Prominent Local Figures: Jonathan Dayton

JDaytonJonathan Dayton (Source)

Although he is not from Dayton, and had never actually visited Ohio, we owe our city’s name to a relatively unknown historical figure, Jonathan Dayton.

Jonathan Dayton was born in Elizabethtown (presently named Elizabeth), New Jersey in 1760. His father, Elias Dayton, was a storekeeper and active in local and state politics. Jonathan entered into the Continental Army after graduating from the College of New Jersey, which was later renamed Princeton.

Dayton served under his father, General Elias Dayton, and became Captain by the age of 19. Some of the men serving under him were Israel Ludlow, James Wilkinson, and Arthur St. Clair, who would later purchase the land that bears his name.

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Bess Little

By all accounts, Bessie Little lived a life full of ups and downs. Born as Tressie Doty and orphaned, she was adopted at the age of two by Peter and Elizabeth Little from the Miami County Infirmary in Troy.

She was known to be a sweet girl, studious and kind. She was a regular at her church, and a beauty to everyone who knew her, including Albert Franz.

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Dayton Sideshow

Sideshow 11

When: Friday May 13 from 5pm to 1 am and Saturday, May 14 from 3pm to 1 am

Where: Old Yellow Cab Building, 700 East Fourth Street, Dayton 45402.

This weekend is Sideshow 11, Dayton’s community arts festival. You will see paintings, sculptures, and art installations and hear live musical acts. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. This is a family friendly event, so bring the kids along as you explore different styles of art and self-expression. Food trucks and local brews will be available as well, so make a night of it.

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Dayton Firsts Parts 1

Curious about the early days of Dayton? Here’s a little more information:

First Surveyor – Daniel C. Cooper, of New Jersey. He laid out lands now embraced within the city of Dayton.
First Blacksmith – The first blacksmith to open up a shop in Dayton was John Burns. Others opening in competition with him were Obadiah Conover, Jacob Kuhn and James Davis.

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