The City of Troup, located in the rolling hills of East Texas near Tyler, is partially in North Cherokee and Southern Smith Counties, and was born out of two nearby communities. The International Railroad Company opened the Palestine-Troupe Line on November 9, 1872 and the first settlers of Troupe, or Zavalla as it was first known, came from Old Knoxville and Old Canton. The town of Troupe, named after a governor or possibly a county in Georgia, was surveyed and the streets laid out by the railroad in 1872. A map of the town site was filed for record February 27, 1873. The original town map made by the railroad shows a plat dedicated for a school at the location of the current elementary cafeteria building. In addition, while platting the town, the railroad reserved a portion of land for the City Cemetery and it was dedicated in 1873.
The first record of a lot sold in Troupe was dated January 13, 1873, to W. A. Pope. Dr. James Rountree produced the first building in Troup, which was a two-room structure moved from Knoxville in 1872 and Dr. Rountree was followed by M. L. Mock, who set up a blacksmith shop where the First United Methodist Church now stands. Business houses, composed mainly of wood frame structures with plank sidewalks, were built on either side of a branch east of the railroad which bisected what is now the main part of the business district. On July 22, 1880, Troupe was almost totally destroyed by fire, but the townspeople commenced to rebuild and the burned district was soon covered with even more substantial buildings than those burned. In November 1881 another fire occurred, which destroyed the entire southern portion of the business street. Again, the people rebuilt.
At the turn of the century it is said that the business community was composed of eleven saloons and ten business houses. On November 11, 1909, the "e" was dropped from Troupe at the request of the railroad. Troup was an agriculturally oriented community. For many years, cotton was its mainstay. At one time, Troup had five active cotton gins and the community marketed from 6,000 to 8,000 bales of cotton annually; some of which were shipped directly to Italian spinners in Genoa, Italy. Although cotton was king, other principle money crops were bell peppers and tomatoes.
Troup is presently comprised of approximately 100 businesses, more than a dozen churches of varying denominations, an award winning school system, as well as many civic organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion Hall, the Troup Genealogical & Historical, Troup Women's Civic Organization, Masonic Lodge, Eastern Star, Cameron J. Jarvis Municipal Library and community center. Two dentists, a medical doctor and a pharmacy are available for health needs and we are less than twenty miles from a major medical center. One attorney is also located in Troup. For recreation there is a country club with swimming pool and an 9-hole golf course, tennis courts and several parks.
Troup continues to be a GOOD NEIGHBOR TOWN.
Visit the Cameron-J.Jarvis Troup Municipal Library this summer