the head of the firm; runs four or five hands; brass casting, custom work and machinery of all kinds.
It is believed the first newspaper in Troy was started in 1822, under the name of Miami Reporter, Micajah Fairfield, publisher. In 1828 it passed into the hands of John T. Tullis, who published it about eight years, when it was purchased by N. C. Langdon, who in turn sold it to H. D. Stout in 1841. The paper then passed into the hands of Furnas & Little, who, with one Hunter, conducted it till 1852, when it transferred to Marven & Munson, of whom it was bought in 1855, when it was finally purchased by E. C. Harmon in 1857, who continued its publication until it ceased in 1869.
The Miami Union issued its first number January 1, 1865, under the control of J. W. DeFrees, editor and proprietor. February 28, 1871, the entire establishment, including a valuable library, was destroyed by fire, the only vestige left to the editor being lead pencil and notebook. Mr. D. immediately resumed publication in the job office of E. C. Harmon, and in March, 1871, came out with an enlarged sheet all the better from it's phoenixian experience. In politics, it is Republican, S.S.DeFrees, son of J.W., is local editor. This sheet has a very wide circulation and is quite popular.
Troy Sentinel (Democratic) was begun in 1878, under the supervision of J. A. McConaley, subsequently passing into the hands of J. Manfred Kerr, who continued it until March 4, 1880, when it was discontinued.
The Troy Imperial - The material, fixtures, etc., of the Sentinel, were purchased by the Imperial Publishing Company shortly after its discontinuance, and on the 3 day of April, 1880, the first number of the Imperial was issued; A. Kaga, editor, Ed. J. Scott, manager; office Pearson's block, second floor; Democratic. This paper is a synonym for neatness and the proprietors are courteous gentlemen.
The Troy Weekly Bulletin was started January 1, 1875, by William H. and Cal Bidlac, and after a short existence, was discontinued. Republican in politics.
First National Bank, successor to the Miami County Branch of the State Bank, established in 1863. President, Asa O. Coleman; Cashier, John C. Culbertson; Board of Directors, Asa Coleman, Jacob Knoop, J. L. Meredith; subsequent Cashiers, Daniel Brown, L. Hayner, S. R. Harter, H. W. Allen. Cash capital, $200,000. In 1865, H. W. Allen was elected President and Daniel Smith successor to Meredith, deceased; Jacob Rohrer, Vice-President; Board of Directors, Jacob Rohrer, S. R. Harter, Horace Coleman, S. R. Statler, George Ziegenfelder, Cyrus T. Brown and H. W. Allen. Bank in good standing at present.
Miami County Bank, established by W. H. H. Dye & Sons, June, 1871, succeeded by the Miami County Bank, June 17, 1879. W. H. Weekly, President; Noah Yount, Cashier. Cash capital, $50,000. In a flourishing condition.
The Methodist Church was organized about 1815. Preachers, Bascom, Finney, Elliott, William Raper. Services were conducted in a log house ten or twelve years. In 1823, the present parsonage was built. The present church was built about 1840; during 1863, it was remodeled and improved, and is at present worth about $15,000.
The Episcopal Church was organized May, 1831. Rev. Ethan Allen was the first preacher. The number who signed the articles of association was thirty-six, six of whom are now living. Allen preached about twenty-seven years, and was succeeded by Rev. A. Guyon, who presided three years. A cottage was donated by Dr. Asa Coleman, in 1833, on Franklin street. A church was built the same year, a comfortable brick 52 x 32, on a lot 66 x 48. No regular Pastor now. The church suffered from emigration and death. Before the church building was erected, services were held in the court house, Methodist Episcopal Church, and various other places. The church was consecrated November 10, 1835, by Bishop McIlvain, and called Trinity Church. Numbers about thirty members. Dr. Reifer is the only one living in Troy who signed the original articles of association.
Christian Church -On the first Sunday in October, 1856, Elder James Maple preached for the Missionary Board of the Miami Christian Conference in the court house. The board pledged themselves to furnish a preacher, provided a suitable place of worship could be secured, which was done, in hiring the court house until August, 1857. Elders Maple, McKinney, McWhinney, Barghdury, Simonton and Dougherty were among the early preachers. August 10, 1857, at a meeting of the members, a subscription was raised amounting to $308 to support a minister, the ensuing year enlarged to $521, when the services of Elder McKinney were secured for $400 per year, preaching twice a month at Mayo's Hall.
The church was organized August 23, 1857, with twenty-seven members. The present building was finished August, 1863. Members 132. Sunday School, 159.
November, 1865, the Christian Missionary Society was organized with the object of bringing poor children into the Sunday School. Elder J. P. Watson was called to pastorate in 1870, and so continues to the present. Its members now number about 400, and Sunday school 200, and the church and all its adjuncts in a prosperous condition.
Presbyterian Church -The first services were held in an old brick schoolhouse in 1818, by George Burgess the first minister employed, two years of which he preached in the schoolhouse; he also organized a church at Piqua. Sometimes preaching was held in the court house. In 1826, they built a house on Franklin street, in which Mr. Coe preached till 1837, after which, one Harrison presided until the division of old and New School took place, when the property was sold and money divided, and then services were held in new court house till 1839. Mr. Rice preached the first sermon to the New School. The new church was built in 1839, on Franklin street. Rice preached in a frame. The new brick was begun in 1859, and finished in 1863. Calhoun came in 1862, and preached three or four years, when the New and Old Churches united in 1863 or 1864, after which Daniel Tenney preached till 1866. Difficulties occurring, A.W.Cloaky took his place till 1868.
German Lutherans - The German Lutherans began about 1841 to hold meetings in various places. Six families in the beginning. Among the first ministers were Mr. Klap, Doepken and Eidemiller. Mr. Smither and Barker donated the ground for the first church; Sabboth school was cotemporaneous with the church. G. H. Hinderer preached in the old church from 1858 till 1869, when the congregation, then numbering nearly 100, divided after which he held services in the Episcopalian Church for one year, then bought the Old Presbyterian Church. About fifty members at present; Sunday school every Sabbath, forty to seventy-five scholars; also prayer meeting every two weeks.
A Methodist Episcopal Church was organized at a called meeting at the Methodist Episcopal Church, by Rev. T. Boyle, February 23, 1874. The first succeeding services were held in the small hall of Mr. Dye, on the 1st of March following. For some time the church was without a Pastor, and prayer-meetings only were held, and sometimes class-meetings. Shortly, Rev. John Downs was engaged for a year, when membership amounted to forty. The next Pastor was Rev. D. W. Heston, who was suceeded by Charles W. Washington, who in turn was succeeded Daniel Tucker, the present Pastor.
A building was erected in 1876, and completed in 1879, at a cost of $625, called Richard's Chapel.
Baptist Church - March 27, 1834, a meeting was had at the old church, corner Franklin and Cherry streets, with Elder J. L. Moore in the chair, J.W.Meredith, Clerk, at which a committee was appointed, consisting of J.L.Moore, Elijah Counts and Amariah Smalley to prepare articles of organization; at a subsequent meeting, May 9 1834, the organization was completed with thirty one members. J. L. Moore, was chosen the first Pastor, June 21, 1834, E. Counts and A. Smalley, first deacons; preaching, semi-monthly. February 10, 1838, E. French was Pastor.
August 11, 1838, Rev. Samuel Hervey was Pastor for three months.
November 18, 1838, Elder Z. Eaton was called. The present incumbent is W. E. Stanley.
The Methodist Episcopal Church in Troy, Ohio, was organized in 1838, by Rev. M.M. Clark, with a membership of twelve; present membership sixty. Church building has been twice enlarged, and is now worth $1,500. Sabbath school of seventy scholars and eight teachers. Rev. William Johnson present Pastor.
The Fire Department of Troy was organized in the fall of 1857. The company consisted of about seventy-five members, fifty of which belonged to the Mohawk Company, and the remainder to the hose carriage. Jack Julian was the first foreman of the department. The present officers are: John Weatherhead, Chief of the Fire Department and Jesse Shilling, Chief Engineer and General Manager, George Myers, Assistant Chief Engineer. There are now two steamers in the company, viz., the Troy and the H. S. Mayo, the former having cost $7,200 and the latter $5,000; also one hook and ladder truck worth $890, and the 2,000 feet if hose. The force is a very efficient one, and in most serious fire which has occurred since the company was organized, in 1871, they succeeded in saving as much property as would have paid for all previous outlays of the company.
The town Hall is one of the best buildings to be found, in a town the size of Troy, perhaps in the State. The lot upon which the building stands cost $10,000, and the hall was erected at a cost of $50,000. The furniture is excellent, and the stage and scenery compare favorably with far more pretentious structures.
Franklin Lodge, No.14, F.& A.M. - Dispensation issued January 10, 1812. Charter issued at Chillicothe, January 5, 1815. Alexander Ewing, Asa Coleman, Jacob Mann, Robert Morrison, William Gahagan, John McKinney, C. Wolverton, Benjamin W. Langley and Peter Felix. First meeting January 12, 1812. Alexander Ewing, first W.M.
Franklin Chapter, R.A.M. No. 24. - Charter granted at Lancaster, Ohio, October 22, 1841, to James H. Briston, George Keifer, Levi Ross, Asa Coleman, Caleb West, Jonathon Crozier, Jonathon Mahen, Aaron Tullis, Oliver Vantryle, R.C.Langden. James H. Briston, first High Priest.
Franklin Council, R.& S.M. - Charter issued at Columbus,
Ohio, September 18, 1847. George Keifer, Asa Coleman, Oliver Vantryl, Thomas
Jay, Thomas J. Line, David J. Smith, J. W. Kells, J. N. Walter, Joshua
Boucher, S. E. Hestler, George Keifer, first Th. Ill. G.M.
In 1804. the population of what is now Concord Township, consisted of but three families, so that the necessity of public schools did not make itself apparent until several years later., In 1813-1814, the first school in Troy was taught by Mr. Samuel Kyle, in a log house situated on the corner of Market and Water streets; this edifice, by no means noted for architectural beauty, was without floor or windows. The town at this time was small, and the roll- book showed an attendance of about twelve pupils. The next schoolhouse was more pretentious in some respects, and the seekers after knowledge were here presided over by John G. Clark, in 1816. As was custom on such occasions, when Christmas came, Mr. Clark proceeded to "treat" but, instead of offering the scholars the sweetmeats usually provided for that purpose, he gave them something more stimulating in the shape of whiskey, diluted slightly with sugar and water, which was partaken of in such quantities that many of the pupils learned from personal experience what they had formerly known only from hearsay, viz., the pleasurable emotions which thrill the whole being of a man when for the first time he becomes tipsy. Mr. C. was a very eccentric individual, and punished his pupils in a variety of ridiculous ways, one of which was by splitting a goosequill, and flipping the nose of the offending youth with this torturous instrument, till he frequently roared with pain. After this a small brick building was erected on Main street, where the Edwards Schoolhouse now stands; for this purpose, a public subscription was raised, and the house known as "The Academy" was built, consisting of a single room. The teachers were all paid by subscription. Rev. Micajah Fairfield was the village teacher in 1826, and, after filling the responsible position faithfully for two years, was succeeded by Thomas Barrett, who afterward served as County Judge. In 1831, John Petit had charge of the school; this gentleman subsequently moved to Indiana, where he became a prominent man, and, removing to Kansas, he became United States Senator, and afterward United States District Judge. From 1836 to 1841 inclusive, the basements of the Episcopal and Baptists were respectively filled up and used for educational purposes. Uriah Fordyce taught in the Episcopal Church in 1837, and at the same time Hiram Brooks was teaching in the old brick house on Main Street. A fine select school for young ladies was taught by Miss Mary Barney in 1838. George D. Burgess taught from 1839 to 1841, at $100 per quarter, this was increased in time to $225 per quarter, part of which was paid by subscription. Mr. B. taught the boys only, the girls were put under the care of Miss Altazera Eaton, who subsequently married Rev. T. P. Childs. Mr. F. W. Burgess, brother of George D. Burgess, taught, some time in 1841. Besides the common branches, Mr. B. organized and taught classes in algebra, geometry, and Latin. In 1842, Robert McCurdy taught in a private house, then the property of Messrs. Grosvenor & Clark. About this time the upper story of the old Presbyterian Church was fitted up and used for school purposes. Mr. Irving Gales taught there in 1843, during which time he was assisted by Mr. Osgood, who afterward became a Presbyterian minister; Miss Anna Jones also assisted Mr. Gates during the same time. This school was continued under the supervision of Mr. Gates, till the organization of the graded system under the law of 1849. While Mr. Gates was teaching this school, another one was in progress in the Weslayan Church, under the charge of Mr.Bement. These schools were supported by rival factions, and the animosities of the parents were shared to some extent by the children. Mr. Bement's pupils called those of the other school "Gate's Hinges". How the compliment was returned, neither tradtion nor history informs us, but no doubt it was delicately reciprocated in some appropriate manner.
Benjamin F. Powers, afterward a prominent factor in educational matters, taught the school in 1832, and in 1833-1834-35, a flourishing school was kept by an Irishman, who went through the world with the appropriate name of Walkup. In 1835-36, G. A. Murray taught in the Episcopal Church. He was assisted in his labors by his sister, who afterward became Mrs. Ressler. E. P. Coles taught in the Coolidge house, otherwise known as Fort Meisinger, in 1842-43. He paid attention principally to the higher branches, the principal features of one of his exhibitions being a Latin oration, delivered by Augustus Coleman, who served as a Colonel in the late rebellion, where he was killed. In 1846-47, a school was carried on in the old Wesleyan Church by Minor W., a son of Micajah Fairfield, and in 1845-46, a school was also carried on by Rev. Edmund B. Fairfield, who afterward became President of the State Agricultural College of Pennsylvania. He was assisted by his sister Sarah, who became the wife of Dr. N. S. Norton. As these early schools are not in a matter of record, it is exceedingly difficult to give a correct history of them and their workings. Many of the teachers are most pleasantly remembered. Mr. McCurdy, especially, is spoken of as a man of broad culture, a fine scholar and most excellent instructor. Those who were his pupils in these old days never mention him but in the most laudable terms.
One of the beneficial effects of these early schools, was to prepare the mind of the public for the adoption of the "Law of Forty-Nine". Under that law, a call was issued for a meeting to consider it with reference to its adoption. This call was signed by George D. Burgess, Rev. Daniel Rice, William B. Johnston, Benjamin F. Powers and Joseph Pearson. Several meetings were held, and the matter was discussed with much enthusiasm. The matter was the common topic of conversation in the town for three weeks. At the final meeting, the law was adopted by a fair majority, and, in accordance with it's provisions, a Board of Education was elected the first week of June. The first Board of Education consisted of the following members: Charles Morris, Rev. Daniel Rice, Benjamin F. Powers, William B. Johnston, Zachariah Riley, and Henry S. Mayo. Under the successful management of these gentlemen, the schools grew rapidly in public favor. The citizens voted $6,000 for the purpose of erecting a schoolhouse, the board at that time fearing to ask more. The present Edwards building was then commenced, and soon $2,500 were added for it's completion and the fencing of the grounds. The school interests of Troy were very fortunate in falling into such hands as constituted the first and succeeding Boards of Education. Nor was the board less fortunate in securing the services of Mr. W. N. Edwards, of Dayton, to superintend the village schools.
The first corps of teachers with salaries, was as follows: William N. Edwards, $800; Jonathon Arnott, $400; Arnold Fenner, $400; Miss Susan Linn, $300; Miss Catherine Gaylor, $225; Miss Frances Rice, $225; Miss Louisa Thorne, $200; Miss Bishoprick, $200. The salary of Mr. Edwards was increased to $1,200. This gentleman soon gained the hearty support of the board, and under his wise and efficient management, the schools grew rapidly into the confidence and affection of the people; they committed the schools to his care till the summer of 1867, when he was removed by death. It has been said of him that "He laid the foundation of the union school so broad and deep that those who came after have had only to build harmony with the original design". He was recognized as one of the foremost educators in the state, and was, for a time, one of the associate editors of the Ohio Journal of Education. At the public commencement, each year, a large portrait of Mr. Edwards forms a prominent feature in the decoration of the stage, "Being dead, he yet liveth".
Prof. H. A. Thompson, of Otterbein University, was chosen to fill the vacancy. Mr. Thompson occupied the position of Superintendent four years, during which time but few changes were made. At this period of the history, not much mental arithmetic was required. In the first and second primaries, half the children would attend in the morning, the remaining half in the afternoon. This was done on account of the rooms not being commodious enough to contain them all at once. The only objection to this arrangement was the extra work it afforded the teachers, which was quite an objection. Mr. Thompson resigned in 1871, to accept the presidency of the Otterbein University, and was succeeded by L. V. Ferris, of Vermont, an alumnus of Middlebury College, who had charge of the schools for three years. This gentleman removing to Chicago to begin the practice of law in 1874, Mr. H. P. Ufford, of Delaware, Ohio, but at that time a teacher in Missouri, took charge of the schools. He was an excellent instructor, but, desiring to complete his collegiate course in the Otterbein University, at Delaware, Ohio, at the end of the first year declined being re-elected. In 1875, the Forest building, on Franklin street was completed, and occupied by Mr. John W. Dowd, formerly Principal of the Western District, in Chillicothe, Ohio, who took charge of the schools upon the removal of Mr. Ufford, and was assisted during his term by many able teachers.
Perhaps the greatest interest in school matters centers in the high school. It has ever been esteemed an honor to be numbered among its members. It was organized in 1852, at which time it consisted of seventy-five members. The course of study was not then established, and most of the pupils studied the common English branches. Soon, however, there was a regular course of study, and the first class graduated in 1856. Its members were Augusta Brandiff, Diana Meeks, John W. Morris and Walter S. Thomas. The high school course of study consisted first, of four years, however, a three-years course has been added for the accommodation of those who might not have time to complete the regular course; scholars seem loath to take advantage of this privilege as yet. The high school owns both an organ and a piano. An annual re-union of all members and ex-members is held in the Edwards building during the winter term, at which school is opened in the usual manner, by singing, reading the Scriptures, and prayer, and calling the roll of the school from its foundation. Supper is prepared and served by members of the high school, and the evening is spent in reading letters from absent members and teachers, in listening to music, and in social enjoyment. The course of study includes four years of latin, and, in that time, pupils are expected to become familiar with Caesar, and to read five books of Virgil's AEnied. Algebra, chemistry, and geometry are studied one year each. Physiology, physics and geology are studied two terms each. United States history, botany, trigonometry, Constitution of the United States, physical geography, and rhetoric are one-term studies. The last term of the senior year is spent in reviewing the common branches. Rhetorical exercises are held in high school every Friday afternoon, each member coming twice on duty, every month. The high school teachers have always been such as to give character to the school. The Superintendent has usually taught about half his time, giving the other half to supervision.
The primary rooms being greatly crowded, a new building of four rooms, costing nearly $10,000, was erected in the eastern part of the town, on Franklin street, in 1874. The primary grades are thus doubled, the children east of Market street going to the new, or Forest building, those west of it attending the old building, named, by common consent, the Edwards Schoolhouse, in honor of the first Superintendent. About fourteen years ago, the Board erected a building for the accommodation of the colored youth; previous to this the colored pupils had school but for three or four months in each year. All the schools now continue in session for ten months. The first term, being the longest, begins on the first Monday in September, and continues sixteen weeks; the remaining two terms continue twelve weeks each.
The men elected members of the Board of Education have discharged their duty with great fidelity.
Among these Barton S. Kyle was Lieutenant Colonel of the Seventy- first Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was killed at the battle of Shiloh, in 1862; W. H. H. Dye werved as a member of the board for many years.
Robert Furnas was deeply interested in the schools, and since his removal to Nebraska, of which State he afterwards became Governor, has occasionally sent back valuable contributions to the school cabinet.
The different teachers employed for the year 1879-80 were as follows: John W. Dowd, Superintendent; Miss Dora J. Mayhew, Principal.
Teachers in Edwards School: Miss Estella Parsons; Bertha McCorkle, Kate Milan, Alice Heckerman, Mary S. Bennett, Mary Kelly, Mattie Telford, Flora M. Fairchild, Mrs. Clara Temple.
Forest School: Misses Christie Balheim, Lida Defreese, Joy Kyle, and Rhoda Denman.
Lincoln School: for colored youth: C. A. Napper, Principal.
Mr. Dowd has superintended the school since 1875, during which time Miss Dora J. Mayhew has held the position of principal. The schools were never more prosperous than at present, and under the care of the efficient corps of teachers now employed, there is for the schools of Troy a glorious future, when they will have attained a degree of excellence even much beyond the elevated standpoint they occupy at the present time.
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