Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1144
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
BENJAMIN F. TROY
The well known citizen of Rice county, Kansas, whose name is above is a member of an honored pioneer family of Kansas, who came to the territory in 1855, and has a record as a gallant soldier in the Civil war and is himself accorded the credit due from appreciative citizens of Rice county to one who as a pioneer within its borders assisted to lay the foundation for its progress and prosperity.
Benjamin F Troy was born in Mahaska county, Iowa, October 28, 1841, a son of John W and Dorinda (Glen) Troy. John W Troy was a native of Ohio and was of German descent. His wife was born in Illinois, a daughter of the Rev John P Glen, who was born in North Carolina and became a pioneer in Iowa. Mr Glen, who served faithfully for many years in the ministry of the Christian church, became well and favorably known in his adopted state, where he was successful as a farmer and held several responsible offices, including that of justice of the peace. He and his wife both died in Iowa and they were buried side by side in the cemetery at Marion. They had children named James, Elizabeth, Lucy B, William, Dorinda (mother of Benjamin F Troy), and Jane. John W Troy had brothers named as follows: George W, who died in Rice county, Kansas; Daniel; Abraham; and Charles, the last mentioned of whom lives in Iowa. He was reared to young manhood in Ohio and went to Iowa when that territory was practically in a state of nature and took up government land there and improved it into a farm, on which he lived until 1855, when he married and went to Kansas and located on land near Osawatomie, Miami county, on which he made some improvements.
After he had got his family settled in Kansas his anti-slavery sentiment led him to ally himself with John Brown, whom he followed in his historic raid in Kansas, a connection which was severed only when Brown went south, and which made him familiar with the peculiar warfare of the time and locality. His wife died in 1859 and was buried at Osawatomie, Brown’s Kansas home. He took his children to Iowa and found homes for them with relatives, then went to California and Nevada, where he remained until after the close of the Civil war, when he returned to Iowa, where he remained for some time. Going back to Kansas, he located in Labette county, whence he removed to McPherson county, where he took up and improved a farm, on which he lived a few years, until physical infirmities compelled him to seek another climate. He sold his farm and went to New Mexico. On his return to Kansas he found a home with his son at Little River, where he is buried.
Originally he was a man of hard constitution. Of much enterprise and public spirit he was above all patriotic and loyal to his convictions, and made it a rule of his life to do what he thought was right regardless of consequences. He and his wife, who were members of the Christian church, had children named Benjamin F, Margaret, Dorinda J, who became Mrs Glen, and Mary E, who married F M Grisson. Margaret died unmarried, and Mr and Mrs Glen are both dead.
Benjamin F Troy, the immediate subject of this sketch, accompanied his parents to Kansas in 1855, and was a witness of many phases of life in the border-ruffian times, recollection of which are strongly impressed upon his memory. Although he was only a boy at the time he remembers John Brown well as a frequent visitor at the house of his father, who was one of Brown’s trusted advisors, and has a good knowledge of the import of the events in which Brown and his companions figured. In 1859, when his mother died, he was eighteen years old and he was given a home in Iowa, in the family of his uncle, George W Troy, who in his old age went to Little River, Kansas, where he died. In 1861 Benjamin F Troy enlisted in Company G, Tenth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, which was commanded by Colonel Purcell and was included in the Army of the Mississippi, and with that organization he saw much of the forbidding fortunes of war, participating in many skirmishes and in several hotly contested battles. His first experience of battle was at Bloomfield, Missouri. After that he fought at Bird’s Point, Island No. 10 and the siege of New Madrid, and at Tiptonville helped to take four thousand Confederates as prisoners, who had evacuated Island No. 10. After service at Fort Pillow his regiment was ordered to Shiloh Landing and he participated in the siege and capture of Corinth, taking part in the battle of Iuka and in the two-days fight at Corinth. After that he was in the Yazoo expedition and in the march back to Helena, Arkansas, whence his regiment went down the Mississippi river. It was in the fights at Thompsonville, Raymond and Jackson, Mississippi, then counter-marched and fought at Champion Hills, where his legs were both wounded by minie balls so severely that is became necessary to amputate them below the knee. All the federal wounded captured after the fight were taken to a temporary hospital at Bowle’s plantation. It was there that Mr Troy’s legs were amputated by federal soldiers who were also prisoners of war. All the prisoners captured by General Joe Johnston were paroled after about two weeks and the wounded were sent to department hospitals and Mr Troy was two months in the hospital at Memphis, Tennessee, before he was able to be removed. After receiving his honorable discharge and pay he returned to Iowa and found a home temporarily with his grandfather Glen.
Mr Troy’s situation was not altogether enviable, but in loyal Iowa he found friends who loved him for the sacrifice he had made for his country. He attended school in order to perfect his education and meantime gave serious consideration to the question how he could best make a living. His first and strongest inclination was toward the cattle business. He could ride a horse fearlessly and for a time he herded cattle. Later he drove a team, hauling poles and still later he drove a four-horse team attached to a reaper. Gradually it became evident to him that there were many things that he could do well. He was in receipt of a pension of eight dollars per month from the government and being of a cheerful and hopeful disposition the outlook was not discouraging. It was not until long after that he began to receive the full pension to which he was entitled, the sum of seventy-two dollars a month.
He married in October, 1865, and settled on a small rented farm and later was able to buy a farm of his own, on which he lived until 1874, when he removed to Kansas, and located a homestead and timber claim aggregating three hundred and twenty acres in Rice county. He immediately got some land broken, did some fencing and began farming with the aid of a hired hand. Anything that could be done on horseback in a wagon or on a portable machine he could do very well himself and he prosecuted his farming vigorously raising general crops, handling and feeding stock and hogs and marketing his products in a thoroughly business-like way. He erected a small stone house and as soon as he was settled in his new home his wife began to assist him to the extent of her ability and from that day to this has been to him an eager and effective helpmeet. They have proven themselves good financiers of progressive business ideas and their efforts have been crowned with such abundant success that Mr Troy now owns seven hundred and twenty acres of fine land, all improved and under cultivation. His timber claim was developed into a distinct success and elsewhere on his land he has fine orchards and groves. His house has been enlarged and modernized and he is the owner of two good tenant houses.
Politically Mr Troy is a Republican and he has been elected by his fellow citizens to the offices of township assessor and township trustee, and has filled them both to his credit and with ability, and is regarded as a public-spirited and progressive citizen, and is high in the esteem and confidence of all who know him. About 1895 he retired from active farm work and removed to Little River, where he has an attractive and homelike village residence and where he and his wife are enjoying in a most rational manner the fruits of their years so well spent and useful. Mr Troy married Miss Anna Ramsey, who was born in Huntington county, Pennsylvania, March 12, 1838, a daughter of William and Sophia (Ramsey) Ramsey. Mrs Troy’s father was a son of Alexander Ramsey, her mother was a daughter of Robert Ramsey, representatives of two distinct families of that name, neither of which was without honor in the Keystone state. Alexander Ramsey, who was of English descent, married an Irish woman of the family of Stanes. William Ramsey was reared in Pennsylvania where he began active life as a blacksmith and where he married. Eventually he moved to Illinois and settled in Hancock county where he became a farmer and where he died October 12, 1862, at the age of sixty-two years. Politically he was a Whig and later was a Republican, and he was a lifelong member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He was held high in the confidence of his fellow citizens and served them as township assessor and as township trustee, and for some years held the office of county auditor.
He had brothers and sisters named Alexander, Robert, Margaret and Prudence. His wife survived him some years and died at Pleasantville, Iowa. She, too, was a consistent Christian. The following are the names of their children: Lewis, who is dead; Alexander, who lives with his sister, Mrs Troy; Jane, who married J Anderson; Hezekiah; Rachel, who married J Shore; Anna, Mrs Troy; and Silas, who is a farmer in Rice county. Mr and Mrs Troy have had children named as follows in the order of their birth: Charles, who was born March 1, 1867, and died December 10, 1885; Rosetta S, who was born March 7, 1870, and married F D Smith; George A, who was born August 5, 1873; Tabitha M, who was born December 5, 1875, and died December 16, 1888; Myrta D, who was born January 6, 1878, and is wife of W B Brewer. Mr and Mrs Troy assist in church work to the extent of their ability, and their home is the center of a hearty hospitality. They have nobly fought the battle of life and their success has been fairly won.