Dayton Firsts Part 8

  • First Girls’ School – Opened in March, 1815, by Mrs. Diomecia Sullivan on the west side of Main Street, south of Third Street.
  • First Show – A display of “wax works and figures,” on February 13, 1815.
  • First Fire Engine – Came from Philadelphia and through Cincinnati, and arrived in Dayton in the spring of 1826.
  • First Milliner – The first millinery store was opened by Ann Yamans in June 1815. She advertised her supply of goose feathers, and announced that military gentlemen could find her shop on Main Street, south of Second Street, with a full stock of plumes and decorations.
  • First Bridge – While two ferries operated to connect Dayton with the pioneers living north of the river, it was not until January 27, 1816, that a city meeting was called to plan for a bridge. The meeting, held at Grimes Tavern, agreed on a bridge across Mad River at Taylor Street – near the current Webster Street Bridge. The contract to build the bridge was awarded to William Farnum, with a cost of $1400. Unfortunately, the bridge didn’t last very long, and fell into the river in 1828.
  • First Theater – The first theater was in the dwelling of William Huffman on St. Clair Street. The first play was entitled “Matrimony,” and was presented by local talent on April 22, 1816.
  • First Sunday School – It was opened in March of 1817, by the Presbyterian congregation.
  • First Carriage – The first carriage in Dayton was brought in by D. C. Cooper in 1817. The second one, owned by H. G. Phillips, arrived the same year.
  • First Town Clock – Purchased by council in July, 1851, and placed in steeple of Wesley Chapel.
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