The Murder of Jesse Kelsey, Jr.

Born in 1829 to one of Centerville’s most prosperous farmers, Jesse Kelsey Sr., Jesse Kelsey Jr. was the 9th of 12 children. He married Unity Stokes on September 4th, 1856, and lived on a farm in Centerville on the southwest corner of what is now Spring Valley Pike and Dayton-Lebanon Pike, near the Kroger Marketplace. In September of 1862, Jesse Jr. and Unity were expecting their first child.On the night of September 7th, 1862, just 3 days after celebrating their 6th wedding anniversary, Unity woke up to see a man standing over her and Jesse Jr. while they slept. She woke Jesse Jr. up, and he shouted at the man, who then fired a pistol at him. Jesse Jr. rushed Unity out of the room to safety and was struck by another pistol shot, and fell to the ground, dead.

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8.4.2019 – One Year Later

One year ago, tragedy struck Dayton in a way that will remain in our memories forever. Over the past year, we have watched the city heal and rally together in the midst of a lot of trials.Today we would like to honor the victims of the shooting that took place in the Oregon District on August 4th, 2019.

  • Megan Betts, age 22
  • Nicholas Cumer, age 25
  • Thomas “Teejay” McNichols, age 25
  • Lois “Lola” Oglesby, age 27
  • Logan Turner, age 30
  • Beatrice “Nicole” Warren-Curtis, age 36
  • Saheed Saleh, age 38
  • Monica Brickhouse, age 39
  • Derrick Fudge, age 57

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Philip Zenni – Mr. Titanic

During the icy, dark night hours of April 15, 1912, terrified passengers were crowding the deck aboard the R.M.S. Titanic, attempting to get into lifeboats as they were being lowered, under capacity, into the water. Men were being pushed back from the lifeboats, as the general rule was “women and children first.” Phillip Zenni, a passenger from Syria and the only known passenger heading to Dayton, Ohio, wasn’t buying it. Everyone should get a chance to get off this boat, he thought. Zenni waited until the officer keeping passengers back had turned his back, and once he was clear, Zenni jumped onto Lifeboat 6, made famous by the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown.

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Hamilton the Musical & Dayton

Over the past few years, there has been a lot of hype surrounding the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton. But did you know the story of Alexander Hamilton has ties to Dayton?

The plot of Hamilton follows the life of Alexander Hamilton, which ended after a duel (or affair of honor)with politician Aaron Burr. Burr was later implicated in traitorous plots against America, along with one of Dayton’s founders, James Wilkinson, who was also Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army at New Orleans. Burr and Wilkinson conspired to commit treason by using their positions and working with both France and Spain at different times to take land for themselves to establish a separate country.

In 1806, Burr wrote Wilkinson a “cipher letter,” and Wilkinson panicked, double-crossed Burr, and sent a letter to President Jefferson, telling him of Burr’s activities. This letter led to Burr’s arrest for Treason. Wilkinson then testified in court, heavily emphasizing Burr’s role in the acts of Treason. Burr was later acquitted of the crimes.

Dr. John Hole

If you’ve driven around the Centerville area, you may have seen the name Dr. John Hole around town.

Dr. John Hole was born in New Jersey in 1755. In his youth, John was adopted by a prominent doctor so that he could be trained and educated in the medical profession. He went to the University of Berlin and returned to the states in 1775, in the midst of the crisis that led to the American Revolution. John was present at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and when George Washington commanded forces at Cambridge. John was eventually reassigned to be the personal physician and surgeon under Brigadier General Richard Montgomery.

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This Day in History – June 24th, 1955

Happy 65th Birthday, Kettering!

On June 24, 1955, an official proclamation from the Ohio Secretary of State elevated the Village of Kettering to an official city.

A few facts about Kettering:

  • Kettering has two sister cities: Steyr, Austria and Kettering, England.
  • Kettering was named after Charles Fitzgerald Kettering, a resident of the community and prominent inventor and innovator.
  • According to the 2010 census, Kettering has 56,163 residents.
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Dayton Inventors River Walk

At Riverscape Metropark, you may have seen several sculptures scattered about. There are seven “over-sized” sculptures – called invention stations – that represent seven of the most notable inventions from Dayton. These are part of the Dayton Inventors River Walk, that celebrates the history of invention and innovation in Dayton. There are also over 150 bricks that commemorate inventions from across the Miami Valley.

The River Walk begins at the northeast corner of Main Street and Monument Avenue, where you will see an 8×8 brick medallion in the pavement. This medallion announces that Dayton is the “Innovation Capital of the World,” due to the fact that Dayton has had more inventions per capita than any other city in the United States.

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Besides the seven main Invention Stations, the bricks commemorate several other inventions and innovations:

  • cellophane
  • digital watches
  • Freon
  • the cracking of the Enigma Code in WWII


If you’re interested in walking around the Dayton Inventors River Walk to get a little bit of excerise, check out our post, Exercise Dayton: Riverscape Inventors Walk. We have also hosted a Photo Walk at the Inventors Walk!

Dayton Unknown Rocks

We’ve decided to start a new project/activity in the Dayton area, and we are so excited!

When Bethany visited Richmond, Indiana last year, she discovered the Wayne County Rocks, and was inspired to start this in Dayton!

We are in the process of painting rocks with different designs and will be placiing them around Dayton.

Here are a few examples:

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Our goal is for you to find the rocks, take pictures and post them using our hashtags on the back of the rock, and then you have the choice to either re-hide the rock somewhere else (anywhere in the world!), keep it for yourself, or give it away.

Colonel Edward Deeds

Colonel Edward Deeds is a name we all know around here in Dayton. Deeds was an engineer and inventor who helped to shape the history of Dayton, and establish Dayton as a center of innovation.

Edward Andrew Deeds was born on a farm in Granville, Ohio on March 12th, 1874. Deeds graduated as valedictorian from Denison University in 1897 and came to Dayton in 1898 to work as an Electrical Engineer for the Thresher company. In the same building was the headquarters of NCR, and in 1899, Frederick Patterson offered Deeds a position at “the Cash.”

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