The city of Troy was an unclaimed wilderness when Johnson Niles moved here with his family from New York in 1821. As a farmer, carpenter, innkeeper, and merchant, Niles did much to develop the area, offering advice and encouragement to the settlers who followed. By 1834 the township included over eleven hundred inhabitants and the thriving village of Troy Corners had grown out of Niles original settlement. Niles became Troy's postmaster and supervisor, and served in the Michigan legislature as a representative and later as a senator. His original home, a log cabin, was replaced by this house a few years after Niles arrived.