This township lies to the west of Joliet and is entirely dependent upon the city for its postal service, its trade and its market. There is not a store, postoffice or church in the township, but there are some very good farms, although the land generally is not as good as in most other parts of the county. It is a shallow, gravelly loam, with the rock near the surface in many parts of the towmship. It is well watered, the main stream being the Dupage river, which meanders through it, entering the township near the center on its northern border and leaving it near the southwest corner. There is also the Rock Run creek, which enters the township in the northeast corner and leaves it near the southeast corner, where it empties into the Desplaines river. The Illinois & Michigan canal also passes through the southeast corner of the township, as also does the Desplaines river.
Troy was not settled as early as some of the towns east of it. Jedidiah Wooley, the first surveyor in the county, was an early settler in Troy township, having settled there while Will county was yet a part of Cook county. He was from Ohio and with him came his son Jedidiah, Jr., and a son-in-law, Alfred McGill. Mr. Wooley first went to Plainfield, but remained there but a short time, not long enough to enter a claim to land there. He removed down the River Dupage into Troy township, and there built a sawmill, which he and his son and son-in-law operated jointly. That was the first mill in the township and one of the first in the county. Up to that time the cabins of the county were almost universally built of logs. They were easily obtained and a small cabin could be erected in a few days. The laying up of the logs and filling the spaces between them took but a comparatively short time. The putting on the roof so as to make it storm proof was the more difficult job, for without a good tight roof on the cabin it would be a sorry place to live in through a heavy rain. Gary Thornton came from Pennsylvania and settled in the grove near what is now known as Bird’s Bridge. He bought his land at the sale in 1835, and the year following removed his family out and occupied the land. That was his home for thirty years, when he removed to Joliet. He died July 1, 1889. Josiah Holden, a brother of Phineas Holden, who settled in New Lenox, came to the township in 1836, but did not remain there very long. Dr. Alexander Comstock came there in 1837, but soon after removed to Joliet, where he was an active physician as well as a good preacher until his death, in 1854. Horace Haff came from near Troy, N. Y., in 1837, and by his suggestion the township was named West Troy, but a few years later the “West” was dropped and it has since been known by the name it now bears. Andrew and Marshall King were natives of Kentucky. They settled in the north part of the township, where Andrew died in October, 1849. John P. King, the lumber merchant of Joliet, is a son of Andrew.
There was a stagnation in the settlement of the township for ten years from 1838, but on the completion of the canal in 1848 a large number of laborers on the work had saved up much of their earnings, and as land was cheaper there than in other parts of the county, a rush was made there, and soon all the available land in the township was bought and occupied by the laborers from the canal.
The first school in the township was taught in a little log schoolhouse down on Cary Thornton’s farm. It was in the year 1837. Who the first teacher was is now forgotten, but in the winter of 1840-41 a Miss Rebecca Boardman taught there and had a school of some twenty scholars. From that small beginning the schools have extended all over the township so that now every scholar in the township has a school to attend within a reasonable distance of home.
In 1845 William Grinton, then a well known merchant of Joliet, built a flour mill on the Dupage river, six miles west of the city and laid out a small village there near it, which was named Grinton. There was never much of a village, only a store and a few dwellings, but the mill did a nourishing business for more than twenty years. The flour made at the mill was of excellent quality and was the standard brand for Joliet and all the surrounding towns. About the same time the McEvoys built a woolen mill on the river a mile farther down the stream, but it was comparatively short lived and some ten or fifteen years saw the mill abandoned and left ruin.
The only institution the township has aside from its agricultural resources and improvements, is The Will County Poor Farm, which is located on Section Twenty-one in the township. It is a large institution of the kind, accommodating 150 inmates.
Captain Charles Rost is the superintendent. The township was organized in 1849, and the first town meeting was held April 20, 1850, when John H. Robinson was elected the first supervisor.
John T. Randall, who was one of the early settlers and business men of Channahon, came first to Troy in the year 1849, and was elected supervisor of the township for the years 1853-54.
The population of the township at the last census was 910, while the vote cast was 207.
The schools of the township:
Number of pupils enrolled in 1906, 153 Number of school districts, 8 Number of teachers, 10 Number of ungraded schools, 8 Number of pupils enrolled in 1876, 380 Loss in thirty years, 227.
Source: Past and Present of Will County, Illinois, by W. W. Stevens President of the Will County Pioneers Association Assisted by an Advisory Board, consisting of Hon. James G. Elwood, James H. Ferriss, William Grinton, Mrs. Kate Henderson and A. C. Clement ILLUSTRATED Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 1907.