During World War II (WW II), a multitude of Herculean efforts were made around the country and locally in order to win the war, boost the troops, and help them in whatever way the general public could.
In Troy and around Miami County, various companies hired extra workers in order to meet the demands of war production; whether it was in food processing and armament or clothing and transportation. In fact, at least four companies in the county won the Army-Navy “E” Award for excellence in production.
In Troy, the Canteen Club at the Lincoln Community Center sought to encourage the African-American soldiers from the Troy area with letters and packages from home. The Canteen Girls of Troy met troops coming through the city on the railroad with magazines, sandwiches, pies and other items to encourage soldiers heading off to defend freedom.
Throughout the Valley, other means of supporting and encouraging the troops were also employed by communities waiting for their friends and family members to return home.
In Troy, one means of remembering the soldiers and honoring those serving, especially those who had died, was by placing a moderate sized tent-like structure in the space behind the south end of the Magoteaux Drug Store (Later M & R Drug Store). Engraved on small brass plates and displayed in the building were the names of all the people of southern Miami County and Troy serving in the armed forces.
This structure with the many names stood vigil for several years during World War II, and was a reminder that the men and women of this area were never far from the minds, hearts and prayers of the loved ones.
Following the war, the structure was dismantled and was taken away. The space once occupied by this iconic edifice is now taken up by a later addition to the M & R building.
What happened to the structure and all its contents? Thus far, we have been unable to find out the fate of the memorial building. Several months ago, this very question was asked and a few senior members of the community who might have known were queried about their knowledge, but to no avail.
Does anyone in the readership know what happened to the World War II structure after it was dismantled? If you are able to help with this mystery, then I would love to hear from you.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org