Ralph T. Troy

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Ralph Talbot Troy, Sr.
37th Mayor of Monroe, Ouachita Parish
Louisiana, USA
In office
July 1972 – July 1976
Preceded by W. L. "Jack" Howard
Succeeded by W. L. "Jack" Howard
Personal details
Born (1935-02-04)February 4, 1935
Monroe, Ouachita Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died (aged 78)
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Resting place Presumed cremation
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Frances Warner Troy (married 1956-2014, his death)
Children Pamela and Joan

Ralph Troy, Jr. (known as Talbot Troy)
Joshua Troy

Parents Richard Matthew and Vera Nobes Troy
Residence Hendersonville, North Carolina
Alma mater University of the South
Tulane University Law School
Occupation Mortgage banker
Religion Unitarian Universalism

Ralph Talbot Troy, Sr. (February 4, 1935 - January 26, 2014),[1] was a mortgage banker[2] who served as the mayor of Monroe, the seat of Ouachita Parish and the largest city in northeastern Louisiana. His mayoral service from 1972 to 1976 was sandwiched between the fourth and fifth terms of his fellow Democrat, W. L. "Jack" Howard.


Background[edit]

A Monroe native, Troy was one of three sons of Richard Matthew Troy and the former Vera Nobes, both deceased.[3] In 1957, Troy graduated with honors from the Episcopal-affiliated University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.[4] Thereafter, he enrolled at Roman Catholic-affiliated Tulane University Law School in New Orleans. He is listed in the Tulane yearbook as a freshman law student in 1958[5]and obtained his law degree in 1960.[3]


Political life[edit]

In the spring of 1972, Troy unseated Jack Howard in the then closed Democratic primary election. The highlight of the Troy administration was the expansion in 1973 of State Farm Insurance to make Monroe the mid-south regional headquarters of the company.[1]Mayor Troy pushed for an urban renewal initiative that provided new and improved streets and sidewalks. As mayor, he worked to improve the fire and police communication systems in regard to surveillance, patrol, and emergency services.[3]

In a 2004 interview with The Monroe News-Star, Troy recalled the record-breaking ice storm that knocked out electricity for two weeks in some parts of the city. He added, "We also had three 100-year floods that spurred us to complete the floodwalls along the Ouachita River along South Grand Street."[1] At that time, Monroe had a municipally-owned utility plant that used natural gas. When the U.S. government halted the use of interstate natural gas as fuel to generate electricity, Troy shuttled between Monroe and Washington, D.C., to lobby to have the law overturned. In 1979, Monroe sold the utility plant to Louisiana Power & Light.[1]

Monroe faced financial problems in both the Howard and Troy administrations. In 1975, the municipality, then under the previous city commission form of government, paid bills by shifting money from one account to another while awaiting the arrival of revenues. By the end of 1976, Monroe was making payments only because of year-end revenue collections. On September 15, 1976, by which time Howard had returned to office, Monroe received national attention when it could not meet its payroll of $167,320.36. Relief quickly came in a check to the city from the state government, signed by Governor Edwin Edwards.[1]

Citing family financial obligations, Troy did not seek reelection in 1976, when he was succeeded by the more conservative Jack Howard, whom Troy had unseated four years earlier. But Howard would not complete his final term. Under Troy, voters rejected a plan to establish the since approved mayor-council form of municipal government. Troy had then argued that his city "has just got to face up that we need a more modern and responsive form of government than that under which we are operating now ... There is waste because of needless duplication of executive functions and there is an inherent lack of representation of all elements of the community because [there are] three people [under the city commission form of government] elected at-large to do all the functions of government."[1]

Meanwhile, Troy returned to Troy and Nichols, Inc., a mortgage and insurance business begun in Monroe by his father. In 1982, Troy sold his share of the business and relocated to the Atlantic coast at Wilmington, North Carolina.[3]

Troy was listed in 1980 as a donor to U.S. Senator Russell B. Long, who won his last term that year by defeating then Democrat, later Republican, Woody Jenkins.[6] Troy later contributed to the North Carolina Democratic Party.[7]He served briefly as the chairman of the Democratic Party in New Hanover County in Wilmington. In 1990, he helped to manage the unsuccessful Democrat campaign waged by the African American Harvey Gantt, a former mayor of Charlotte running against Republican U.S. Senator Jesse Helms.[1]In 1996, he worked in the successful reelection campaign of a Helms nemesis, Governor James B. Hunt, Jr.[3]

Death[edit]

Troy and his wife, the former Frances "Francie" Warner, a native of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, moved in 1997 to Boone, North Carolina, to live in the Appalachian Mountains.[3] There they remained until 2012. He was affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.[8] Sources also indicate that they lived in Blowing Rock and Raleigh, North Carolina.[8] In the last months of his life, the Troys lived in Hendersonville. There he died of cancer at the Elizabeth House Hospice in January 2014 at the age of seventy-eight.[1]

The Troys have four children, Pamela and Joan Troy, Ralph Troy, Jr. (known as Talbot Troy), and Joshua Troy, and two grandchildren. He has one surviving brother, Nat Troy. The obituary indicates that a memorial service will be held at a later date.[3]

Talbot Troy, said that his father "cared deeply about his community, wherever he lived. He was a great influence on a lot of people. He cared deeply about doing a good job for the city [of Monroe]. He was not a politician really, he was a very competent public servant. Above all, he was a person who wanted to serve and believed in honesty, integrity, and fairness."[1]Troy's obituary indicates that he "championed causes for equality, fairness and justice particularly for those in traditionally disadvantaged groups and victims of oppression.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Mark Henderson, Former Monroe Mayor Ralph Troy dies". Monroe News-Star. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ Gordon E. Harvey, Historic Ouachita Parish: An Illustrated History. San Antonio, Texas: Historical Publishing Network. 2007. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-893-61970-8. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Ralph Talbot Troy". Watauga Democrat, Boone, North Carolina. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Sewanee Alumni News (1958); List of 1957 graduates". archive.org. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Tulane University Jambalaya yearbook, 1958". e-yearbook.com. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Monroe, Louisiana (LA) Political Contributions by Individuals". city-data.com. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  7. ^ "WILMINGTON, North Carolina (NC) Political Contributions by Individuals". city-data.com. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Ralph T. Troy". intelius.com. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
Preceded by
W. L. "Jack" Howard
Mayor of Monroe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana

Ralph Talbot Troy, Sr.
1972–1976

Succeeded by
W. L. "Jack" Howard