Library to make offer to purchase IOOF building

For the Miami Valley Today

TROY — The Troy-Miami County Public Library Board of Trustees voted 5-0 to make an offer on the Randolph Building at 112-118 W. Main St., Troy, also referred to as the IOOF building.

The current owner of the building, Randy Kimmel of 116 West Main LLC, has been seeking approval from the Troy Planning Commission to demolish the building.

The library would use the building to expand on its current services creating meeting rooms with teleconferencing capabilities, a computer lab, a makerspace, and an entrepreneurs center for local business owners, according to a press release from the Troy-Miami County Public Library.

Board member Bob Schlemmer was not in attendance. Board member Rachael Boezi participated in the discussion via Zoom but could not vote per Ohio Revised Code.

The building has historical significance. It was the site of the county’s first courthouse from 1841-1888. Every person of color had to go to the courthouse to register his or her residence and intent to remain in Miami County until these laws were repealed in 1849. This includes the almost 400 former slaves known as the Randolph Freed People who settled in Miami County in the late 1840s, with many descendants remaining to this day.

About 20 people attended the board meeting. Scott McMiller offered his masonry services to repair the building parapet, and Carey Co. offered the use of a platform lift to complete the work. Ben Sutherly offered help in grant writing and crowd-sourcing from the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance, as well as his assistance with communications. Martin Stewart offered his services as a mechanical engineer.

The building has a storied past in addition to its significance to the black community. All veterans from the Civil War would have went to the courthouse to register their release from service. George Green, who became a Medal of Honor of Recipient for his courage at Missionary Ridge, began his career as the Miami County Recorder, from 1865-1880.

There were a few interesting trials held in the building. The trial of the only man every executed in Miami County, George Mitchell, was held there in 1880.

The building has also been home to the International Order of Odd Fellows, Troy Lodge No. 43, who added the brick front to the building more than 120 years ago. The building also housed the Miami Union newspaper, Troy’s U.S. Post office, Flash Restaurant, and the Miami Valley Railway Company.