How Troy was located and named

Published 8:08 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2022

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Thomas M. Murphree was a former tax assessor, a prominent citizen of Troy and a Confederate veteran relayed this story in 1911 to the Messenger.    

“Did you ever hear how Troy came to be located just where it is, and how it received its name?”  said Thomas M. Murphree a few days ago while he was in a reminiscent mood.

     “Well,” he said, “it was this way:  the old county site was at old Monticello, above where Banks is now located.  It was decided that the county site should be located nearer the center of the county, and the Commissioners came over to look over this spot, which had been named by the pioneers as ‘Deer Stand Hill.’  After looking over the spot they were rather pleased with the location, but a farmer residing near the two mile well, two miles Southeast of Troy, told them that he had a fine section out there, and invited them out to look it over, promising to donate enough land to make the public square, or one hundred square yards.  John Hanchey, an uncle of our Hancheys of today, heard the conversation, so he hastened to saddle his horse and ride to the home of John (Jack) Coskrey, who resided in a double-pen log house located about where the Hendrix place on North Three Notch is today.  Hanchey told Coskreey what had transpired. ‘Now,’ he said, ‘you and I own the land on Deer Stand Hill, you own the north side and I own the south side, so saddle up your horse quick and we’ll ride out there and offer them fifteen acres each to locate the town on Deer Stand Hill.’  The words were no quicker spoken than the trade was made, so the two hurriedly galloped out to the place where the Commissioners and the other farmer were about to come to an agreement.  The new offer was laid before the Commissioners and was readily accepted, and  thus the new county site was located.

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The land with the exception of the square was afterwards cut up into lots by the county and sold off.

‘What the Messenger said the other day about Zebulon being the first name selected for the place was  true, but no man could make a good ‘Z,’ so it was decided that  the name should be changed.  About that time a man from Troy, New York, was here prospecting.  The man was in the office of lawyer John F. Beecher, when the Commissioners went over there to get Beecher to help them select a name for the place.  The gentleman hearing the conversation said:  “Call it after my town, Troy, New York.’”  The name, Troy, was easy, sounded well and was accepted at once, and thus Troy was named.

“The above is authentic, having come to me straight from the lips of parties concerned in the transactions of that time.”

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.