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Dayton, Ohio - An Intimate History
Title and Acknowledgements

An  Intimate  History
Lewis  Historical  Publishing  Company,  Inc.
New  York  1932   



 The Author likes to believe that it is because Daytonians love Dayton so much that they have been so helpful about this book. Countless people have hindered their own work to forward hers; have jumped to ascertain facts, to hunt up details and to place at her disposal material impossible otherwise to be had. So many kindnesses are to be acknowledged she scarcely knows where to begin.

Among them, first of all, are the photographers, professional and amateur, who have allowed the use of their beautiful camera studies, making of this book the first illustrated history of Dayton. Some of them are Don Wallace, the Smith Art Studio, “Dayton Daily News,” Wm. Lutzenberger, Miss Sallie Aulabaugh, Wm. Marchant, Everett E. Neukom, John Kabel, Cornwell Studios, Wm. B. Werthner.

The Author acknowledges her indebtedness to:

The Chamber of Commerce, the Miami Conservancy District, the Dayton Art Institute, the Bonebrake and the Central Theological Seminaries, the University of Dayton, the Board of Education, the National Cash Register Company and the Wright Aviation Field (Materiel Division) for the loan of plates for illustration.

To Judge Lester L. Cecil and Mr. William Marchant for an obliging leger-demain by which it became possible to reproduce for the first time in a book the interesting portrait known as the “Nickum Lincoln.”

To the Dayton Public Library for the kind of research that it alone is qualified to give.

To  Mrs. Grace Tattershall  for liberty to use her husband’s photographs of fifty years ago.

To Mrs. H. S. Jewett for the loan of Dr. Jewett’s scrap-book and the gift of his snapshots of places now forever swept away by what is called progress.

To  the Walker Lithographing and Printing Company for the drawing of the Mutual Home Building.

To the Misses Fannie and Mary Dixon for freedom to reproduce the social life of Dayton in the ‘Forties from letters written by their mother when a girl.

To Mr. Abram D. Wilt, of New Canaan, Connecticut, for permission to glean interesting atmosphere and items from the reminiscences of his father, A. D. Wilt.

To  Dr. J. Charles Reeve, of Pacific Grove, California, and to Mr. Sidney A. Reeve, of Grand View, Nyack-on-the-Hudson, for reinforcing her childhood memories of the Dayton of the past.

The Author is most especially under obligations to Mr. George B. Smith for patient reading of these various chapters and for intercepting catastrophic mistakes in chronology, syntax and historical detail; to Mr. Brainerd B. Thresher for helping out her less-than-no knowledge of Art, and to Mr. F. J. Hooven of Wright Aviation Field, for preventing her calling an aileron a fuselage.

And, finally, since a book is never the product of a single mind, to those sympathetic friends who have listened, laughed, suggested, reminded, criticized and corrected what, without them, would be but a scanty offering to the readers of this city.


      Dayton, October, 1931.                                              Charlotte Reeve Conover






Somewhere, in the bright hereafter of which we all think more often as the years pass, there will be a shining galaxy which we in Dayton will want to join. It will be composed, not of eminent philosophers or scientists or international statesmen, but of those who, in life, had one thing in common – they served the city of their heart with all that was in them. The earlier members of that group will include Daniel C. Cooper who, a century and more ago, gave Dayton her wide streets and contributed ground for parks, schools and churches; John Van Cleve who, eighty years ago, planted the elms that still shade the Boulevard, and saw in imagination, while it was still a rough wooded hill, the place where we lay our dear dead.

It will include Horace Pease, who visioned our classic Courthouse and helped bring it into being; Mary Steele, who was the real founder of women’s clubs in Dayton; Belle Eaker, who mothered the young men through the Y.M.C.A.; Sinclair and Shuey, who carried out her ideals and their own; James A. Robert, who fostered music and art and reclaimed the river bed. There will be Robert Steele, who, standing at his gate at the corner of First and Ludlow streets, just a few weeks before he died, said, as he looked down the vista of the street, “Yes, Dayton is beautiful. I wonder if those who come after us will keep it so.” E. E. Barney will stand in that group, because he taught and planted and builded and inspired throughout a long lifetime; there will be William Huffman, Grace A. Greene, William Werthner, B. F. McCann, Margaret Stoddard, Leopold Rauh, Dr. Frank Garland, and Electra C. Doren.

At the head of the group of good citizens and gone from us seemingly only such a little while ago, will be John Patterson, whose gifts, actual and inspirational – parks, trees, schools, lectures, educational trips, opportunities for recreation, inspiration in civic ideals, will never be forgotten. And close, very close to him, will be Mrs. Kumler, so close that rarely will their friends, the citizens of Dayton think of one without the other – Mrs. Kumler, who founded clubs, led in the social and philanthropic organizations of Dayton, an inspired leader in her home city.

It is a stirring thought to those of us who are yet treading the streets of our city to ask ourselves, “What can we each, personally, do for Dayton?” Not perhaps in bequeathing lands or dollars (for our banks accounts and our talents may be minor affairs), but some-way and somehow, each  of us, in his or her own way, may find service to do that will make Dayton a better and happier place in which to live. If we do so, wherever and however we can, it will be to honor the memory of those who have gone before.

That is what they would have liked best.


October, 1931                                                                               C.R.C.

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