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W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi


Old Settlements

TROY was established in this way:  Blake Falkner came from Oxford Alabama, in 1832, with his family and settled two miles south of the present town of Troy on 240 acres of land which he bought from the government.  This property is still in the Falkner name.  A man by the name of William Rutledge, another of the early settlers, bought and developed a large plantation the same community two miles northwest of the present town of Troy, where he reared a large representative family.  Madison Rutledge, a grandson, still lives on a portion of this land. (1)

Mr. John Lauderdale came from Alabama, settled two miles east of Troy in 1841, and bought land now owned by the widow of Will Fowler. (2)  Jimmie Betts, with his three sons and daughters and his bachelor brother, Hilary, moved from Georgia to Pontotoc and purchased land from the government in 1830.  The amount purchased was three sections, in township eleven, range four, four miles southeast of Troy, extending to the Pontotoc-Okolona Highway.

Jimmie Betts brought with him one hundred slaves, who cleared the homestead and built a double log house; the logs sawed by hand with cross-cut saws.  This land now owned by the Dunlap family, has been in the Betts family for three generations, although only one of the immediate family is now left, a Miss Betts, who lives in Okolona.  (3)  Mrs. Luster Abernethy of Pontotoc is a great-granddaughter of the original Betts.  She possesses the family Bible, one hundred years old.

A Baptist church was established soon after the settlers came, on land donated by Lemuel Falkner, who also gave land for the cemetery.

Prof. Ollie Spencer states:  As far back as I remember, and that is several years before we moved into the present Troy in 1881, Old Troy was in existence, two miles north of the present Troy.  The business enterprises were:  Captain Rye's general merchandise store, Williams general merchandise store (Mr. Williams moved his stock of goods from Itawamba County in competition with Mr. Rye, who went out of business in a short time), a post office, the Dunlap Distillery, etc.  Mr. Jim Dunlap was postmaster.  He was succeeded by Mr. Tom Williams who officiated until the post office was discontinued.

The first marriage in Old Troy was that of Mr. Joe Bullard.  Every white man, woman and child for fifteen miles received an invitation.  Yet the marriage took place in a one room log house with the ground as the floor!  Old Uncle John Lauderdale, dead forty years, said he attended.

When the post office was moved to its present site it was called Ben Bell, in honor of Professor Ben Bell, president of Troy Normal College at that time, who later accepted the presidency of Chickasaw Female College in Pontotoc.  A year after Ben Bell's death  in 1889, the name of the post office was changed to Troy.(4)

Mr. Ollie Spencer, who is eighty years old, has been postmaster at Troy for a little more than 23 years.  He is a member of a pioneer family of that community, son of Mrs. Melissa Rutledge Spencer, and brother Joe Spencer deceased who was superintendent of education in Pontotoc county for one term 1916 to 1920.  Another brother, Abner, who died  a few years ago, was active in community life.  He had four children, Nova, Burkett, Ollie May and Floy.  The four Spencer sisters were Lilly, who married Dr. Charlie Baker, dentist of Amory; Alice, deceased, who married a Mr. Myers; Rose, who married Mr. Arnold, and whose three children are Janie, Octavius, and Jimmie; Mattie (deceased) who married Mr. Hughes, whose children were Beryl and Elaine.  All of the family have been interested in the social, religious, and educational life of the communities in which they live.

Other families prominent in Troy history are:  the Falkners, Farmers, Williams, Reverend A. J. Seale, Dr. Bell, Jasper Horton, Dan Fowler, Tom Williams, Reverend Gideon, Squire Priest, Rufus Priest, Will Caffey, John Flanagan, Benton Stewart, Abernethy, Ware, Adcock, Potts, Peden, Dees, Lowery, Kingsley, Carter, Collier, Campbell's, Hol Rutledge, Mrs. Sophs Elliot, Eubanks, Goodwins, etc.

(1)Ollie Spencer, Troy, Miss.

(2) Bit Lauderdale, Troy, Miss.

(3) Mrs. Jim Dunlap, Troy, Miss.

(4) Prof. Ollie Spencer, Troy, Miss.

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