Today in history

25 Years Ago: February 14-20, 1991

• Troy – Harold F. Willis was appointed to the position of city auditor on Thursday (February 14th) to fill the unexpired term of Chris Peeples. Mr. Peeples was elected as the Miami County Auditor in the November election and his last day as city auditor will be the 28th of February. Mr. Willis worked as a financial executive for the Hobart Corporation prior to his retirement in 1987. The current city auditor term of office expires at the end of the year and Mr. Willis will need to run for re-election, if he desires to remain in the position. (Columnist’s Note: Mr. Willis did file and run for re-election and won. He held the post of city auditor until 1999. Sadly, he died just two years later. Mr. Willis was very active in numerous community-service groups and was also the chairman of the fund-raising committee for the Hobart Arena renovation project.)

50 Years Ago: February 14-20, 1966

• Troy – It was disclosed today that Troy will be leaving the Miami Valley League (MVL) athletic conference and will join the new Western Ohio League (WOL). An official announcement will be made on Monday, but the school was officially accepted into the league today (February 18th). Troy is following other former MVL schools Xenia, Fairborn and Fairmont (now East and West) into the new league. Troy will honor its MVL commitments until the end of the 1966-67 school year and could begin playing the new league schedule in 1967-68. The WOL is a new league which formed two years ago. (Columnist’s Note: Troy had participated in the MVL since 1928, a league they helped form in 1926. They remained a member of the WOL through 1981-82 school year and began participation in the Greater Miami Valley Conference in 1982. Troy is now part of the Greater Western Ohio Conference (GWOC), which they have been a member of since 2001)

• Historical Question: This week I received an email from Amy Lyons. She and a co-worker were discussing where the old Kroger store was located in Troy prior to the West Market Street locations. Including the newest store, there have been nine Kroger store locations in the city of Troy. Following is a brief history of the locations of the Troy Kroger store.

The Kroger Grocery Store first appeared in the Troy City Directories in 1916 and was located in the Southeast corner of the Public Square. We do not have any directories or phone books between 1912 and 1916, so it is possible it began shortly prior to its appearance in the directory.

In 1920 and 1921, K.A. Koerner is listed as the manager of the Kroger Grocery. From 1922 – 1926, the Koerner Grocery is listed, but not Kroger. It is not known, at this time, if Kroger had discontinued or there was a directory mistake as a result of the similarity of the names.

In 1927, the Kroger name reappears and has since been in the Troy directories and phone books. In the late 1920’s, Kroger was located at 114 South Market, which would be where Winner’s Computers is now located.

For several years it was located at the corner of E. Main & Walnut Streets, probably in the Wasserman building on the northwest corner. It was next at 2 E. Main St. in the old M & R building, now the Art Vault Gallery (David Fair).

In the early 1940’s, Kroger was situated at 414 W. Main St. Many longtime residents of Troy would remember that as the location of Dewey’s Market or B.F. Goodrich, across from the Troy-Miami County Public Library. It remained in this location until 1957 when it constructed a new building at 850 S. Market St., now the location of the True Value Hardware store.

Kroger was in that building until they needed more space and parking, so in February, 1979 they moved to W. Market St. when it opened its 31,000 square feet “Superstore II” in the K-Mart complex, now the location of the Miami-Jacobs Business College.

Finally, in 1991, Kroger constructed and moved into the recently vacated building at 751 W. Market St.

Now, approximately 100 years after Kroger opened a store in Troy, they have launched their new “Marketplace,” as they continue to serve Troy and the area with its grocery needs.

As a side note to the many people who have operated the Kroger store in Troy, Harmon W. Tiegler is the first name associated with the firm. Evelyn Miller was the first female manager of the grocery chain and William A. Bridenbaugh was the longest serving manager of the Kroger store in Troy to date, serving in that capacity for about 18 years, from about 1935-1953.

Photo courtesy of the Troy-Miami County Public Library’s Local History Library A turn of the century photo of where the Kroger store may have later been located next to the fire department and Troy City Hall on South Market Street. courtesy of the Troy-Miami County Public Library’s Local History Library A turn of the century photo of where the Kroger store may have later been located next to the fire department and Troy City Hall on South Market Street.

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