HISTORY AND FOUNDATION OF THE FIRM
Horace W. Troop, Sr., the Founder
Horace William Troop, Sr. was born August 29, 1897, in Montgomery County, Ohio. In 1919, without a high school diploma, Horace came to Westerville and attended Otterbein College.
Troop participated in what would later become the Otterbein Student Debate Team, and in 1923, he won the State Oratorical Contest and became Otterbein’s first participant in the national contest, placing fourth in the nation. He was also a member of the Varsity “O” Association and played guard on the varsity football team. He graduated from Otterbein in 1923.
Troop next attended The Ohio State University where he earned a master’s degree and, in 1934, his Juris Doctorate. He taught economics and business administration at Otterbein from 1924 to 1952, except for a period of service in the United States Marines during World War II. Troop was made an honorary member of Otterbein’s faculty ln 1954.
Troop became involved in the Westerville community before he graduated from Otterbein and continued to be connected throughout his life. He was raised to Master Mason in the Blendon Masonic Lodge in 1922, and remained a member for over 50 years, eventually becoming a 33° Mason. He was one of the founders and a member of the Westerville Lions Club for over 30 years serving as President in 1929. Troop was also an active member of the United Methodist Church of the Master for 55 years.
Horace W. Troop was also involved in the political life of the community. In 1926, he was elected to Westerville City Council and continued to be elected to consecutive terms through 1938 and was also the Mayor of Westerville for some of those years. He served on the Westerville Board of Education from 1944 to 1952 (President from 1948 to 1952). In 1950, Troop ran for and was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives. He was subsequently elected to two more terms. Troop served as a Republican County Committeeman, Treasurer of the Westerville Creamery, Treasurer of the Westerville Bank and farmed land on Tussic Road, which he later sold to buy a farm on Big Walnut Road.
Troop had a tremendous work ethic and was famous for not wearing a coat, because he did not want people to stop him to chat. He believed if you wanted something done, hire a man who does not have the time to do it.
In 1957, Troop was appointed to fill an empty seat as judge on the Franklin County Municipal Court and left the firm. In 1963, he was elected to the Ohio Tenth District Court of Appeals, a position he held until 1975, when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. Later that same year, Troop became the first judge on the newly created Ohio Court of Claims, where he served until 1977.
Horace W. Troop, Sr. resided at 70 West Broadway. He died on August 22, 1981. He was survived by wife Alice, daughter Martha Myles, and son Bill, who ran the Home Savlngs Company, a primary customer of the firm, until 1974.
The Evolution Of the Law Firm
Prior to opening a solo law practice in Westerville, Horace Troop practiced in Columbus with Theodore “Ted” Horst, who would later become a partner of the law firm of Lane, Alton & Horst Law Firm.
In 1948, Roy Earl Metz, from Clarion, New York, graduated from The Ohio State University Law School and, immediately upon admission to the Ohio bar, joined Troop’s Westerville law firm. While an undergraduate at Otterbein College, Roy had been one of Troop’s business law students. During World War II, Roy was a decorated paratrooper, serving in multiple intense conflicts in the Philippines, including the raid on Los Baños, which was the largest civilian rescue operation in modem military history. In sharp contrast to his football, boxing, and military experiences, Roy was always known as a true gentleman. Roy became Law Director for the City of Westerville in 1950 and held that position until his retirement in 1986. He was President of Westerville Lions Club in 1955. In 1987, Roy retired from the law firm. Roy’s passions were golf and traveling in his beloved motorhome. Roy died in 2003, survived by his wife Doris and daughters Jill and Kelly.
Francis “Red” Sulveanus Bailey was admitted to the Ohio bar on August 24, 1950, after having graduated from Franklin University Law School (now Capital Law School). During World War II, Red served in the Navy as a navigator on a transport landing ship (LST). After discharge, he worked as an insurance claims adjuster, originally ln Warren, Ohio, and later in Columbus before joining the law firm. In 1952, he joined Horace Troop and Roy Metz forming what would eventually become the law firm of Troop, Metz and Bailey. Red served on Westerville City Council from 1953 to 1963, Westerville City School Board from 1972 to 1978 (President 1974), and as a Republican Committeeman. Red’s passions included woodworking. Several of the bookcases and other items he designed and built are still in use in the firm today. In 1987, Red retired from the law firm. Red died in 2005, survived by his wife Mary and sons Scott, Donald, and Bruce.
Alan “Al” Eugene Norris was a hometown boy who worked in his father’s Westerville clothing store(Norris & Sons). He graduated from Otterbein College in 1957, graduated from New York University Law School in 1960, and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1960. Al served as law clerk to Hon. Kingsley A. Taft on the Supreme Court of Ohio, then worked for a brief period with the Vory’s law firm. Red and Roy had long sought to add Al to the law firm, and in 1962 Al joined them. Like Troop, Red, and Roy, Al would also Serre in elected office. In 1967, he was elected as the state representative for the newly established Westerville area and served in that position until December 1980. In the law firm, Al was engaged in all areas of the firm’s practice and brought notoriety to the firm because of his distinguished and very public service as a state representative. In 1980, Al left the firm after being elected to the Ohio Court of Appeals for the Tenth District. Then in 1986, he was appointed by President Reagan to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth District, where he currently holds the status of Senior Judge. Al was a member and Past Master of the Blendon Masonic Lodge, and he also taught at Otterbein College from 1967 to 1980.
In the early years, the firm’s practice was principally that of abstractors for real estate transactions relating to the firm’s representation of the Westerville Bank and the Home Savings Company. With Westerville Bank’s acquisition by Bank One (now JP Morgan Chase) and the Home Savings Company’s acquisition by Buckeye Federal (now Fifth Third Bank), the law firm gradually transitioned into small business practice, probate, and estate planning, while continuing to represent the City and the local school district. The firm offices were located at 36 ‘Z N. State Street from 1954 to 1961 then moved to 5 S. State Street at the southwest corner of State Street and College Avenue adjacent to the Home Savings Company.
The Schrock Road Professional Building, at 33 E. Schrock Road, was built in partnership with Red, Roy, Al, and dentist Robert Taylor, whose practice was then located on E. College Avenue. In 1969, upon completion of the construction, the law firm moved to the Schrock Road Professional Building in spite of future partner Bruce Bailey’s advice that the location was too far out of town to be beneficial for the firm.
Prior to 1957, the firm name was Troop, Metz and Bailey. In 1957, Troop won election to the Franklin County Municipal Court bench, and the firm name was changed to Metz and Bailey. In 1962, Al joined Red and Roy, and the firm’s name was changed to Metz, Bailey & Norris.
In 1972, Kenneth “Ken” Jerome Spicer graduated from The Ohio State University Law School and was admitted to the Ohio bar. In 1974, he joined the firm. He developed a domestic relations and litigation practice from the practice base Al had originally created, and the firm name was changed to Metz, Bailey, Norris & Spicer. In 1986, Ken left the firm for a solo practice. In 1999, he became a magistrate in Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. He was later elected to serve as Judge in the Probate/Juvenile Division from 2003 until 2015, when he retired from that position.
In 1978, Bruce Edward Bailey joined the firm. Red’s son, he was a graduate of Westerville High School (1970), Wittenberg College (1974), and Capital University Law School (1978). Bruce previously worked in the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office as an intern and then assistant prosecutor. Bruce became a partner in 1983. Following Roy’s retirement in 1986, Bruce was appointed as Westerville’s Law Director and, after more than 35 years, still serves in that position. Bruce also held the elected position of Republican County Committeeman and, from 1979 to 1992, taught business law at Otterbein College. In 2012, he was appointed to the Ohio Ethics Commission, a position he still holds. Bruce commissioned the sculpture “The American Issue”, which, in 2018, was installed in front of Westerville’s City Hall to commemorate Westerville as the Home of the 18* Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Jeffrey “Jeff’ Dale Mackey, a 1981 graduate of The Ohio State University Law School joined the firm and became a partner in 1989. The firm name was eventually changed to Metz, Bailey & Mackey. In 1995, Jeff left the firm and joined another law firm in Westerville. As a result, the firm name was changed back to Metz and Bailey. In 2020, Jeff was elected as the Franklin County Probate Court Judge.
In 1988, William “Bill” Jay McLoughlin, a graduate of Otterbein College (1983) and the University of Toledo Law School (l986)joined the law firm. He worked for two years as an accountant with Coopers & Lybrand and in 1988 received his license as a Certified Public Accountant, which he still malRt&lf1S. While at Otterbein, in addition to playing varsity basketball, Bill took the business law class taught by Bruce Bailey. Bill would eventually teach that same Otterbein business law class from 1992 to 2005. In 1997, Bill became a partner in the law firm, and in 2003, he became an OSBA Certified Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Specialist. In 2007, the firm name was changed to its current name of Metz, Bailey & McLoughlin. Bill was a member of the Westerville Sertoma Club (President 1994 to 1996). He is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Westerville (President 2013).
The Philosophical Foundation of the Law Firm
Red and Roy had been classmates and fellow players on Otterbein’s football team, and both had been students of Troop. Both came from poor backgrounds each working their way through college. Roy’s dad drowned in Lake Erie during Roy’s youth, and Red’s father was legally blind. Coming from similar backgrounds and having developed similar work ethics, Red and Roy were well-prepared for the significant influence Troop would be in their lives. Red and Roy even purchased properties adjoining Troop’s second farm on Big Walnut, and Horace’s son Bill, Jr. became Red’s best friend and godfather to Bruce. Al’s roots were also those of a simple hometown Westerville boy, growing up in Westerville, working at the family store, and attending Otterbein College. Al was also well-prepared to learn from Troop.
Horace W. Troop was an imposing figure whose dedication and commitment branded Red, Roy, and Al with a set of ethics and morals which they lived by, and which remain at the heart of this law firm today:
1) The practice of law is the highest of honorable professions. It is beyond an occupation; it is a full- time lifestyle.
2) Hard work is essential; being polite and humble are necessary characteristics.
3) Treat customers as you would wish to be treated; no customer is below the firm’s service.
4) Confidentially is critical; what you learn at work stays at work.
5) The quality of service to the customer is more important than the firm’s revenue.
6) Lawyers owe a duty back to the profession; always help a fellow lawyer and never embarrass them before the Court or their customer.
7) Service to the community is an integral part of our practice.
The Current Partners of the Law Firm
Mike Fultz (Managing Partner)