It Happened Years Ago

By Patrick D. Kennedy - Archivist

25 Years Ago: January 8-14, 1992

• Troy – Effective during the 1991 calendar year and now in force with the new tax season, Troy residents 18 years and older are required to file income tax forms to the city. The tax rate remains 1.5 percent, but the new requirement is now part of Troy tax code. Who needs to fill out the mandatory form? If you live and work in Troy: You are required to fill out the tax form. If you live in Troy and work outside of the city: You are required to fill out the form. If the city you work in has a higher rate than Troy, then your taxes will be paid to that community and your form will just be used for information purposes. If you live outside the city and work in Troy: You are not required to fill out a tax form, but, as usual, you will still be taxed out of your income. The forms are due no later than April 30th.

• Piqua – Alfred W. French, Piqua industrialist and chairman of the board of the French Oil Mill Machinery Co, died in Naples, Florida on Tuesday. Mr. French was 88 years old and was the son of the founder of the company, which was established in 1900. The concern became one of the world’s leading vegetable oil mill machinery manufacturers. Mr. French was instrumental in the development of the mechanical screw press which extracted vegetable oil from seeds and nuts. Alfred W. French Jr., a 1926 graduate of M.I.T., was elected to the board of directors in 1927 and four years later named vice-president. He became president and treasurer of the company in 1962 and chairman of the board in 1979. He holds about 22 patents and expanded the company into 65 countries. He is survived by his three children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, along with a sister. Marjorie, his wife of 56 years preceded him.

50 Years Ago: January 8-14, 1967

• Troy – Dave and Rita Lowery, skating professionals at Hobart Arena for the last seven years, are leaving Troy for Bowling Green, Ohio. Bowling Green State University has constructed a modern arena on their campus and contacted the Dave and Rita about developing new programs at the school and arena. In announcing their plans, Dave Lowery emphasized what a great community Troy is and how much they have enjoyed being here. But BGSU presents two opportunities. First, it is a new challenge because they will help develop and write curriculum for a new skating program for students at the university. Second, this will be a full-time, year-round job for the Lowery’s. The couple will be leaving today with four students and others from Troy to head to Omaha for the national skating championships. (Columnist’s Note: Dave and Rita Lowery were Nationally recognized skating instructors who not only put Troy on the skating world map, but also helped develop numerous talented skaters through the years.)

• Bethel – The Bethel School Board has several challenges facing them in the near future as they are seeing a sharp rise in their student population. Superintendent Senseman stated they are averaging 50 to 60 new students each year. Currently, the district in using every “trick” to provide enough classroom space for all students. The board will meet this week with an advising architect to search for possible solutions for the district’s dilemma. Also on the agenda will be exploring possibility to build new facilities or expand current ones. (Columnist’s Note: The district almost tripled in size during this period, rising from 565 students in 1955-56 to 1302 in 1972.)

75 Years Ago: January 8-14, 1942

• United States – With many soldiers preparing to ship to Europe and other men getting ready to go off to training camps, the country is seeing a boom in marriage licenses and weddings across the land. Compared to one year ago, county offices have seen increases ranging to as high as 150 percent since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In some areas, it was also alarming to see a rise in some who were seeking to use marriage as a deferment for service. The increase follows a historic pattern in America of the rise in marriages after the outbreak of war.

• Fletcher – George Duer, chairman of the National Home Defense organization for Fletcher, is asking all residents to keep and collect rags, rubber, metals, scrap paper, newspapers, and magazines that might otherwise be disposed of or burned. We will be going from house to house to gather these items together from time to time for government use. (Columnist’s Note: Many of the items were part of a program to recycle materials for use in the war effort. Metals were recycled for use in planes, jeeps, etc. Nylon and rags were used for parachutes and paper could be recycled to print war news and posters.)

By Patrick D. Kennedy


Patrick D. Kennedy is archivist at the Troy-Miami County Public Library’s Local History Library, 100 W. Main St., Troy. He may be contacted by calling (937) 335-4082 or sending an email to

Patrick D. Kennedy is archivist at the Troy-Miami County Public Library’s Local History Library, 100 W. Main St., Troy. He may be contacted by calling (937) 335-4082 or sending an email to