This article appeared in the Dayton Herald on March 23, 1946
150 Years: Play-By-Play
Chronology Tells Story of Dayton’s Birth, Growth
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This chronological listing of important events in Dayton’s history since the first settlers landed 150 years ago was compiled by Bert Klopfer, whose column “It Happened in Dayton,” is a daily editorial page feature of The Dayton Journal.”)
1796 (April 1) – First settlers arrive from Cincinnati, land at head of St. Clair street . . . Mrs. Catherine Thompson first to set foot on the new settlement . . . Newcom log cabin built.
1798 – First sermon preached by Rev. John Kabler . . . First Methodist class formed . . . Newcom cabin enlarged to become tavern, courthouse, store, etc. . . . First taxes collected totaled $29.74.
1799 – First school opened by Benjamin Van Cleve . . . First Presbyterian congregation formed . . . D. C. Cooper made justice of the peace . . . Distillery, sawmill and corn cracker mill became first industries . . . Blockhouse built for protection against Indians . . . Cooper brought hogs here.
1800 – First wedding – Benjamin Van Cleve and Mary Whitten (Aug. 28) . . . First child born, Jane Newcom (April 14) . . . Store opened in Newcom tavern . . . Sheep brought in . . . D. C. Cooper gave lots at Third and Main to Presbyterians for a church and cemetery . . . First flat boat set out from Dayton.
1801 – First male child born, John W. Van Cleve.
1802 – Montgomery county created out of Hamilton county . . . Plat of Dayton recorded in Cincinnati.
1803 – Cooper revived the settlement . . . Montgomery county formally organized with Dayton the seat . . . First court held at Newcom tavern which served as courthouse, jail, church and store . . . Dry cistern used as jail . . . Ohio became a state.
1804 – Benj. Van Cleve made first postmaster . . . School started at southwest corner of Third and Main . . . Log jail built . . . Taxes collected: $458.40.
1805 – Town of Dayton incorporated . . . Dayton Social Library chartered . . . First brick building . . . First flood.
1806 – Newspaper started by Noah Crane of Lebanon . . . His father was cousin of Jonathan Dayton’s father . . . No issues of the paper preserved.
1807 – Dayton Academy incorporated.
1808 – First brick residence built . . . Repertory, weekly paper, started by William McClure and George Smith . . . Predecessor of The Journal.
1809 – First political convention . . . Line of keel boats established by Dr. Wood in Reid’s Inn.
1810 – Population: 383.
1811 – Nine flatboats left here for New Orleans.
1812 – Company enlisted here for war . . . Ohio militia encamped.
1813 – First society of mechanics formed . . . First bank chartered, opening for business in 1914 (called Dayton Manufacturing company), capitalized at $61,055 . . . First loan made to United States government, $11,200 . . . Presbyterians built church at northeast corner of Third and Main.
1815 – Dayton Female Charitable and Bible society formed . . . First market house set up . . . Girls’ school established . . . Moral society and the Society of Associated Bachelor’s formed.
1816 – First theatrical entertainment here . . . Dayton Medical society formed and, in 1824, the Montgomery and Clark County Medical society was organized.
1817 – First bridge (Taylor street over Mad river) . . . Sunday School association organized.
1818 – First stage coach runs between Dayton and Cincinnati.
1819 – Bridge to what is now Dayton View, built.
1820 – Population: 1,139.
1821 – After much agitation, decision was reached to make a survey for a canal.
1822 – Montgomery County Bible society formed.
1824 – First cotton factory built by Thomas Clegg.
1825 – Law passed authorizing construction of a canal between Dayton and Cincinnati.
1827 – First volunteer fire company formed . . . Water turned into canal . . . First boat (The Alpha) launched . . . Temperance society formed . . . First iron foundry here, later became Globe Iron Works.
1829 – John Folkerth, first mayor . . . Dayton View hydraulic built by James Steele.
1830 – Population. 1830.
1831 – First Catholic family arrived . . . First public school opened by Sylvanus Hall.
1832 – Board of health constituted . . . Fugitive slave captured . . . Silk factory started, thousands of mulberry trees planted by residents to supply silkworms to the factory . . . Parochial school formed . . . Dayton Lyceum organized . . . Madriver and Lake Erie railroad incorporated.
1833 – Mechanics Institute formed . . . First big epidemic – cholera – 33 deaths.
1834 – Police department organized . . . First book printed in Dayton.
1836 – Bridge built over Miami at Main street.
1837 – First Catholic church established on Franklin street . . . Dayton township divided into election precincts . . . Cooper hydraulic built. It was 700 feet long, 50 wide and ran between Third and Fifth streets, east of Wyandot. Builders: Edward W. Davies and Alexander Grimes.
1838 – Fair board formed. The first fair was at Swaynie’s hotel . . . Erection of public school buildings authorized.
1840 – Paper mill started . . . Gen. William Henry Harrison visited Dayton . . . Bridge built over Miami river at Third street . . . Population this year, 6,067.
1841 – Dayton is incorporated as a city.
1842 – First Negro congregation formed . . . Street market authorized.
1843 – Woodland cemetery opened . . . John Quincy Adams entertained.
1844 – St. Henry (Catholic) cemetery opened.
1846 – Mead Paper company organized.
1847 – Dayton Library association formed . . . First UB church formed . . . First telegraph message received.
1849 – St. Mary’s institute formed . . . Cholera claimed 225 victims . . . City lighted by gas.
1850 – Central high school opened . . . Greek-type courthouse completed . . . First Jewish congregation formed . . . D. L. Rike and company opens . . . Population, 10,976 . . . First city directory issued.
1851 – First railroad from Dayton to Springfield completed . . . First passenger station built at Jefferson and Sixth street . . . Jewish cemetery opened.
1852 – Probate court started . . . State hospital opened.
1853 – UB Publishing House transferred to Dayton from Circleville where it was started n 1834 . . . Dayton Turners organized.
1855 – Public school library established.
1856 – Union railroad passenger station built.
1859 – Abraham Lincoln spoke here. (Sept. 18).
1860 – Miami Commercial college opened . . . Population 20, 081 . . . Library association and school library combined to form the Dayton Public Library.
1861-65 – Dayton furnished 3,664 soldiers for the Civil war.
1863 – Clement L. Vallandingham arrested . . . Journal building mobbed and burned . . . First steam fire engine purchased.
1864 – Empire office mobbed.
1866 – Soldiers Home established . . . Volkszeitung started . . . Christian publishing association, begun in 1843, located in Dayton.
1867 – Soldiers Home opened . . . First building and savings association formed.
1869 – First street railway (Third street line) started . . . Normal school opened . . . Turner Opera House burned (May 16), loss $500,000; insurance, $128,000.
1870 – Holly water works system installed . . . Cash register invented by Jake Ritty . . . YMCA and Women’s Christian association organized . . . Population, 30, 473.
1871 – UB seminary opened . . . Wayne and Fifth street car lines and Dayton View Street Railway company chartered.
1872 – Calvary cemetery opened.
1873 – Metropolitan police force formed . . . Dayton Exchange, first commercial organization, organized.
1874 – Philharmonic society formed.
1877 – Free night schools opened.
1878 – St. Elizabeth hospital established.
1879 – First telephones installed.
1880 – Population, 38, 678.
1882 – First electric lighting brought to city.
1883 – Bar association formed.
1884 – New courthouse completed . . . Soldiers Monument dedicated . . . Cash Register company started.
1887 – First electric street car line (White Line) operated . . . Board of Trade formed.
1888 – First street paving laid on East Fifth street.
1889 – Natural gas introduced . . . Woman’s literary club formed.
1890 – Sanitary sewers laid . . . Protestant Deaconess society formed . . . Population, 61,220.
1892 – Columbian centennial.
1894 – Police matrons introduced.
1895 – Present Day club formed . . . Young Women’s league organized.
1896 – Dayton’s centennial celebration, “Daytonia” – parade, noise night . . . Harry E. Feicht directed celebration with Dayton Bicycle club and other groups co-operating . . . First interurban electric line started – Dayton to Miamisburg . . . William Jennings Bryan and Theodore Roosevelt spoke at fairgrounds.
1897 – League baseball begins at Fairview park.
1898 – Third regiment, Ohio National Guard returns from Spanish-American War . . . Three-day flood.
1899 – Jefferson street fair. . . Gebhart Lumber company fire . . . St. John’s German Evangelical Lutheran church burned.
1900 – New Union railroad passenger station completed. . . Strike on White Line street railway . . . J. P. Wolf Tobacco warehouse fire.
1901 – Frank J. Patterson died . . . Bitter strike at Dayton Manufacturing company . . . Naphtha found in gas mains.
1902 – Old Main street bridge taken down . . . Elks big street fair . . . Belle Eaker died . . . Lewis G. Reynolds founds Carnation League, honoring President William McKinley.
1903 – New Main street bridge . . . Wright brothers made first successful airplane flight – Dec. 17, at Kitty Hawk, N.C.
1904 – Third street bridge removed, new one completed following year.
1906 – Pierce-Coleman lumber yard fire . . . Dona Gilman murder (Dayton’s most intriguing crime) . . . Washington street bridge completed . . . Commercial club organized.
1907 – William Howard Taft places cornerstone of YMCA (Third and Ludlow) . . . Chamber of Commerce incorporated . . . Plant for manufacture of government stamped envelopes established here.
1908 – Aero Club of Dayton organized . . . New Dayton View bridge built . . . Dayton Street Railway began operation.
1909 – Wright Brothers homecoming celebration . . . International Aeroplane club formed . . . Computing Scale company and other property on East First suffered $700,000 fire loss.
1910 – Memorial building dedicated . . . First air shipment on record made from here Nov. 7.
1911 – Wilbur Wright died.
1912 – Colonial theater built . . . Bureau of Municipal Research formed.
1913 – Worst of all floods here, March 25, 26, 27 . . . Greater Dayton association formed as issue of merger of Chamber of Commerce; remnants of the Board of Trade, Commercial club and the Boosters club . . . Beginnings of Community Chest in formation of Federation for Charity and Philanthropy . . . Beginning of Retail Merchants association . . . Campaigns for election of 15 charter makers, adoption of charter written and election of five city commissioners . . . Citizens subscribe $1,250,000 flood fund.
1914 – New city charter went into effect . . . George W. Shroyer was first mayor, Henry M. Waite, first city manager.
1915 – John Kirby Jr., began distribution of $65,000,000 worth of war contracts for ammunition for Russian and other governments.
1916 – Dayton companies of Ohio National Guard left for service on Mexican border. Delco seven-story building on East First dedicated with biggest industrial exposition in history of the city . . . arranged by Greater Dayton association, Jan. 14 to 22.
1917 – World War I . . . Supply depot established (Patterson Field) . . . McCook Field established in North Dayton . . . American Protective league formed . . . Group of school teachers charged with pro-Germanism, absolved of guilt . . . Fifth street bridge completed.
1918 – Conservancy construction work began . . . Flu epidemic . . . Churches closed two Sundays . . . Schools closed.
1919 – Regal reception to World War I soldiers.
1921 – First radio station here, at Rike’s . . . Conservancy work finished . . . Dayton Foundation established . . . Third and Fifth street motormen strike.
1922 – First and Third street Presbyterian congregations united . . . John H. Patterson died . . . Aeronautical research work authorized by Congress (Wright Field).
1923 – National Cash Register company erects new welfare hall.
1924 – Ku Klux Klan . . . McCall corporation moved here.
1925 – Citizens contributed $525,000 for purchase of land to be given federal government for Wright Field . . . Masonic Temple dedicated . . . Industrial survey made by Technical Advisory corporation.
1926 – Bond issue for grade crossing elimination pressed . . . Wolf Creek soldier memorial bridge built.
1927 – Charles Lindbergh visited Dayton.
1928 – Dayton Civic week.
1929 – Depression . . . Fred P. Patterson opens soup kitchen at NCR City club at First and Ludlow . . . Contracts awarded for grade crossing elimination . . . New Art Institute completed.
1930 – Home Products displayed by Chamber of Commerce . . . Westminster Choir, directed by John Finley Williamson, went on tour.
1931 – Mutual Home building opened.
1932 – Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution mark 200th anniversary of birth of George Washington . . . Federal Emergency Relief Administration work started – leading to WPA and PWA – ultimately to creation of city-county relief bureau . . . Daytonians led in successful movement for Annat law which enabled relief agencies to take over housing units for the indigent.
1933 – Building and loan crash; seven local associations affected. . . Soldiers Home band discharged.
1936 – Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt spoke at Memorial hall.
1937 – Pythians organized relief for Cincinnati Flood sufferers.
1938 – Northwest Territory celebration . . . Reynolds and Reynolds company changes ownership.
1940 – Wendell Willkie spoke.
1941 – Dayton and Miami Valley centennial celebration (Frontiers of Freedom), at fairgrounds.
1942 – Leander Cummings last member of Old Guard Post, Grand Army of the Republic died, . . . 95, 000 tons of salvage collected and sold as part of war work.
1944 – Liberty Ship, Julia P. Shaw, launched.
1945 – USS Dayton (cruiser) commissioned . . . Dayton District Development committee formed . . . $18,000,000 in bond issues and levies approved for public improvements . . . Air Force Fair on 18th Anniversary of day Orville Wright raised flag at dedication of Wright Field.
1946 – Official reports show federal government contributed $289,000 to Dayton for wartime emergency needs. . . Total bond sales, preparatory to and during World War II, $314,357,000 . . . Montgomery county contributed 30,000 to armed forces . . . War contracts during World War II aggregated $1,645,721,000 . . . General Motors employes in biggest strike in history of the city (20,000 out) . . . Col. William H. Councill piloted one of three jet propelled planes, non-stop, from Long Beach, Calif., to La Guardia Field, 2,470 miles, in four hours, 13 minutes and 26 seconds.