25 Years Ago: May 22-28, 1991
USA – Since the work was initiated in 1956, the national highway system has been an ongoing project throughout the country for 35 years. Now, except for sections of Los Angeles and Boston, the 42,000 miles of Interstate is nearly completed at a cost of $128 billion in federal and state funds. But, according to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, another $105 billion needs to be raised over a five-year period for what he calls the Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. He stated that the highway system is congested and that States need more freedom to decide how to best use the transportation funds to deal with transportation efficiency. (Columnist’s Note: As part of the Interstate system, I-75 was completed through our area during the early phase of the project. Obviously, since that time, the roads have been improved and widened at many locations.)
Troy – Troy High School baseball players can look back on this season with a sense of accomplishment for years to come. The young men of Troy beat Northmont, ranked third in the state, not once or twice, but three times this year! The third time, yesterday (Tues, May 21st), earned the team a birth in the district tournament. Through the heroics of Dave Brumfield, who hit a bases-loaded, two out, 0-2 pitch that scored two runs; the solid team play and the usual excellence of Heath Murray on the mound; Troy came away with a 2-1 victory. (Columnist’s Note: The Trojans went on to win the Division 1 District Championship by beating arch-rival Piqua. They improved to 22-4 and set a school record for wins in a season. Heath Murray, following the Northmont game was 11-1 with a 0.77 era on the season.)
50 Years Ago: May 22-28, 1966
Casstown- They might be one of the smaller communities in the county, but when it comes to remembering our veterans Casstown is one of the biggest in Miami County. Parades, memorials and other events have been planned by most Miami County municipalities for Memorial Day, but according to local officials, Casstown will be holding their biggest celebration yet with a large parade, the annual church service and a memorial service in Casstown Cemetery. Several area ministers will participate in the church service and memorial service. In addition, as a special part of the memorial service Earl Watson, Sr. will recite Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The Miami East Marching Band, the Boys Scouts and others will take part in the parade and make it one of the largest yet in Casstown.
Troy – The Troy Jaycees and the Troy Park Board recently completed the installation of bleachers at eight baseball fields around the community which will be used this summer for the Jaycess baseball program. Approximately 400 boys, ages 9-13, participate in the program every summer. This year sponsors for teams are: The Gables, Avey’s Sohio, Daugherty Hardware, Troy Sports Center, Eagles, Polar Penguin, First National Bank, VFW, K’s Hamburger, Huffaker Plumbing and Heating, Bothe’s, Smallenbarger’s, Dad’s Carryout, Zwiebel’s, Moose, Ingle’s T.V., Rike’s Appliance, Sertoma, United Scrap Lead, M & R. Drugs, Troy Elks, Main Furniture, Miami Citizen’s Bank, Price Typewriter. (Columnist’s Note: The sponsors alone could be a story in this column, but many of the boys named is a veritable list of who’s who in Troy sports and city government. The Troy Jaycess ran the baseball program for a number of years prior to the organization of the Troy Junior Baseball, which now runs the youth baseball program.)
75 Years Ago: May 22-28, 1941
Berlin – The dreaded Bismark has been sunk! On May 27th, the British Admiralty announced the navy had sunk the German Battleship. The news was confirmed by German authorities. Germany had threatened to rule the Atlantic with the deployment of its super battleship and when it destroyed the British ship HMS Hood on the 24th of May. But an all-out search and effort to locate the Bismark, and then its destruction, proved the superiority of the British Navy once again.
Tipp City – Dr. A.L. Hagerty will be closing his dentistry office after 41 years of practice in Tipp City. At 73 years of age, Dr. Hagerty had not given much thought to retirement, but his physician convinced him that for health sake he needed to retire following a recent heart attack. In addition to his practice, Dr. Hagerty has been the director of the Monroe Federal Loan & Savings Association for 25 years.
• Historical Question: Terry Lafferty sent a query about a gazebo and tower that was in the center of the Public Square around the turn of the century and was curious about its use and/or significance.
The “Gazebo” was actually a bandstand and it was used for band concerts and other types of entertainment prior to the days of radio and television. The tower was jokingly called the Eiffel Tower by some, but derisively called the “Awful Tower” by others.
For a number of years Troy had a smaller bandstand in the middle of the Public Square. Running up through the center of the structure was a “Liberty Pole,” which have often been symbols of freedom from tyranny. The use of the poles can be traced back to Ancient Rome, but in this country had been utilized from the days of the American Revolution to the Civil War.
According to Wheeler’s history of Troy, in the summer of 1891 lightning struck the gilded eagle at the top of the Liberty Pole in the square. The eagle and a 20-foot section from the top of the pole came down. In 1892, the rest of the pole was removed and for some reason it was not replaced.
A half-a-dozen years later, several of the leading businessmen in Troy wanted to show support for the military men at the start of the Spanish-American War. The men sought and received approval of the city council and then through private subscription raised the funds to erect a structure to honor the military men that were fighting.
In 1899, the council secured funds to paint the tower and then they had a larger bandstand built at the base of the structure to replace the one that formerly occupied the space.
The four legs of the tower were set in 10 feet of concrete and the steel structure reached 168 feet in height. In 1900, an electric light system was installed in the Public Square and the Eiffel Tower was included in the electrification. Wheeler stated the lights on the tower at night gave a brilliant glow to the area during the night. It was likely the Hobart Electric Manufacturing Company which installed the new system. It is known that in October of the same year, they proposed a special price to the city council in order to check and maintain the lights.
In April, 1907, the Eiffel Tower and the bandstand in the middle of town were removed. There was no longer a need to support the soldiers since the war was over and, it is believed, it was left up for several years as a way to honor those who had served or given their life. The most immediate reason the tower and bandstand were removed was that the city was preparing the streets and the Square for paving.
• Correction from last week: The story about the Charles Briggs marble works should have been noted as being from 1916, not 1941. Mr. Briggs stayed at the North Market St. location into the 1940s when the Troy Recreation Association took out a lease on the property.
Patrick D. Kennedy is archivist at the Troy-Miami County Public Library’s Local History Library, 100 W. Main St., Troy. He may be contacted by calling (937) 335-4082 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org