Troy, Alabama

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Troy, Alabama
City
From top to bottom, left to right: Historic Downtown Troy, Locomotive at Pioneer Museum of Alabama, Confederate Memorial Monument, Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopter in Bicentennial Park, Bashisnky-Fowee House in the College Street Historic District, Hawkins Hall at Troy University.
From top to bottom, left to right: Historic Downtown Troy, Locomotive at Pioneer Museum of Alabama, Confederate Memorial Monument, Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopter in Bicentennial Park, Bashisnky-Fowee House in the College Street Historic District, Hawkins Hall at Troy University.
Motto: "A Wonderful Place to Live!"
Location within Pike County (left) and Alabama (right)
Location within Pike County (left) and Alabama (right)
Troy, Alabama is located in the US
Troy, Alabama
Troy, Alabama
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 31°48′32″N 85°58′12″W / 31.80889°N 85.97000°W / 31.80889; -85.97000Coordinates: 31°48′32″N 85°58′12″W / 31.80889°N 85.97000°W / 31.80889; -85.97000[1]
Country United States
State Alabama
County Pike
Founded 1838
Incorporated 1843
Government
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Jason Reeves
Area
 • Total 27.627 sq mi (71.55 km2)
 • Land 27.5 sq mi (71.3 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation[1] 541 ft (165 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 18,033
 • Estimate (2013)[2] 18,919
 • Density 650/sq mi (250/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 36079, 36081, 36082
Area code 334 Exchanges: 566,670,807,808
FIPS code 01-76920 [1]
GNIS feature ID 0153725 [1]
Website troyal.gov

Troy is a city in Pike County, Alabama, United States.[1] The city is the county seat of Pike County.[3] It was formally incorporated on February 4, 1843.[4]

As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,033. The 2015 estimated population was 18,696.[5] The City of Troy is considered one of the fastest growing cities in Alabama.[6] Troy is a college town and is home to Troy University, the second-largest university in total enrollment in the state of Alabama.

History[edit]

Pre-Civil War[edit]

The Three Notch Road historical marker.

Once part of territory belonging to the Creek Indian, the land that would later become Troy was settled in the early 1830s. Originally known as Deer Stand Hill (an Indian hunting ground) and first settled about 1824, it was later known as Zebulon and then Centreville before being renamed Troy (1838). Troy burned down in 1901 and had to be rebuilt from scratch.

Troy became the county seat in 1838 after being moved from Monticello. A hotel and taverns along with small mercantile stores were soon created, quickly making the new town the social center of the county.

To promote movement of settlers and to speed mail from Washington City to New Orleans, the Federal Road was laid out after 1805. In 1824, a military road was laid out from Fort Barrancas in Pensacola, Florida and ran on top of the ridges to Fort Mitchell in Russell County, Alabama, and connected to The Federal Road. Captain Daniel E. Burch of the U.S. Army marked the route using three notches on trees for a crew under Lt. Elias Phillips to follow. The route was eventually cleared in 1824 at a cost of $1,130. It follows the ridge dividing the water sheds of the Conecuh River to the northwest, and the Yellow and Pea Rivers to the southeast. This road became known as The Three Notch Road and ran through Troy and Pike County. While never being highly needed as a military supply road, it became a boon to the settlers who used it to move into south-central and southeast Alabama and into northwest Florida.

Battle at Hobdy's Bridge

The Battle of Hobdy’s Bridge took place in February 1837 on a wooden bridge that spanned the river between Pike and Barbour counties and involved about 100 settlers and 75 Native American warriors. The Battle of Hobdy’s Bridge lasted less than 30 minutes and produced few casualties.

Battle at Pea River Pea Creek

Six weeks after the Battle at Hobdy's Bridge, the Battle of Pea River Pea Creek occurred, which was a much bloodier battle.

In March 1837, a large party of Creek Indians - men, women and children - had fled into the nearby Pea River swamps after the concentration camps where they were waiting to be sent west on the Trail of Tears were attacked by white militia units. These attacks, several in number, took place in February 1837. An estimated 14,526 Creeks were already on the long journey to what is now Oklahoma by then, forced from their homes despite the fact that most of them had sided with the United States during the fighting in 1836. The Indians, angry that the land that had been promised to them was being taken from them by local settlers by violent force, responded by striking homes and farms along the the Pea River swamp. The Three Notch Trail that traversed through Troy was considered dangerous at this point, as local Creek Indians around the area were turning violent and burning log houses.

A large force of about 250 volunteers and militia from nearby Eufaula, led by Brigadier General William Wellborn, responded and began to assemble near the Pea River to root out the Indians in the swamp. Reaching Hobdy's Bridge, then a long wooden span and causeway, Wellborn learned that the main party of Creeks were camped about one mile north of the bridge. Sending part of his force up the east or Barbour County side of the Pea River, he moved up the western border of Pike County with his primary command. As he neared the site of the camp, gunfire erupted in the swamp. Correctly assuming that the party moving up the east bank under had encountered resistance, Wellborn ordered his men forward through the mud and water at a full run.

The Creek warriors fought fiercely to hold off the whites while their families tried to flee the scene. Participants in the fight later reported that some of the Creek women and children also took up arms to fight, raining showers of rifle balls and arrows on them. In one case, two of the Indian women attacked a member of the volunteers with knives. Unable to defeat the desperate Creeks with gunfire alone, Wellborn finally ordered a direct charge on their lines. The tactic worked as many Indians fled to the encampment to carry off their children, some swimming the river in order to flee.

The fighting lasted for a constant three hours and 52 minutes. It is said that the last 45 minutes of the battle were hand-to-hand combat.

Two whites were killed and seven wounded. Creek losses are unknown, but Wellborn's men found the bodies of 23 Creek warriors on the battlefield.

In winning the Battle of Hobdy's Bridge, Wellborn had defeated the refugee Creeks but had failed to surround and capture them as he had hoped. Instead they fled south down the Pea River to its confluence with the Choctawhatchee and continued across the line into Florida. Furious at their treatment, they continued to battle the whites for years to come.

During Civil War[edit]

At the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, the small village of Troy had a population of around 600. The 57th Alabama Infantry Regiment of Troy was formed in 1863. The group of soldiers from that regiment were defeated at the Battle of Peachtree Creek on July 20, 1864.

Troy was mostly spared from the ravages of the war, except that its sons were dying on battlefields throughout the South. On April 26, 1865, a brigade of Union cavalry under the command of General Benjamin Henry Grierson camped outside of Troy. These soldiers moved on to Louisville, Clayton and Eufaula the next day without incident. However, roughly 20 miles east of Troy at the Pike County border, the Skirmish at Hobdy's Bridge, what some consider the last battle of the Civil War, took place on May 19, 1865.

Skirmish at Hobdy's Bridge

A detachment of Union soldiers from the 1st Florida U.S. Cavalry had been sent from Montgomery to Eufaula to escort a mail shipment through the unsettled regions of eastern Alabama. General Robert E. Lee had surrendered and Wilson's Raid had devastated the region, but many former Confederate soldiers were drifting through the region on their way home.

The mail escort, commanded by Lt. Joseph Carroll of the Union, left Montgomery on May 11, 1865, and reached Eufaula without difficulty. The total strength of the detachment was only 25 men, but because all seemed quiet, Carroll decided to spend a few days in Eufaula to rest his horses. Since some of his men were natives of the area, he granted them short leaves to go and visit their families. The entire detachment was to reassemble at Hobdy's Bridge over the Pea River on May 19, 1865.

After many of his men dispersed to their homes, however, Carroll learned that a party of pro-Confederate "guerrillas" had been seen in the area. The identity of this unit, if it had an identity, is unknown, but at about the same time General Alexander Asboth in Pensacola reported that several companies of cavalry made up of "unrepentant rebels" were still active in the Alabama and Florida borderlands.

Upon receiving this intelligence, Carroll decided to return to Montgomery as quickly as possible and crossed Hobdy's Bridge with the main body of his detachment two days before the appointed rendezvous. The other men of his command, at home and visiting their families, had no way to know of his decision to leave early or of the danger they faced.

According to military records, they gathered at Hobdy's Bridge as ordered on the morning of May 19, 1865, only to learn that Carroll and the main body were already gone. Turning their horses onto the long wooden bridge, the Florida cavalrymen started off to follow their commander's route. They rode straight into a group of Confederate rebel guerillas.

Three Union soldiers were wounded in the fight, and one Confederate soldier was killed. The lone soldier killed in the Skirmish at Hobdy's Bridge can be identified as Corporal John W. Skinner of Company C, 1st Florida U.S. Cavalry. He was killed in action six days after Private John J. Williams of the 34th Indiana, who died at Palmitto Ranch and is generally said to have been the last man killed in the Civil War. That sad distinction actually belongs to Corporal Skinner, who died on the wooden planks of Hobdy's Bridge in Alabama.

Post-Civil War[edit]

The Wood-Spahn House on Historic College Street

.

During the Reconstruction after the end of the Civil War, Troy began to see new railroads and roads converging into the city. After the completion of the Mobile & Girard Railroad in 1870, Troy saw a quick spike in population. One of the many to have made the journey to Troy was Jeremiah Augustus "Gus" Henderson. Having owned a large store in nearby Gainers Store (now known as Henderson), he found it difficult to transport and receive shipments by wagon. In 1869, Henry moved his mercantile store to nearby Troy to be closer to the Mobile & Girard Railroad. One of his sons, Charles Henderson, would soon be the governor of Alabama and a large contributor to Troy.

Troy would see a quick period of growth in the following years. There was rapid growth outside of the Troy downtown square, consisting of factories, churches, stores, and Victorian-style houses. Many of the early houses, churches, and cemeteries dating back to this era can still be found in the College Street Historic District, just on the edge of Historic Downtown Troy. Many of the buildings in the 2-block area date from as early as the 1870's. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 13, 1976.

Geography[edit]

Troy is located at 31°48′32″N 85°58′12″W / 31.80889°N 85.97000°W / 31.80889; -85.97000 (31.808768, -85.969951).[1] It is in the East Gulf Coastal Plains region of Alabama. It is located along the Troy Cuesta ridge, which runs across the state from east to west and is the boundary that separates the Chunnenuggee Hills and Southern Red Hills geographical boundaries. Elevations commonly reach 400 feet (120 m) in these hills and can reach up to 500 feet (150 m) in some areas. About 40 miles (64 km) north of Troy near the Montgomery area, the Chunnenuggee Hills region ends and the flat "Black Prairie" region begins, commonly known as the Black Belt region. About 60 miles (97 km) south of Troy in the Dothan area, the Southern Red Hills region ends and the "Dougherty Plains" region begins. Map

Much of the region consists of pine forests. Most tree species found in the area are pine, hickory, oak, pecan, and populus. The 231-mile (372 km) long Conecuh River flows at the northern end of Troy. A 45-acre (180,000 m2) lake called Pike County Lake is located at the southern end of Troy.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.3 square miles (68 km2), of which 26.2 square miles (68 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.34%) is water.

Climate[edit]

Snowstorm in Troy in 2010

Troy's climate is described as humid subtropical using Köppen climate classification. Troy is typical of areas along the Gulf of Mexico in that it has hot, humid summers and mild winters. (See table below for average temperatures for Troy.)

During the summer and fall, Troy is occasionally affected by tropical storms and hurricanes. The most recent major hurricanes to affect Troy have been Hurricane Opal, Hurricane Ivan, and Hurricane Katrina. Thunderstorms occur throughout the summer, but are most severe in the spring and fall, when destructive winds and tornadoes occasionally occur.

The late winter months will occasionally bring very small sleet/snow showers, with a significant snow storm happening rarely. Deep winter is occasionally accompanied by a tornado touching down in the county. The last deep winter tornado touched down in the county on Christmas Day, 2012. The last two big snow events to affect Troy were part of the 2010 Southern Snow event and 1993 Storm of the Century.

Climate data for Troy, Alabama (Troy Municipal Airport, 1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 56.6
(13.7)
60.9
(16.1)
69.0
(20.6)
76.6
(24.8)
83.0
(28.3)
88.5
(31.4)
90.0
(32.2)
89.6
(32)
86.1
(30.1)
77.5
(25.3)
68.2
(20.1)
59.9
(15.5)
75.5
(24.2)
Average low °F (°C) 34.6
(1.4)
37.0
(2.8)
43.9
(6.6)
51.6
(10.9)
59.3
(15.2)
66.1
(18.9)
69.1
(20.6)
69.1
(20.6)
64.9
(18.3)
53.2
(11.8)
44.2
(6.8)
37.7
(3.2)
52.6
(11.4)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.7
(119)
5.1
(130)
6.2
(157)
4.1
(104)
3.7
(94)
4.4
(112)
5.8
(147)
4.0
(102)
3.4
(86)
2.5
(64)
3.9
(99)
4.9
(124)
52.8
(1,341)
Source: NOAA [7]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 600
1870 1,058
1880 2,294 116.8%
1890 3,449 50.3%
1900 4,097 18.8%
1910 4,961 21.1%
1920 5,696 14.8%
1930 6,814 19.6%
1940 7,055 3.5%
1950 8,555 21.3%
1960 10,234 19.6%
1970 11,482 12.2%
1980 13,124 14.3%
1990 13,051 −0.6%
2000 13,935 6.8%
2010 18,033 29.4%
Est. 2015 18,853 [8] 4.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
2013 Estimate[10]

As of the census of 2010, there were 18,003 people, 7,844 households, and 3,187 families residing in the city. The population density was 531.1 people per square mile (205.0/km²). There were 6,436 housing units at an average density of 245.3 per square mile (94.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 55.00% White, 39.01% Black or African American, 0.40% Native American, 3.36% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.78% from other races, and 1.38% from two or more races. 1.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,844 households out of which 20.34% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.6% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.9% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 18.30% under the age of 18, 21.97% from 20 to 24, 12.30% from 25 to 34, 14.04% from 35 to 49, 13.68% who were 50 to 64, and 10.05% 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.8 males. Of the reported population, 78.2% were born in the state of Alabama. The percentage of foreign-born residents was 2.8% and 16.2% of those individuals were naturalized citizens.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,352, and the median income for a family was $39,601. Males had a median income of $29,190 versus $20,368 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,589. About 17.7% of families and 23.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.5% of those under age 18 and 19.8% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Terracotta Warriors on the Troy University Campus.
Johnson Center for the Arts.
First United Methodist Church of Troy.
Mural painting at the corner of Byrd Drugs in downtown Troy.
The Pike County Court House in downtown Troy.

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Private schools[edit]

  • Covenant Christian School, K-6 school founded in 1985
  • New Life Christian Academy, K-12 school
  • Pike Liberal Arts School, K-12 school

Higher education[edit]

Main campus at Troy University

Culture[edit]

The culture of Troy reflects a blend of both its southern heritage and college town identity. Troy has a beautiful and vibrant downtown square filled with restaurants, shoppes, activities, and local museums. As the county seat of Pike County, Troy offers her residents and visitors beautiful parks, quaint streets, Victorian homes and historic sites. Area shopping and progressive businesses are found here as well. Selected as the 2010 Corporate Investment and Community Impact Award Winner by Trade and Industry Development Magazine, Troy is on the cutting edge of economic development.

There are many places in Troy that offer great sightseeing/recreational opportunities, such as the Heart of Dixie Trail Ride, the Johnson Center for the Arts, the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center, the Pioneer Museum of Alabama, the Pioneer Village, The Battle Field (paint-ball range), the Troy University Arboretum, the Troy Sportsplex, Historic College Street, and Butter and Egg Adventures. Various major events that occur annually in Troy are TroyFest and the Dixie Boys World Series.

The downtown area is planned to undergo a major revitalization, called Vision 2026.

Economy[edit]

Major employers[edit]

Employers[edit]

The largest employers in the Troy micropolitan area are Troy University, Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky Aircraft, CGI Group, the Wal-Mart distribution center in nearby Brundidge, Alabama, and the various branches of Sanders Lead, Wiley Sanders Truck Lines, and KW Plastics operations. Troy University's main campus, located in Troy, employs approximately 700 faculty and staff.

Government[edit]

Troy operates under a Mayor-council government system. The city is served by a mayor, who is elected at-large, and a five-member city council which is composed of five single-member districts. Former mayor, Jimmy C. Lunsford, was elected to his first term in 1985. He won re-election each year since until his retirement in 2012, and is the longest serving mayor in Troy history.

Infrastructure[edit]

Hospitals[edit]

  • Troy Regional Medical Center
  • Charles Henderson Child Health Center

Transportation[edit]

Troy Municipal Airport.

Bus Services[edit]

Troy and Pike County offer various bus transportation services:

  • Greyhound Lines Bus Station
  • Pike County Transportation System (operates on weekdays by pre-reservation only)
  • Troy University Transportation System (for university students and employees only)

Airports[edit]

Approximately 5 miles north of Troy is the Troy Municipal Airport, which can accommodate private aircraft but not commercial flights. Most travelers use the nearby Montgomery Regional Airport, which is located 51 miles to the north and is served by two commercial airlines, the Dothan Regional Airport, which is located 50 miles to the southeast and is served by one commercial airline. Troy is about 2.5 hours north by highway from the major Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, and about 3 hours southwest by highway from the major Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Highways[edit]

The nearest interstates to Troy are Interstate 65, which is located 40 miles west of Troy, and Interstate 85, which is 45 miles north. Troy is also served by three U.S. highways: U.S. Highway 301, which runs north-south through the city, U.S. Highway 25, which runs northwest-south through the city, and U.S. Highway 80, which is the main east-west route through the city. The Veterans Memorial Parkway (Highway 301 Bypass and Highway 25 Bypass) forms a near circle around the city.

U.S. Routes:

State Routes:

Rail[edit]

Rail service for freight is provided by Conecuh Valley Railroad and CSX.

Media[edit]

In Pop Culture[edit]

Troy was the filming location of the Kid Rock song "Redneck Paradise", featuring Hank Williams Jr.. Both music artists have residences in Troy. The bar scene in the music video was shot at the famous Double Branch Bar in Troy, which has existed for over 50 years.

During the early years of the bar, Hank Williams Sr.’s band, the Drifting Cowboys, could be seen there. In the 1960's, Billboard Hot 100 artist Bobby Purify of James & Bobby Purify took the stage at the Double Branch. Dean Daughtry from Classics IV was seen playing the bar in the 1970's among other well-known artists.

Newspaper[edit]

  • Troy Messenger (one of the oldest newspapers in Alabama, established 1866.)
  • The Tropolitan (Troy University paper.)

Radio stations[edit]

Television Stations[edit]

  • WIYC
  • Troy TrojanVision
  • Studio 52

Notable people[edit]

Points of interest[edit]

The old Mossy Grove Schoolhouse Restaurant in Troy.
The Adams General Store at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.

References[edit]

External links[edit]