Founded in 1807, Troy, Ohio is a small Midwestern city which has a heritage full of unique personalities, stories, inventions, and events- funny and tragic. This blog is a means of sharing these vignettes, full-length stories and humorous escapades with Trojans near and far, or individuals just interested in local history.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Created to be the Leader

A Sketch from Troy-Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (1949)
Depicitng Early Activity in the Troy Area.

As Thomas B. Wheeler, local historian for many years, related in his Nineteenth Century history of Troy, the town did not exist when the Ohio General Assembly created Miami County in 1807. Sure, there were pioneer settlers in the area, but there was no village existing by the name of Troy. In this, Mr. Wheeler compared Troy to Washington, D.C.. Just as Washington was created to be the national capital so Troy was created to be the county seat of Miami County, Ohio.

In those days, 1806-1807, Piqua, called Washington at the time, and Staunton, a settlement on the east side of the river near present day Troy, were the chief competitors vying to be the seat of justice for the newly created county. Piqua and Staunton were both old settlements, Piqua was located near the old site of Pickawillany and Staunton was the first European village in what is now Miami County.

When the General Assembly sent out three men to decide where the court and justice center should be they, after examining the area, decided on the ‘high ground across the Miami River from Staunton.’ In a day prior to large permanent bridges, they deemed this decision as a compromise between the two early communities. The county seat would be on the west side of the Miami River, same as Piqua, but it would be located in close proximity to Staunton. I am sure the fact this area (present day Troy) was almost perfectly located in the center of the new county also helped with the decision.

Following the decision, the land deemed as necessary for the community was purchased from three landowners: Aaron Tullis, 40 acres, Alexander McCullough, 40 acres, and William Barbee, Sr., 40 acres. Messrs. Tullis and Barbee were both Revolutionary War veterans.

Why the name Troy? Early lore speculated that when the early settlers came to the area those who had books carried certain volumes. If a person only had one it was probably the Bible; if two, then Pilgrim's Progress was probably the next likely and, if perchance, someone had three books, then it was probably Homer's Odyssey, of course, which featured ancient Troy. Apparently, those with a fondness for Homer decided on Troy for the new village.

Curiously, ancient Troy, which was not discovered until the 1870's, and Troy, Ohio sit on almost on the same latitude on the globe.

From these decisions rose the seat of justice in Miami County, Ohio-Troy, founded 1807.

The Overfield Tavern in Troy-Built in 1808 by Benjamin Overfield
was the location of the first courthouse in town.
Photo by Nelson Dohm; From Patrick's Collection.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I'd forgotten how Troy was named - now I'll remember! I'm glad you are enjoying adding posts to your blog! It's fun isn't it?