Troy Historical Society

Historical Structure Awards

The Carney House, (Paul Simon House)
306 East Market
Owners – Dennis and Cindi Westfall
circa 1870

The Carney House is significant as an excellent exampleofItalian Villa architecture, popular from 1830-1880. Through the efforts of the current owners, the home was placed o n the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and is designated as Troy’s First Historical Landmark. Many localnatives referred to the structure as “The Simon House” when the late Senator, Honorable Paul Simon and family occupied the residence from 1954-1974. Also the recipient of the Historic National Road’s Art & Architecture Plaque as one of the “Top 100 Art & Architecture sites on the Historic National Road”.

The Jarvis House, (Prominent Troy Family)
215 East Center Street
Owners – James and Terri Drazen
circa 1867

William W. Jarvis built this house. His grandfather, John Jarvis was an early Troy Settler, who in 1814, made the first entry of land what was to become the City of Troy. The property was originally a land grant given under President Monroe. William was born in 1842 and givena good business education. After serving in the Civil War he took up farming, he studied law and in partnership with J. A. Barnsback, opened the first lumberyard in Troy. In 1865, with H.H. Padon as his partner, he opened the Troy Exchange Bank and became sole owner in 1887. He lived in the house until his death in 1927, when one of his daughters; Bessie Jarvis Keller took over residency. Bessie sold the house in 1961 to Harold and Terri Drazen, who continue to maintain both the integrity of the architecture and interior appointments in keeping with the period. Also the recipient of the Historic National Road’s Art & Architecture Plaque as one of the “Top 100 Art & Architecture sites on the Historic National Road”.

St. Paul’s Lutheran School
Oldest school in Troy, returned due to demolition
106 North Border

The Padon Home, (First Troy President of the Board)
318 South Main
Owner - Belinda Habinger

St. John the Baptist Catholic Chapel
8928 Lebanon Road
Blackjack (Oldest Catholic Church)
Owned by Troy Knights of Columbus. At first the settlement was known as Black Hawk.  Some claimed it was named after the chief of a tribe of Indians who were driven back by early settlers. Why the name was changed to Black Jack is obscure history.  Some say that the present name, which it has enjoyed since 1983 was given to it on account of a certain kind of trees with which the land was covered, which cast a dark shadow and a deep pall over it. As early as 1832, strong voices, firm steps and the chopping down of trees re-echoed through the dense forest.  Brave Germans from the Palatinate had come to make this strange and gloomy place their future home.  In a few years, enough land had been cleared so that these busy farmers by dillgence, patience and preserverance not only gained a liveihood but also prospered. Combined with these sterling qualities they had inherited from their ancestors a deep love for their Holy Religion and in spite of the many hardships connected with pioneer work, and the dark mysterious shadows that enveloped the land about them, the flame of faith was ever burning in their hearts. Thanks to Divine Providence which from time to time, directed zealous missionaries to their lonely log cabin, who supplied them with spiritual food for their hungry souls.  These torch bearers of Christ came on horseback from St. Louis, three or four times a year. This was in 1842.  In 1843, the community comprised of four Catholic families.  From 1846 on, these families were attended by priests from Belleville.  Father Ostlangenberg visited them till 1853.  He sowed the seed for the development of the future congregation.  There were now 17 Catholic families living there and they were still without a church. When in 1853, Reverend P. Limacher of Highland took charge of the little colony.  He at once took steps to build a frame church. Although the preceding year the cholera had visited them and claimed its victims, the people were heart and soul for this enterprise.  The church was completed nd ready for service in the spring of 1853.  It was erected at a cost of $500; a Mr. Gietermann donated the ground, one acre.  Fsather Limacher visited them until 1858, and the young and successful mission would have continued to be an object of his scriptural care had not circumstances altered the situation.  Highland, a neighboring country parish, had developed so rapidly and the spiritual vineyard of Father Limacher had become so large that it claimed all of his services. From 1858 through 1872, nine priests from Edwardsville, Collinsville and Highland served the congregation. In 1873, the little parish had to pass through a severe crisis.  It came in the form of an Interregnum.  For nearly five years the good people had to go to the neighboring parishes to fulfill their religious duties. In the present day it would be considered a small sacrifice, with autos and good roads, but in those olden days it was pioneer work. Here were now 25 Catholic families living in Black Jack and the question arose of what to do.  They saw that this could not go on much longer. There were several Catholic families living in Troy a distance of five miles and the people of Black Jack were asked to forget their little church and to consolidate with Troy. Nature AHD foster a certain spirit of individuality among the latter and so thinking it over, they agreed to donate $2,000 for new church in Troy, provided the Catholics in Troy would guarantee an equal amount.  This agreement was accepted and it broke the consolidation plan. In 1877, the Reverend F. Reinhard, an assistant at Highland, took charge and the lttle country parish once more began to flourish.  Services were held regularly every two weeks.  For four years Reinhard made the trip to Troy.  There, some members from Black Jack would receive him.  While in Black Jack he boarded first with John Mersinger and later with Philip Schwartz.  His trip to Black Jack and return usually required three days.  By this time, the little frame church built in 1853 which was equipped with a crude bell, hanging in a small tower, had fallen into serious decay. In 1882, Reverend A. Kersting of Highland took charge of the cocngregation. Under the fatherly care and direction of this zealous priest, the love of the people or their faith and church, waxed strong. The old frame church was to be torn down and replaced by a new brick structure. Kersting set to work at once. He appointed a building committee of which he himself was the president.  The object of the committee was to collect funds, provide the necessary material and supervise the erection and completion of the church. The members of the committee were: John Mersinger, Frederick Mersinger, Philip Schwartz, Joseph Bugger, George Loyet, Anton Schroeder, George Fohne and Carl Mueller. The plan of the new church was approved and Bishop Baltes surrounded by a concourse of happy and satisfied people, laid the corner stone on May 1, 1883, with pomp and ceremony. The new church was erected at a cost of $3,300.  This amount was soon gathered without much trouble for the member vied with one another in donating and subscribing. Some gave $500 and others gave $300.  Everything necessary for the inside the church was quickly provided for John Petry, a member of the parish, made and donated the three beautiful altars and the pews.  The married ladies collected for the organ and other articles.  The John Mersinger and the Frederick Mersinger families and a teacher Goeltz donated statues; Franz Bertram donated eight acres of ground to be used for the cemetery. Bishop Baltes of Alton dedicated the bell on April 30th of 1884.  The next day, May 1, 1884, the bishop blessed and dedicated the new structure under the title of St. John the Baptist.  Several priests from neighboring areas were present for this occasion. In August of that year Reverend Joseph Jele succeeded Father Kersting.  Later in 1888, Reverend Wimar Oberoerster succeeded Jele.  At first he visited the congregation regular from Highland, then later he was made pastor of the newly erected parish at Troy and Black Jack was annexed to Troy as a mission. When he built a new parsonage in Troy, the congregation in Black Jack donated one-half ($800). He built a Sister’s House, a two story frame structure in Black Jack in 1891 at the cost of $897.85.  In 1893, he built a new school, also a frame structure at a cost of $849.65. He organized several societies in the parish.  Then in 1894 he was transferred to Pierron.  His successor was Reverend August Forster.  On account of the frequent trips to be made to Black Jack, in order to give Communion to the sisters, it was necessary for him to have a horse and buggy, like his predecessor. The congregation offered to furnish the feed.  In 1895, stained glass windows from Europe were procured for the church at a cost of $300; the following families have their names inscribed on the windows: John Mersinger, John Liebler, Frederick Mersinger, George Loyet, Barbara Schwartz and Henry Niehaus. Father Forster was a great musician.  He transferred to Quincy in 1899 and was succeeded by Reverend A Wieneke, who in 1901 had the church renovated and decorated at the cost of $500.  After 15 years, Father Wieneke was transferred.  Various priests served the parish through 1920. Reverend J. J. Klaes came in July of that year.  Four years later, the church was decorated at a cost of $800.  Max Autenrieb of Germany did the work. In July of 1928, Reverend George E. Hobbs was named pastor.  Even though it was in the midst of the depression, Father was able to keep the school open and the parish out of debt. In 1946, Father Hobbs was appointed paster of Ss. Simon and Jude Church in Gillespie and Reverend Joseph V. Dineen arrived in September of 1946 to take charge of the parish.  The sisters’ house and the school were torn down in 1952 and a new parish hall was built over the site.  The hall was completed in 1953 and at the cost of $3,718.  The church was painted in 1951.  Restrooms were added to the hall in 1962. Through the years an annual church picnic was held on the first Sunday of August.  Many hours of preparation was involved, including families donated home raised chickens, home grown vegetables.  The chicken dinner was the largest event, other stands consisted of a quilt raffle, bingo, refreshments, and pillowcase stand and in earlier times a dance was held outside and later in the church hall.  In 1973, the tradition was broke when the last picnic was held. In 1973, envelopes were distributed replacing pew rent which ended in 1972.  A fence was installed around the grounds to prevent vandalism to the property. After 34 years of faithful service to the parish, Reverend Dineen was appointed pastor to St. Patrick Parish in Grafton and on July 1, 1980, Reverend Donald Knuffman was appointed pastor.  Father Knuffman organized a parish annual fall festival held each year in October.  Most likely chose in October because his birthday was in October. In 1984, Father Knuffman and many members of the parish coordinated a large Centennial celebration that was held on the first Sunday in August.  Entertainment, games, refreshments and merriment was included in the day long event. In 1990, Father Knuffman was transferred to Effingham, and Father R. Dean Probst became pastor.  As priests were becoming more scarce in the diocese, it was finally determined that the church would have to be closed in March 1992.  This was a sad time for the members.  The long historical tradition of Black Jack and the Catholic Church there was finally at its end. The church and grounds lay dormant for about 2 years.  Only certain Masses and services were held there during that time.  Father Probst would come out on a few occasions to have a special baptism, wedding or funeral.  The members scattered to various other Catholic churches in both Madison and St. Clair counties. Then the Troy Knights of Columbus Council 9266 purchased the church and grounds from the Springfield Dioceses for $20,000.  The K. C. membership has brought the church and grounds back to life again with various functions, namely two chicken dinners are held per year; one in the spring and one in the fall as fundraisers.  The K. C. membership also uses the hall and grounds for meetings and various other functions throughout the year.

Market Street Salon (Old Post Office)
107 East Market
Owner - Doneise Strom
Awarded in 2002. The building at 107 East Market Street was built in 1902 in the group of buildings that were originally on the Auwarter family property.  The building served as the Troy Post Office until the late 1960’s when the postal department vacated it to move into new quarters at North Main Street. The building has undergone several changes since it was built.  An addition was built to the south end of the building many years ago. The flooring is concrete in the rear and wooden in the front part.  In the 1970’s, paneling was placed on the inside walls and the ceiling was lowered.  A rest room was added in the early 1990’s and the flat roof was repaired and rubberized in 1996.  It has a white painted brick exterior.  The building has seen many businesses since the post office vacated it.  Bud Niedringhaus has his insurance agency there and the Troy Savings & Homestead was housed there before moving to a new facility further west on Market Street.  It was a recreation room for a short time; from 1975 to 1989, it was the Troy Pentecostal Church; and from 1989 to 1996, it was an antique shop.  Later it was leased out for a consignment shop, a heating and cooling business, a dance studio, a motor sports shop and a beauty salon.  In 2002, it received the Troy Historical Society Award for its historical significance and has been designated as a City of Troy Landmark.

Deimling House (Shreve House/Mayor Criley House)
216 East Market Street
Owner – Harold and Diana Shreve
Also received the Historic National Road’s Art & Architecture Plaque

The Stanek House
225 East Market Street
Owner - Eugene Stanek

Henry F. Kueker House (Paul Simon’s First Troy Home)
215 North Powell Street
Awarded in 2004

The Burk House (Troy Mayor)
Clay Street
Owner - Len Paparigopoulos
Awarded in 2006

Old Kueker Funeral Home (Times-Tribune Building)
205 East Market Street
Owners - Wally Hoffman/Leonard Suess
Awarded in 2007

Gindler House (Troy Mayor)
203 Edwardsville Road
Owner - Guideon Richeson
Awarded in 2008
Also received the Historic National Road’s Art & Architecture Plaque
This house was the home of one of Troy’s Mayors.  Mayor Oscar Gindler served from 1953 to 1965 and was one of the longest serving mayors of Troy, as well as being a progressive mayor.  Although the exact age of this house could not be determined, it is believed to have been built in the 1920’s, according to family members.  Early land records are not available; however the following is a partial list of ownership in recent years. The Gindler House is located in what was once known as “Mechanicsburg”.  Although it was near Troy, in early history, Mechanicsburg was a separate little town only a very short distance from what later would be named Troy.  Gindler and his wife, the former Dorothy Ludwig bought the house in the mid 1930’s.  The Gindler’s lived in the house until they sold it to Frieda Flath on May 2, 1979.  The house was sold again on November 1, 1984 to James and Rosemary Laughlin.  It later became a flower shop next to the Laughlin Funeral Home.  On Januay 16, 2008 the house was sold to Guideon Richeson of the Laughlin-Richeson Funeral Home.  In 2010, it is Rita Marie’s Flower Shop.  The house has been remodeled and added onto many times.


Main Street Barber Shop (Old Troy Tribune Office)
U.S. Senator Paul Simon’s Second and longest Newspaper Office
106 North Main
Owners-MainStreet Barber Shop Partnership. The building at 201 East Market Street has housed many businesses since it was built around 1900.  Very early, Herman Roeben and Fred Gerfen had a hardware and blacksmith shop.  In 1910, the partnership desolved and Roeben was sole proprietor of a hardware store while Gerfen had the blacksmith shop.  Mr. Steinhaus, an undertaker, operated a funeral parlor and a furniture store on the first floor at one time.  Apartments were on the second floor. In the 1920’s and 1930’s it was the Kueker Funeral Home with a furniture store on one side and the funeral parlor on the other side.  Kueker sold his funeral home business to Jewel Edwards and the building has been used for numerous businesses since that time.  In the 1940’s Ma’s Café and Lee’s Beauty Shop, were housed there.  Fred “Happy” Liebler began a hardware store in 1948 and kept it until 1981.  “Hap” as many called him, had everything and anything in that store (anything from bulk seed to harnesses and from wrenches to stovepipes).   Hap Liebler was one of a kind and worked at his business. He also did some carpentering and fixed screens and windows.  The store was a experience to say the least.  Hap could always find what the customer was looking for, but it may habe taken a little time to find it.  Hap Liebler passed away in 1990.  Terry Singler purchased the hardware store business in 1981 and continued on with it until 1985.  That year, Ewald “Wally” Hoffman and Leonard Suess purchased thebuilding and the business and renamed it the Troy Hardware Store.  In February 1985, The Troy Times, published by Paul Ping, began a newspaper in the east rear apartment on the first floor while the Troy Hardware had the front of the building.  Hardware store employees included Bill Burgess, Jeff Suess, and Bob Feldpausch.  The Troy Hardware flourished for about one year.  In 1986, the newspaper office moved to the building’s front east side.  When the two newspapers, The Troy Times and The Troy Tribune, merged, the newspaper office continued on the east side.  During that time, the west side was remodeled to become a jewelry store while Vintage Classics, a dress shop, operated in the rear of the west side.  In 1990, the newspaper office expanded to the west side.  Chicago Hot Dog, a walk-in restaurant moved into the east side.  It was in operation for almost one year.  In the mid-1990’s, Cynthia Long conducted a theatrical studio and later Jeri Tellmann operated a consignment shop on the east side.  In about 1998, the newspaper office took over the entire first floor on both, east and west sides.  In 2002, the newspaper continues to occupy the space, while an apartment is in the east rear side. Five apartments with the building are leased.  In the rear of the building is Wally Hoffmann’s barn.  This barn was used back in the Kueker Undertaking days to house the horses and the horse drawn hearse.  In 2000-2001, the building was re-tuckpointed and the trim was painted.  The overhead porch still stands on the north side of the structure.

Gebauer House
107 North Main Steet
Awarded in 2003

The Ottwein House
Prominent Troy family – Julius A. Barnsback home
414 Ottwein Lane
owner – Audrey Deeren, Awarded in 2003
The Ottwein House located at 414 Ottwein Road in the southwest corner of Troy, was declared historically significant by the Troy Historical Society in 2003; a plaque was presented to the home.  The eight room farmhouse is not only historical because of its age (built in approximately 1863), but because it was built by an enterprising and colorful early settler, Julius A. Barnsback. Julius served in the Civil Wa, returning to a prominent life as Sheriff of the County and a member of the House of Representatives.  He also owned a nearby sawmill and the Troy Stagecoach Station, located on what was then, “The Collinsville Plank Road”, later to become U.S. Route 40, or the “National Trail”.  Mr. & Mrs. Barnsback raised a family of seven girls in the big farmhouse, several marrying into prominent Troy families.  George Ottwein Sr., bought the 150 acre farm and its home in 1911 from Mr. Cook and Mrs. Jarvis, who had apparently acquired it from the Barnsback descendants.  The home is a sturdy example of Midwest Greek Revival architecture with its classic multi-pained windows, gabled roof and glass-panels surrounding the front door.  The house currently is owned by a family descendant, Carrie Deeren Metze and her husband, Gary Metze.

Dr. W.W. Billingsbuilding (Madison County Coroner)
South Main Street
Owner – Terry Taake, Awarded in 2009

No awards in 2010

Stage CoachStop
108 West Market Street
Owner – Tim Norrenberns
Awarded in 2011
 Edward T. “Ed” Levo owned and operated Levo’s Homestead Tavern for over 30 years.  His specialty was jack Salmon Sandwiches.  According to an old abstract, the lot which is part of lots 1 & 2 in the original town of J. C. Gonteran’s addition.  Platted by F. T. Krafft in 1839 and recorded before Troy was incorporated in 1857. Numerous owners have owned the property and it is believed that the log cabin, which is under the current siding and a portion of the present building, was built in 1855.  The property has been sold many times through the years.  In 1856, a James M. Bailey sold it to William T. Robinson.  It was then sold to Samuel Cowles.  The names of Keisel, Mills, Harris, Schwalm, Jarvis, and Schultze were among the early owners.  In 1903, Mary K. Riebold bought it from Charley Schultze.  During that time the ownership went back and forth for various reasons and according to the abstract there were mortgage deeds, quit claim deeds and release deeds. Riebold sold it to Mary Kuntzmann in 1906.  It was sold back and forth again with various legal documents added to the abstract.  By the 1930’s Ed Levo bought it.  In approximately 1964, Levo had a stroke and could not care for the tavern any more.  He then moved to live with his sister and husband, Louise and Oscar Mersinger.  Later he resided at Rockwood Nursing Home where he died in 1967.  While he was incapacitated, Alice and Chris Rensing ran the tavern.  The tavern was sold to Al Ludwig.  Since that time, it has been sold numerous times and used for several different types of businesses. David Margherio owned it for several years and operated his State Farm Insurance business there.  Later, the Shelter Insurance office was housed there.  Currently a communion wafer manufacturer owns it.  The building has been used as a tavern and was an early stage coach stop.  The building has a small apartment on the second floor, which is leased.  The Levo’s, Ed’s parents and siblings, lived in the building for a short time in the 1920’s during the time they operated a store next door at 110 West Market Street (bakery building). In the spring of 2002, the City of Troy designated it as a historical landmark.  It was also designated as historically significant by the Troy Historical Society and was awarded a plaque in 2000.  Shortly after the award was given to the building, it was sold to a new owner and the plaque was returned by the former owner.

Adams Store
116 South Main Street
Awarded in 2011 - The Adams’ Store/Klein Building is in the original town Part Lot 1 and Part 2 at 118 South Main Street in Troy.  In 2010, the building has awarded the Art and Architecture Award, sponsored by the Historic National Road Association of Illinois. The award was made due to the unique architecture and the presence of a Ghost Sign painted on the side of the building.  Records are sketchy of the entire history of the building; but research has found that Edward H. Klein, who owned  a shoe store in the Braner Building at the corner of Kimberlin and East Main Street, built the building in 1912 (thus the Klein Building as it was so named).  He continued his shoe store there and in 1912, his store was the only shoe store in Troy.  Klein, married the former Lena M. Dornseif in 1910 in Worden, Illinois.  It has been found that in 1912, they had one son, Eugene Edward Klein.  If there were more children, it cannot be proven.  Edward H. Klein was born in 1877; he studied at the Bryant Stratton Business College in St. Louis and later worked in a shoe store there.  He worked there until 1901 when he came back to Troy and bought the business (a shoe store) from his father, who had established it in 1867.  It isn’t clear as to how long Klein had the shoe store at 118 S. Main Street, but in 1932, Jame Adams began a store in the Klein Building.  The Adams Store was the last of the old era of general merchandising in Troy, when it closed in 1987.  Originating as an ice business, James Adams began the store in 1932 in the old Klein Building at 116 S. Main Street.  Adams continued to sell ice out of a refrigerated room at the east end of the building in addition to the general merchandise for another 25 years or more.  He sold large blocks of ice.  Early on, he had an ice delivery service.  Adams married the former Mary Elliott.  They had two sons, Dr. James Adams, who was a general practitioner in town for many years and Gene Adams, who took over the business adter his father’s death.  Gene married the former Betty Rood.  They had one son, John.  Prior to their marriage, Betty Rood ran a paints and gifts store across the street from the Adam’s Store.  The couple ran the Adam’s Store until its closing in 1987.  It was difficult to compete with the larger discount stores that were popping up in nearby cities.  A large auction sale was held when the store closed drawing people from near and far. Many bought fixtures that were in the store for over 50 years.  During its heyday, the Adams’ Store was a lively place for just about anything one would need in clothing, school supplies, games, toys, shoes, boots, candy, sewing notions and much more.  A basement merchandise room was filled with all sorts of toys and other items.  To go down into that room as a child was a delight to say the least.  Every year a sidewalk sale was held which drew customers out for the bargains.  The sale would be set up on the north and west side of the store.  Local youth groups (scouts, 4-Hers and school) used the large windows during special times of the year to present information about their club or organizations.  The second floor of the building was the Adams’ home.  After the store closed, it lid idle for some time.  Then Kim Cruse rented it out as a florist.  The name of it was Kim’s Creations.  Kim operated the shop for a number of years, and then moved her business to Edwardsville Road in the former Floyd and Lee Cullup residence.  Following Kim’s Creations departure from the building, the first floor of the building was leased to Christian Wolf Communion Wafer Company owned and operated by Jame Deeren.  In November of 1999, Bryan Harris purchased the building.  Harris lived in the second story apartment and leased out the lower level.  In October of 2008, James Orcutt of St. Louis, Missouri, purchased the building.  In recent years, the first floor has been leased out to several different businesses including a video store and a consignment shop.


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