Trains & Trolleys

The first street car line in Dayton was built by the Dayton Street Railway Company, which was chartered in 1869 with John V. Kreidler as the first superintendent.The line extended from the land of W.P. Huffman on East Third Street, to the land of H.S. Williams on West Third Street. One hour and 20 minutes was required to make the round trip from Western Avenue to Findlay Street.

DSR Trolley Train

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Farmersville Bottle Farm

“I would live by my wits while my brothers live by the sweat of their brows.”– Winter Zellar (Zero) Swartsel, Grandfather of Pop Art

Tired of the hard-working routine of Farmersville, Zero and a friend decided to bike first to New York City, head west, then travel the world, collecting items along the way. Later, his home in Farmersville and also his yard would be decorated extensively with these items. His twenty-two acre farm soon became a canvas for his art, using glass he collected from “wasteful” people.

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Source: Remarkable Ohio

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Going Out With a Bang: My God, I’ve Shot Myself

Clement Vallandigham (July 29, 1820 – June 17, 1871)

It was going to be the biggest case of his life. Fifty year old Dayton Attorney Clement Vallandigham was to defend Thomas McGehan, who was charged with murder for a barroom brawl turned deadly in Hamilton, Ohio. Having been unable to find a jury un-swayed by newspaper reports in Hamilton, the trial moved to Lebanon.

Vallandigham and his partner, Daniel Haynes, formed a practice that had become “one of the best and ablest in the West”, with stories of Vallandigham making final pleas so persuasive that the jury was left in tears. Nobody researched more than he did, and he was adept at anticipating the rebuttal arguments of the opposing lawyers.

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More Interesting Dayton Facts

  • Susan Koerner Wright, mother of Wilbur and Orville, enjoyed making things for and with her children. Reportedly, her husband Milton could not hammer a nail straight, and she was the handy person in the family. She often made toys for the children, and even put together some small appliances to make her household chores easier.
  • In 1900, Dayton listed more inventions than any other city in the United States.
  • John Patterson could not stand Charles Kettering, and would often fire him from his company, NCR. Edward Deeds would always hire him back.
  • During rainy seasons, carriages would get stuck in the mud. To remedy this, huge logs were buried under the mud, lining Dayton streets in a “corduroy” fashion, preventing wagons and animals from sinking.
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Interesting Dayton Facts

During one of our research sessions at the library, we found a great book, For the Love of Dayton: Life in the Miami Valley 1796-2001, that was published by the Dayton Daily News in 2001. The book chronicles the history of Dayton year-by-year in little blurbs, and there were a lot of fascinating facts that we just had to share!

  • 1803 – Colonel George Newcom became the first sheriff, serving until 1809. He took little pity on lawbreakers, lowering alleged offenders into his empty well, where they remained until trial.
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Orville Wright (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948)

In honor of what would be Orville’s 146th birthday, here are some facts about the younger Wright Brother:

  • Orville was a snazzy dresser – Orville wore well-tailored suits, wingtips, and “snappy argyle socks.”
  • Orville loved playing the mandolin. In fact, he played it so often that it drove his sister Katherine to say, “He sits around and picks that thing until I can hardly stay in the house the point of madness.”
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