By Patrick D. Kennedy - Archivist

25 Years Ago: January 17-23, 1991

• Iraq – The United States and its allies launched a military attack on strategic Iraqi strongholds in a coordinated effort to push Iraqi forces out of Kuwait, a small Middle East country which the forces of Saddam Hussein have occupied since August. Most of the attacks have been in the form of airstrikes against Iraqi military targets. Very little resistance is being given. In Miami County, while there is some opposition to the attacks, most people are supportive of the effort to help free Kuwait from the grip of Iraq. And, despite the distance from the Middle East, there is much activity in this area, as a result of the military action. For example, the Upper Valley Medical Center’s three hospitals say they are ready and on standby to assist patients from the warzone, if needed; several local manufacturers provide supplies such as missile components, aircraft brakes and hardware used in food preparation for the military. Along with all the activity, there are many ministers and churches which continue to pray for peace in the Middle East and a quick resolution to the conflict.

50 Years Ago: January 17-23, 1966

• West Milton – A ‘bombshell’ of sorts was thrown into the chamber of commerce by president Eugene Kleather when he suggested that the service clubs of the village, along with the support of the chamber, construct a combined meeting hall-youth center in the community. He is concerned that once young people have access to automobiles they are leaving town and heading to Troy and Dayton for activities and entertainment. He believes that we can keep them here if they have something to do and somewhere to go. Mr. Kleather gave an “off the top of my head” figure of $150,000 to bring the meeting house-youth center dream to completion. The chamber board voted to support an exploratory meeting to ascertain interest in the community.

• Miami County – The county commissioners heard a proposal for a centrally located county airport in their recent meeting. It was suggested that an airport located near the center of the county and close to Interstate 75 would benefit many people and businesses in the area. The county owned Experiment Farm was suggested as a prime location for such an airport. In addition, the members of the Miami County Airport Commission suggested that they under the authority of the commissioners could actually operate the port, whereby lessening any responsibility of the commissioners in the day-to-day operation. Piqua, which already has an airport to the northwest of that city, is competing for funds from the state. Piqua officials have stated they could probably turn their airport over to the county if they are awarded the aid.

75 Years Ago: January 17-23, 1941

• Troy – According to city and county health commissioner Kurt Becker, the influenza situation in the county is improving with fewer new cases being reported. Industries are reporting people back at work and some area schools are re-opening with higher attendance numbers. Although reports are positive, Dr. Becker warned that caution should still be utilized and that people should stay home from public gathering places if they do not need to be out.

• Troy – The ‘Big Five’ of the Lincoln Community Center will be challenged tonight when the team from Delaware, Ohio comes to town. The Lincoln Center Tigers are undefeated in five games and will play a twin bill tonight at the center when they meet the Bradford Basketeers, then return to take on the Delaware team, who, it is rumored, are former Ohio Wesleyan players. The Tigers have already beaten some good competition in the Y.M.C.A., Walker’s from Piqua, Deschler’s Building Supply of Celina, the Pontiac, Michigan Nomads and the Toledo Y.M.C.A. All the action starts tonight (Sat., January 18th) at 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Center.

100 Years Ago: January 17-23, 1916

• Troy – E.C. Arbogast has announced he is opening a meat shop in the Otto Smith grocery store on the corner of West Main and Elm Streets. He has worked with William Laufer, a well-known local butcher, but is now ready to strike out on his own. He will carry a complete line of fresh, smoked and salt meats. He will also deliver orders to any part of the city. (Columnist’s Note: Ellsworth C. Arbogast was born in 1887 in Christiansburg and lived in Troy and Dayton for many years. He likely learned the trade from his father, who was also a butcher in Troy. Later, he managed a meat department in a Dayton grocery prior to and during WWII. He died in 1961 and is buried in Riverside Cemetery.)

• Piqua – Well-known Piqua jeweler and optician Albin Thoma has announced that his business, A. Thoma & Sons, is preparing to move from its longtime location on Main Street to a store just south of the Public Square. Thoma & Sons has been at the present location for sixty-five years, but they have been searching for a centrally located shop to fit their business. As one of the oldest, most trusted businesses in the community, it is assured that their customers will continue to patronize the business. (Columnist’s Note: The Thoma jewelry business was founded in 1838 by German immigrant Augustine Thoma. Later, his son Albin Thoma, a Civil War veteran, took over operation of the store, which was then passed on to his son Joseph A. Thoma. The store is still located at the ‘new’ location just south of the Public Square.)

By Patrick D. Kennedy


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

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