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The City of Troy is the County Seat for Doniphan County, located in the Northeast corner of the State of Kansas on US Hwy 36, approximately 13 miles west of the Missouri River.
The townsite of Troy and seat of justice of Doniphan County was located October 12, 1855, by A. Payne and Thomas J. B. Cramer, commissioners appointed by the Territorial Legislature, under act of Congress, approved May 20, A. D. 1854, granting to counties and parishes of each State and Territory of the United States, in which the public lands are situated, the right of pre-emption to a quarter section of land, the proceeds of sale of which shall be applied to the erection of public buildings in said county.
They reported that they did locate said seat of justice on the southwest quarter of Section 17, Township 3, Range 21, and caused a stake to be driven on said quarter section, on one side of which was inscribed, "The County Seat of Doniphan County on this quarter Section." On the other side they inscribed the date -- October 12, 1855 -- and signed their names. This stake is supposed to have been driven near where the court house now stands.
At a meeting, October 16, 1855, the County Commissioners ordered James F. Forman to lay off eighty acres of said quarter section into town lots, and make a draft there of said town. Also to have a public block 300 feet square, which shall be located near where the Commissioners erected a stake.
The first sale of lots was ordered to take place on January 1, 1856; terms, one-half cash, balance in two equal payments, in six and twelve months.
On account of bad weather, the survey of the town site was delayed until the spring of 1856. The money received from sale of public lots was ordered to be used only in payment of expenses in erecting county buildings unfurnished.
The town site of Troy is located two miles east of the geographical center of the county, and is about equal distance from the towns of Iowa Point, Highland, Doniphan, Wathena, Geary City, Palermo, Columbus and Bellemont, and fifteen miles (air line) from White Cloud, thirteen miles from Elwood, and fourteen miles from St. Joseph.
The first building on the town site was a frame, erected in 1855, now occupied by Dr. Myers. During the same year, a Mr. Rogers built a blacksmith shop, and operated it as such until the next year, when James E. Marcan bought him out.
In 1856, a building was erected on the site of the present Higby House, and used as a court house.
Messrs. Head & Earls built and operated the first store in 1856. .
D. S. Sergeant located in Troy in July, 1857, and opened a large stock of goods.
A Mr. Brady started the next store soon after, and was followed by H. Boder, who erected a frame building on the site of the present bank. Brady moved his store from Charleston and erected a building.
F. Kotch established the first shoe shop in March, 1859. No regular harness shop was established until after the war, when J. Johnson represented that trade in Troy, in 1866. Mr. Kotch first established a small grocery and shoe-shop in 1857, on his farm, on the "Pottawatomie Trail."
Capt. A. Head announced himself ready to take charge of all cases, early as 1856, thus establishing, among other things, his identity as a lawyer.
Among the first carpenters were Messrs. Siminson, Calbert and Field.
The first brick burnt in the place was by John Ogan, in 1859. During the same year, he erected the first brick building. The building was located on the site of Dr. John Wade's store, but was afterward destroyed by fire, with the exception of about twenty feet of its west wall. This was ultimately used in the construction of the present brick block.
The post office was first established in 1856, with A. Head as Postmaster.
Among the seeming necessary business enterprises that were established at an early date, was a saloon, operated by Connor & Howell.
A Sabbath school was organized as early as 1859, James B. Maynard acting as the first Superintendent.
Probably the first physician who located in the town was a Dr. Payne, who came in 1859.
Until the year 1862, Troy progressed rapidly, but during the war it came to a stand-still. After the war, it received a new impetus in the St. Joe & Denver City Railroad, which commenced running trains, and soon made the place a good shipping point.
Maynard (Troy Junction) was laid off and received its name from Judge J. B. Maynard, in March, 1871. It is the junction of the Atchison & Nebraska and the St. Joe & Western Railroads.
Since the establishment of the seat of justice at Troy (1856), all county business has been transacted here, and all meetings of a public character, where the public welfare was interested, have been held at this place.
In the winter of 1859-60, during the session of the Territorial Legislature, an application was made to have the town incorporated, which application was granted. Since the incorporation, the city has maintained her organization.
Troy was the first stop on the Pony Express out of St Joseph, Missouri, and was the place where horses were changed at the end of the first relay. This stop was at the Smith Tavern, which is still standing, and has for many years been a family residence and is located on the north/east corner of the intersection of East Myrtle and North First Streets.
This information was taken from a variety of sources including but not limited to:
1883 History of the State of Kansas Illustrated by A. T. Andreas
1905 Gray's Doniphan County History by P.L. Gray
1915 Illustrated Doniphan County, Supplement to The Weekly Kansas Chief by Walter B. Montgomery
The Annals of Kansas by D. W. Wilder, Vol 1 - 1954, Vol II - 1956.
Information compiled by Ben Williamson and provided to the City by his daughter, Pat Dill.
Doniphan County Courthouse
Research by Ben L. Williamson shows the first Court House was a warehouse owned by James R. Whitehead and was located in the town of Whitehead, approximately 2 miles North and 1/2 mile east of downtown Wathena "on top of a high, rocky bluff on the west side of the Missouri River, about 4 1/2 miles upstream, from St. Joseph, Missouri, in a warehouse constructed at an Indian Trading Post." This was used from September 15, 1855 to September 18, 1856.
The Doniphan County Courthouse was erected in 1905 and sets an unusual example of Victorian architecture. It was dedicated July 4, 1906.
The first building used in Troy for a court house, after Troy was made the county seat, is a part of what is now called the Higby House. It was built in the summer of 1856, and was used for that purpose until the fall of 1859, when a new brick court house was built on the north side of the public square, nearly opposite the Higby House.
Previous to the erection of this court house, there was no county jail, and prisoners were taken to Atchison, for safe-keeping. After the new court house was completed, they were confined in the lower story of the building. In the spring of 1867, this building was destroyed by fire. Insurance to the amount of $3,200 was recovered. Bonds were issued, and the contract for the present building was let to James E. Dryden, who completed it in the fall of 1868, at a cost of $6,000.
From time to time, improvements have been made that have increased the total cost to about $10,000. In the summer of 1880, an addition was made to the building on the west side. The new jail was erected in the spring of 1870, at a cost of $8,000, and was a credit to the county. A new jail was erected on the north/east corner of the court house square in the 1950's. This served as the Sheriff's Office, Jail and residence for the Sheriff and his family.
The present Doniphan County Sheriff's Department and jail was erected in the 200 block of South Main Street in 2008 and has a capacity to house over thirty prisoners.
Statue of Liberty in Court House Square. In the late 1990's, Lady Liberty was refurbished and a new base constructed by Tim Clary, a former Troy resident with many family members still in Troy.
"Tall Oak" Indian Monument by Peter Toth