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Pioneer Life in Dayton and Vicinity
Chapter Five Part 2


In 1800 Henry Butt, with three or four others, came here from Maryland to see the country. His grandson, John McReynolds, tells me that "they had to leave their horses on the hill on East Third Street, and come to Dayton in a dugout or canoe." When they reached Dayton they found about half a dozen log cabins on the river bank. As a result of this visit a colony was formed in Frederick County, Maryland, coming here in 1805, and locating in and around Dayton. When they reached the hills east of town they sent a "runner" with word of their arrival to the village, and the next day the citizens turned out en masse to give them a most hearty welcome in the way of an old-fashioned barbecue, roast ox and all. Mr. Butt afterwards moved to Preble County. His daughter, Barbara, married Joseph McReynolds, of Dayton, and one son, John W., was a member of the firm of Beaver & Butt, so well known in Dayton for many years.

This party, in all numbering ninety-six men, women, and children, camped in their wagons on the northeast quarter of Section 27, on the Xenia road, now Oakland, until each of the families could find a location on which to settle. As each one would choose a quarter-section all the others joined with him in building his cabin, and within twenty-four hours at the farthest from the time the selection was made the cabin would be completed and the family moved in.

Peter Lehman, with his family, was the leader of this company through the wilderness of Ohio. He selected the northeast quarter of Section 27, where the company camped, built his cabin on the edge of the road, and opened a wagon-yard and tavern. The original cabin is still standing, and, I believe, is still used as a tavern. After clearing his farm and raising large crops of corn for which there was no market, he built a log still-house about fifty rods west of his house, and made whisky, which he Lad no trouble in disposing of. After some years he removed to town and commenced building a stone house on lot 43 on First Street, but did not live to complete it. Henry Stoddard bought the house and lived in it until about 1850, when he took down the front and used the stone in the foundation of his new residence, now owned by Joseph Gebhart. Mr. Stoddard then built a brick front to the old house, and improved it in many ways. It is now occupied by Torrance Huffman. Mr. Lehman had ten children: John, who kept a tavern on the southwest corner of First and St. Clair streets, where Cyrus Osborn now lives; Jacob, who lived on a farm on the Shakertown road; David, Peter, Catharine (Mrs. Jonathan Stutsman), Susan (Mrs. Samuel Boogher), Margaret (Mrs. Daniel Stutsman), Elizabeth (Mrs. William Cox), and Mary (Mrs. Conrad Dodson).

David Lehman, born March 11, 1771, on April 3, 1793, married Magdalena Worman, then just twenty-one years of age. They first settled on the Cox farm, Oakwood, and later located on a farm long known as the Lehman homestead, about five miles south of Dayton.  Of the nine children, three—Susanna, Sophia, and Matilda—were born after the family settled on this farm.

Samuel Boogher came to Dayton on a prospecting tour in the year 1804, returned and settled here in 1806, and in 1808 married Susan Lehman. In 1826 Mrs. Boogher united with the Christian Church, under the preaching of the Rev. D. S. Burnett, and, with many others, was baptized in the river at the head of Main Street. Mr. Boogher first engaged in making road-wagons on East Second Street, and the residence which he built on the north side of Second, between Jefferson and St. Clair streets, is still standing, a part of it being now occupied by the Windsor Hotel. When the canal was opened to Cincinnati, Mr. Boogher transported large quantities of produce to Cincinnati, and owned a packet-boat running between Dayton and Cincinnati. He afterwards engaged in pump-making on the lot where Heathman's bakery now is, and continued in this business until his death, April 13, 1857. Four of their children are still living: Gideon, who moved to Kansas; Catharine and Jesse, who still live in Dayton; and Susan, now living in Salem, Ohio.

Daniel G. Boogher, son of Samuel and Susan Lehman Boogher, was born May 4, 1810, on the farm near Beavertown. He first helped his father at wagon-making, and drove a stage from Dayton to Springfield. He afterward assisted Alexander Simms in packing pork, was engaged with Henry Herrman in purchasing and shipping grain, with Foley & Babbitt in running a still-house, and had charge of a canal-boat for Robert Young Chambers prior to the opening of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad. He was popular with shippers both here and in Cincinnati, and after the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Road was in operation he was employed by that company as transportation clerk, holding the position for nine years. He purchased produce here for the Cincinnati markets, and goods in Cincinnati for the wholesale houses here. He also carried large amounts of money back and forth, and when John Morgan was expected to raid Cincinnati several of the large dealers there urged Mr. Boogher, much against his will, to take charge of their money and secrete it about his country home for safe keeping. He then lived on a farm near the northeast corner of this county. I knew personally some of the firms that entrusted their money to him.

Jesse Boogher, son of Samuel and Susan Lehman Boogher, born February 15, 1821, has a general repair shop in the alley running from Main to Jefferson streets, between First and Second streets. He is well posted on early events in Dayton.

Catharine Boogher, born in Dayton October 14, 1839, was married to J. T. Ware by the Rev. J. C. Barnes, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of this city. Mr. Ware died December 17,1860. They had five children—William Harrison, Charles H. (a plumber of the firm of Ware & Moodie), George W., Edwin T., and Belle, who married Mr. Bryant. Mrs. Ware is still living, and resides on Wayne Avenue.

Lewis and Elizabeth Kemp, two of the Frederick County, Maryland, party, located on a farm near Peter Lehman's. They had nine children—George, Jacob, Isaac, Joseph, David, Samuel, Mary, Catharine, and Margaret. Mrs. Kemp died April 13, 1827, aged seventy-two years. Lewis, the father, died December 21,1842, over eighty-two years of. age.

When George W. Kemp came to town from the farm, he occupied, on Bainbridge Street, Judge Steele's old residence, moved from the corner of Main and First streets. It is said that all the oxen in Dayton were required to haul it to that location.

John Folkerth emigrated to this place from Maryland. before 1804, and was elected justice of the peace soon after coming here. He had his office first in the Newcom Tavern, and afterward in the one-story brick still, standing on East First Street, near Main. Mr. Folkerth held this office continuously for fifty-two years, it being his pride that he never made any canvass for the, election. At the end of that time the office was secured by another man, but at the end of his one term Mr. Folkerth was again elected. He was one of the incorporators of the Dayton Academy, was the first Mayor of Dayton., and one of the founders of the Dayton Library Association in 1805. In the spring of 1809 he was elected recorder of the Select Council pro tern., and at some time previous to 1817 was treasurer of the First Presbyterian Church.

Louisa Folkerth, daughter of John Folkerth, was born in Dayton July 6, 1805. On July 5, 1821, she married William Atkins, who came here from Cincinnati in 1820. He was a merchant tailor by trade. He erected a two-story brick building on the north side of Fourth, between Main and Jefferson streets, and also had a dry-goods store on Main Street, near Third. Mr. Atkins died in December, 1879. Mrs. Atkins, at the age of ninety-one, is still living in Dayton.  They had nine children, of whom George Atkins and Mrs. Maria Iddings are living.

Russel Folkerth, born in 1807, had a grocery, and later a willow-ware store, in the building where the Herald office is now. Mr. Folkerth died in 1891.

About 1805 John Bonner, who was born in New York State July 10, 1783, settled in Montgomery County and married Elizabeth Wead. He was a devout Christian, a member of the First Presbyterian Church, and a strong abolitionist. He was a great reader, well posted on all matters of his day, and exact in all that he said and did. He died April 10, 1865, in his eighty-second year.

George Fryberger, a native of Germany, emigrated to this country about 1776, and settled in Frederick County, Maryland. In 1805 he came to Ohio, and settled on Section 21, Madriver Township. Mr. Fryberger was twice married, and had four children—George, Martin, Valentine, and Annie. He died in the year 1812.

Valentine Fryberger was born November 15, 1805, on the farm in Madriver Township. On April 14, 1831, he was married to Elizabeth Hosier by the Rev. David Winters. They had ten children.  Mr. Fryberger made great improvements on his farm, on which the stone was quarried for most of the prominent buildings in Montgomery and Greene counties. For many years he and his wife were members of the Reformed church of which the Rev. David Winters was pastor. He died July 22, 1873. His wife died August 24, 1874.

In 1806 James Steele, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, came to Dayton from near Lexington, Kentucky. He, in partnership with Joseph Peirce, put up a two-story brick building on the southeast corner of First and Main streets, where they opened a general store. This house was taken down by Joseph Turner in 1865, when he built the first opera-house in Dayton. In 1812 James Steele married Phoebe Peirce. They had two sons.—Robert Wilbur and Joseph Peirce. Mr. Steele was a public-spirited man, took a lively interest in education, and was for many years trustee of the Dayton Academy, on St. Clair Street. He was appointed by the Governor of Ohio as one of the trustees of Miami University, and continued to hold that office until his death. As captain, he was in charge of the volunteer company that went to the front on receiving news of Hull's surrender, and was detailed by General Harrison to superintend the building of blockhouses along the frontier.

In 1815 Captain Steele was elected director, and in 1822 president, of the Dayton Manufacturing Company, which position he held until the company was merged into the Dayton Bank. In 1824 he was one of the electors, for President of the United States, casting his vote for Henry Clay. During the campaign, when Clay would visit Dayton, he was always the guest of Mr. Steele, and on such occasions the large yard of the Steele dwelling (now numbers 128 to 132 North Main Street), filled as it was with cedar and fruit trees, would be illuminated with lanterns—a very unusual display in those days for Dayton.

Mr. Steele was appointed associate judge by the Legislature of Ohio, serving fourteen years, and in 1834 was chosen to represent Montgomery and Preble counties in the Legislature. He was one of the original stockholders in the Woodland Cemetery Association, was made president when the association organized, and was elected one of the board of trustees.  He was one of the earliest trustees of the First Presbyterian Church, was a member of the building committee when the first building was erected in 1817, and chairman of the building committee for the erection of the second church building. He died shortly after its completion in 1841. Judge. Steele was a Christian gentleman of the old school, courteous, unassuming, correct in all business transactions.

Robert W. Steele, born in Dayton July 3, 1819, was educated here, prepared for college by E. E. Barney in the Dayton Academy, and graduated at Miami University in 1840. He then entered the law office of Messrs. Crane & Davies, but his health failing, he engaged largely in outdoor pursuits. In 1842 he was appointed by the City Council a member of the first Board of Education, holding this position by repeated elections for thirty years. Twelve years of this time he was president of the board. In 1844 Mr. Steele was one of the incorporators of the Cooper Female Seminary, and served as one of the trustees until the property passed into private hands. In 1847 he was one of the founders of the Dayton Library Association, and for many years director and president. In 1860, when the Library Association was united with the Public School

Library, he was appointed by the Board of Education chairman of the Library Committee, and served in that capacity until 1875, when he retired from the Board of Education. He was afterward elected a member of the reorganized Library Board, serving until his death.

In 1852 Mr. Steele was elected a member of the Board of the Ohio State Agricultural Society, and in 1853 had charge of the first State fair held here. In 1853 he was elected secretary of the Woodland Cemetery Association to succeed Robert C. Schenck, on his appointment as Minister to Brazil, and on the death of John W. Van Cleve in 1858 was elected president of the association, filling that office until his death. He united with the Presbyterian Church at an early age, and served as a ruling elder for many years. In 1866 he was appointed by the New School General Assembly a member of a committee to meet a similar committee appointed by the Old School General Assembly to devise measures for the reunion of the two branches of the church. This committee did much of the preparatory work which resulted in the cordial and happy reunion of the divided church.

In 1867 Mr. Steele was appointed by the county commissioners one of the trustees of the Children's Home and served for nine years, during which time the present grounds were purchased and the building now occupied erected. In 1867 Governor Cox appointed him a member of the Board of Ohio State Charities, on which he served for five years.

Mr. Steele was twice married—first to Elizabeth Smith. They had a large family of children, of whom Mary Davies, Sarah S., Agnes C., Egbert T., and William C. are still living. Mr. Steele's second wife was Clara P. Steele, who, with their one daughter Charlotte, is still living in Dayton. Mr. Steele died in 1891.

In 1806 a few important changes occurred in Dayton. D. C. Cooper and John Compton, as partners, put up a two-story brick store building on lot 38, at the northeast corner of First and Main streets, and James Steele also built a two-story brick store building on the opposite corner, thus drawing business somewhat away from the river.

In 1807, the people feeling the need of better schools, the Dayton Academy was incorporated by James Welsh, Daniel C. Cooper, William McClure, George F. Tennery, John Folkerth, and James Hanna. That winter a debating club was organized and spelling-matches held regularly in the academy. In 1807 the roads were opened between Dayton and Piqua, New Lexington, Salem, Greenville, Xenia, Germantown, Lebanon, Franklin, and Miamisburg; but as no care was taken of them, they were soon cut into deep wagon-ruts, being but little better than no roads at all. As a result of the election held October 21, 1808, Daniel C. Cooper was sent to the Senate, Philip Gunckel and Edmund Munger to the House of Representatives, and Daniel Hoover was elected to fill the place of Edmund Munger, as commissioner.

In 1806 an effort had been made to start a newspaper by a Mr. Crane of Lebanon, but it was not successful, and Mr. Crane, being taken with the chills and fever, returned to Lebanon. On September 18, 1808, the first number of the Repertory, published by William McClure and George Smith, was issued.  It was to be a weekly newspaper, printed with the old-style type, on a sheet of foolscap, eight by twelve and one-half inches, two columns, and to cost two dollars a year. Advertisements cost a dollar a square for three weeks, and twenty-five cents extra for each additional issue. Some of the advertisements in this and other early papers will be found at the end of this book, together with a few of the representative advertisements of today, showing a marked difference in the mercantile aspect for the one hundred years, and raising the question as to what the advertisements will be one hundred years from now. The foreign news in this paper was usually about three months old. On October 21, 1808, the following notice appeared: "The office of the Repertory is removed to the south side of Second Street, between Main and Jefferson streets, in consequence of which the publication of the paper will be suspended for a few weeks." The next number, issued February 1, 1809, was a four-column folio, twelve by twenty inches, edited by Henry Disbrow and William McClure.

In 1809 Paul Butler and Henry Disbrow established a regular freight line by water to Lake Erie. They built two keel-boats in the street at the corner of Main and Main Cross (Third) streets, in front of the Court-house, and, when finished, hauled them on rollers to the river, where they were launched. They were poled up the Miami and Laramie to the mouth of Stony Creek, the head of navigation. One of the boats was then hauled across the portage twelve miles to the St. Mary's (or Auglaize) River, and thence down the Maumee to Lake Erie. There was a large warehouse at the Maumee Rapids for the storage and transfer of freight. These two boats, the one on the Miami and the other on the Maumee, did a good business for many years between Dayton and Lake Erie. In 1809 the river was very low between Dayton and Cincinnati, and, on account of a change in the channel at Hamilton, navigation was considered rather dangerous, but on the 23d of May the Repertory says: "A flat-bottomed boat owned by Mr. John Compton, of this place, descended the Miami yesterday. She was loaded with pork, flour, bacon, and whisky, and destined for Fort Adams. This boat and several others made the trip in safety, but were three weeks on the way."

At this time there was in Dayton a cabinet-maker (Matthew Patton), a carpenter (John Dodson), and a cooper (David Steele), who, on First Street, near St. Clair, was making flour- and whisky-barrels.

The farmers commenced raising sheep, and after the shearing and washing of the wool, the mother, with two cards like the present horse cards, only larger and a great deal finer, carded and straightened the wool, and by a dexterous movement with the backs of the cards made it into a roll, which was then spun into yarn on the large spinning-wheel. Then, as almost every family had a loom, the weaver would come and weave the yarn into cloth for the winter use. For summer wear and sheets flax yarn was used. Flax, one of the first crops raised, was usually planted on Good Friday and pulled about July 1. It was put through a brake, scutched, and spun on the small wheels seen in so many houses now as relics of the olden times. The large wheels were used only for wool. The woolen cloth was seldom colored, and from this fact comes the saying of the "old gray coat." Mr. Cooper afterwards erected a sawmill on his mill-race near where Sears now crosses Cooper Street, and built a carding-machine and fulling-mill north of the flouring-mill at the head of Mill Street, and advertised that by July 1 he would have his carding-machine in operation. This, the first carding-machine and fulling-mill in Dayton, was run first by James Bennett, and later by Mr. Emley. They carded the wool and made it into rolls about two and a half feet long and a half inch in diameter, which were taken carefully home (usually carried in a sheet to keep them from being mashed), spun into yarn, and, after being woven into cloth and blankets, carried back to the mill to be fulled and stretched. It was always necessary to take a pot of lard to the mill with the wool, to be used in the carding.

Soon after, a weaving establishment was started by James Hanna at the south end of Main Street, and James Beck advertised to dye cotton "a deep blue at seventy-five cents per pound, and linen or wool at sixty-two and a half cents." A nail factory was established in 1809 on the north side of the race, between Sears and Foundry streets, by a Mr. Wilson, and a wrought-iron nail factory on Main Street, opposite Grimes's Tavern, by John Strain & Company. John and Archibald Burns, whitesmiths, made edge tools. David Stutzman also made edge tools and sickles.

Peter Bellaw, who came here in 1810, had been engaged with the Hudson Bay Company and stationed at Detroit for so long a time that he could speak several of the Indian languages. On coming to Dayton he purchased a four-acre lot of D. C. Cooper, west of Brown Street, and south of Green, at that time a wilderness, where he built a log cabin. Here three children were born—William, Henry, and Mary Ann. William was born September 15, 1817, and is still living in Dayton, at present on Springfield Street. He had nine children, of whom eight are living.

Dayton early showed an inclination to become a manufacturing town, owing largely, probably, to the influence of Mr. Cooper, who never sold a piece of ground without reserving the right to carry water through it, at a reasonable remuneration to the owner; and a toast at the Fourth of July celebration in 1810 was, "Manufactories: May our exports exceed our imports." At that time there was a tan-yard on lot 229, at the south end of Main Street, the number of mills had so increased that every available mill site was taken, and flour, whisky, pork, and grain were shipped down the river by flatboats. An effort was made to have the channels of the Miami, Mad River, and Stillwater declared public highways, and to prohibit fish-baskets and brush dams, as they interfered with navigation, but it was not successful.

In 1809 the first secret society, the St. John's Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, was organized in the academy building on St. Clair Street. Business was good, and prices fair. Wheat sold for fifty cents a bushel, and whisky for thirty-seven and a half cents a gallon. At the fall election in the Court-house one hundred and ninety-six votes were cast. On September 6 the first county convention was held at the Court-house in the evening. David Reid was moderator, and Benjamin Van Cleve clerk. The nominees were, for representatives, Joseph H. Crane, of Montgomery County, and David Purviance, of Preble; sheriff, Jerome Holt; coroner, David Squier; commissioner, John Folkerth. Opposition candidates were nominated on the 9th of the same month, but at the election, at which six hundred votes were cast, the above entire ticket was elected.

Until the early part of 1804 Cincinnati was the nearest postoffice. Benjamin Van Cleve was the first postmaster in Dayton. His commission was issued at Washington on December 13, 1803, but did not reach Dayton until January, 1804. After receiving the appointment, Mr. Van Cleve opened the office at his home, on the southeast corner of First and St. Clair streets. Until in 1806 all the settlers north of Dayton, as far as Fort Wayne, had to come here for their mail. When the route from Cincinnati was first opened, the mail was received in Dayton once in two weeks, but after Mr. Van Cleve's appointment it was changed to once a week. This route was up the Little Miami, through Lebanon and Xenia to Urbana, and down through Piqua, Dayton, and Hamilton to Cincinnati. In 1809 a contract was signed with George F. Tennery, of Troy, by William George, William McClure, and Joseph Peirce, "Committee in behalf of the undertakers for carrying the mail from Dayton to Urbana, to the effect that "the said George binds himself, his heirs, etc., to carry the mail from Dayton to Urbana once a week and back to Dayton, . . . allowing the said George two days to perform the trip, the post-rider to be employed by the said George to be approved by the undertakers," for which the committee "agree to furnish the said George with a suitable horse, furnish the person carrying the mail and the horse with sufficient victuals, lodging, and feed, and one dollar for each and every trip, to be paid every three months."

Postage was always collected of those receiving mail, and in some cases the parties were so slow in making payment that the postmaster was obliged to announce through the paper: "Neither letters nor papers will be given out of this office in future until postage is paid. It has become necessary to make this new arrangement, and it is hoped my friends will not wish me to break it." Mr. Van Cleve held the position of postmaster until his death.

On April 6, 1825, the mail arrived from Columbus in a carriage, and two days later was sent to Cincinnati by stage.

In 1829 the Journal and Advertiser says, "Mail is now received from Washington and Baltimore in six days, from New York in eight days, and Boston nine or ten."

The following is a complete list of the postmasters in Dayton: Benjamin Van Cleve from 1803 to 1821, George S. Houston from 1821 to 1831, D. Cathcart from 1831 to 1843, James Brooks six months, Thomas Blair, J. W. McCorckle, Adam Speice, Edward A. King, William F. Comly, Mr. Hubbel, William M. Green, Fielding Loury, A. D. Wilt, W. H. Gillespie, L. J. Judson, E. B. Lyon, and J. C. Ely. In 1816 the rates of postage were graduated from six cents for a distance not exceeding thirty miles, to twenty-five cents for over four hundred miles.

At the spring election in 1809 Isaac Burnett was elected president of the Select Council, and John Folkerth recorder pro tern. During the year Council passed an ordinance requiring all men to work two days in each year upon the streets. At this time there were three excellent physicians in Dayton. Dr. William Murphy came in 1805, and died in 1809.  Dr. John Elliot, a surgeon in the Revolutionary army, and also in Wayne's army, was mustered out of service with his regiment in 1802, came to Dayton soon after, and was highly esteemed as a physician. He had two daughters—Julia Ann, who married Joseph H. Crane, and Harriet, who married Joseph Peirce. Dr. Elliot died February 26, 1809, and was buried with military honors.

Rev. James Welsh, M.D., who came here in 1804 as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, was also a practicing physician, and was the first doctor, as well as the first settled minister, in the town. He always kept a supply of medicines, and in 1810 he advertised the following list of medicines on hand for sale: "Yellow bark, oil of vitriol, verdigris, elixir paragorick, flowers of zinc, conserve of roses, Spanish flies, sugar candy, crabs' eyes, Venus turpentine, and polyp odium felix, a famous worm, medicine purchased by the late king of France." In 1816 Dr. Welsh laid out a rival town across the river (now Dayton View), and offered great inducements to settlers, but the project failed, and in 1821 he applied to the court to vacate his plat. He left Dayton in 1817, and died in Vevay, Indiana, in 1825. Before he left, Dr. Edwards, Dr. Charles Este, and Dr. John Steele were settled here.

On April 1, 1809, Dr. P. Wood opened the first drug-store in Dayton at Reid’s Inn, and advertised in the Centinel, "that he has opened an assortment of medicine, and that of the first quality, which he will dispose of by the smalls."

In this same paper is the following receipt for rheumatism:

"Dissolve some mineral alkali in the proportion of about one ounce or a little more in a quart of water and take a wine-glass full of the solution three or four times in twenty-four hours, or as often as the stomach will bear it. This will cure (or kill) in three or four days."

On April 12, 1809, the paper announces, "A flat-bottomed boat arrived here yesterday from the mouth of Honey Creek, and this morning proceeded on her way to New Orleans, loaded principally with walnut and cherry plank"; and, "By a gentleman of respectability, who arrived a few days since from Fort Wayne, we are informed that John Johnston, superintendent of the public store at that place, has been appointed- agent of Indian affairs, in. the room of William Wells, removed." On November 23, the following announcement is made: "The Rev. Gideon Blackburn, a missionary appointed by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States to the Cherokee Nation of Indians, will preach at the Court-house in Dayton this evening, at early candle-lighting."  When notice of a meeting to be held was given, the people would come from all the country round. In summer the young folks would walk five or six miles, carrying their shoes and stockings in calico bags until within a short distance of the meeting place.

The Repertory was discontinued about January 1, 1810, and Dayton was without a newspaper until May 3 of the same year, when the Ohio Centinel was started by Isaac G. Burnett. It was a four-column folio, eleven by nineteen inches, to be issued weekly, at two dollars a year in advance, or two dollars and fifty cents at the end of the year. This paper had a circulation extending to Greenville and Detroit, and contained all the legal notices for that entire territory. It was really a valuable paper in those days, but as, during 1812 and 1813, the men were almost all in the army, it had to suspend.

On May 16 of this year an editorial says, "It is a subject of regret that the prospect of a market in New Orleans is very uncertain in the present unsettled and precarious state of our foreign relations," and later on, showing the valiant spirit of the times, tells of a man who, in passing through the woods, "tomahawk in hand, met a large bear," which he caught "by the left leg and soon dispatched," adding that if such is the courage of all the boys, "General Harrison need not despair should he meet the devil in the wilder-ness."

On February 27, 1812, is the following:


"On Saturday, the 22d inst., Ann Crane, aged eighteen months, daughter of Joseph H. Crane, Esq.

"When at the dread last trumpet's sound

Souls shall to bodies join,

Millions shall wish their lives below

Had been as short as thine."

The next paper was started October 3, 1814,—the Ohio Republican, by Isaac G. Burnett and James Lodge, with the motto, "Willing to praise, but not afraid to blame." Mr. Burnett was elected to the Legislature a month after the paper was started, and sold his interest to his partner, who issued it until October 9, 1816, when, the subscribers not paying their dues, he concluded the business was not profitable and closed the office.

The Fourth of July was a day of special celebration. The Centinel on July 5, 1810, says: "A number of citizens of this town and neighborhood convened yesterday to celebrate the anniversary of our independence. They met on the bank of the river and formed a procession to the Court-house, where an ode was sung, an appropriate prayer made by Dr. James Welsh, the Declaration of Independence read by Benjamin Van Cleve, and an eloquent and well-adapted oration delivered by Joseph H. Crane, Esq."

After dinner they drank a number of toasts, to the discharge of cannon, one being, "The State of Ohio, the youngest of the Federal family: May she be the foremost to suppress insurrection and chastise foreign insolence."

In 1811 the Declaration of Independence was read by Joseph H. Crane and the oration delivered by Benjamin Van Cleve. There were two dinners prepared—one by John Strain, the other by Mr. Graham, to which free cards of admission were generously given. The toasts were drunk amid repeated cheers and the discharge of cannon. In 1816, the fortieth anniversary of independence, it was decided to have a more elaborate celebration than usual, and a meeting to make arrangements was held at Reid’s Inn on June 21.

The dinner was prepared by Captain J. Rhea. Isaac Spining was president of the day, William George and Dr. Este vice-presidents. Dr. Este read the Declaration of Independence, and Benjamin Van Cleve Washington's Farewell Address.

The Revolutionary soldiers were given the post of honor in the parade. At four o'clock the ladies prepared a lunch in the grove, to which all were invited. In the evening there was a ball at Colonel Reid's Inn, and a vocal concert at William Bomberger's, just across the alley.

The census for the county in 1810 showed 7,722 inhabitants, and the tax levy for Dayton Township was $865.78, and for the entire county $2,414.30. Curwen says: "The income arising from taxation alone now [1850] amounts to more than ninety thousand dollars," to which I will add that in this, our centennial year (1896), for Dayton alone the tax valuation amounts to $41,282,070, and for the county $62,695,810.

The census showed the population of Dayton to be three hundred and eighty-three, and the town was too small to appear on any of the school maps, but so, also, was Cincinnati.

In regard to Cincinnati, the Centinel has the following:

"September 16, 1810. According to a census which has just been taken, it appears that the town of Cincinnati contains 388 houses and 2,320 inhabitants, 31 looms, 230 spinning-wheels. Within the year past there have been 6,480 yards of cloth of different kinds made there. Few towns in the United States have improved more rapidly than Cincinnati within a few years past."

At the town election this year D. C. Cooper was elected president of the Town Council, and James Steele recorder. The Council passed an ordinance requiring the improvement of sidewalks on Water Street, from Main to Mill streets; on First, from Ludlow to St. Clair, and on Main Street, from Water to Third, by laying the walks "with stone or brick, or to be completely graveled, and a ditch dug along the outer edge of the walks." When this order was not complied with, the fines imposed were to be spent in making street crossings. Teams were especially requested not to drive over the walks except when it could not possibly be avoided.

In September, 1810, the following contribution appeared in the Centinel:

"MR. BURNETT. Sir: By inserting in your paper the following ticket for the ensuing election and continuing it until that time you will oblige a number of your subscribers.

"Republican nomination: Governor, Return Jonathan Meigs, Jr.; Congress, Samuel Huntington; Senator, David Purviance; State Representatives, Robert Patterson, Alexander McConnell; County Commissioner, John H. Williams.

"The above persons were nominated by a number of Republicans in Dayton, and will be supported by them at the ensuing election."

The tickets in 1811 are again published in the Centinel, and among them is the following communication:

"MR. BURNETT : By giving the undernamed ticket a publication in your paper, you will oblige many electors.

"Assembly, Dr. Abraham Edwards, George Newcom; Sheriff, Samuel Archer; Coroner, James Wilson.

"Fellow Citizens: The above ticket we take the liberty of recommending to your liberal patronage at the approaching election, as we believe them good and worthy characters. We have no hesitation in-recommending them to you as such.                             MANY ELECTORS."


In the issue of October 3 there were five tickets. The election returns show that Dr. Edwards and George New-corn were sent to the Legislature, A. Brower was elected commissioner, and James Wilson coroner.

The names of the suburbs of the town at this time were unique, but descriptive. As the buildings south of Third Street were mostly cabins, that part of the town was called "Cabintown." The ground north of Third and east of the canal basin had been fenced in by Mr. Cooper as a pasture for his oxen at night, and was called "Buck Pasture," a name retained for many years. A ravine just west of Wilkinson Street from the river south was called "Rattlesnake." Barnhard Speck was a baker, with his oven on the northeast corner of Third and Wilkinson streets, where Mr. Daniel Keifer now lives. That section of town was called "Specksburg." Mr. Speck used to make gingerbread and carry it around on muster days, selling a section about four by six inches for six and one-quarter cents. Cooper Park was then called the “Common,” and extended from Spratt Street to Fifth, and from St. Clair Street on the west to Cooper's Race on the east.

In 1811 all buildings other than dwellings were exempted from taxation, and the revenue for 1811-12 amounted to $1,748.67, while the expenses were $1,968.66. This year a standard half-bushel was ordered by the commissioners, and James Wilson appointed keeper of the measure. He advertised in the Centinel that he would be at his home in Dayton "every Saturday to measure and seal half-bushels." During this winter a bridle-path was cut through to Vincennes,—two hundred miles,—and the State "corduroy road" built east and west through town. It was, however, almost worse than no road, the mud-holes being filled with logs that in wet weather would float, letting  the horses' feet down between in a way not pleasant to man or beast.

Dr. Este, who was a meteorologist, states in the Centinel in April, 1811, that at two o'clock on the 24th the thermometer stood at eighty degrees, on the 25th at eighty-two degrees, and on the 26th at eighty-one degrees. He says that by "noon" is not meant twelve o'clock, but the warmest part of the day.

Many strange things happened during the year of 1811, well calculated to make the superstitious think the world was coming to an end. In September a comet was seen passing from north to south. On the 17th of the month a total eclipse of the sun occurred, lasting from 12:30 to 3:30. The chickens all went to roost and the cattle returned from the fields. Well might the people declare: "These are indeed times of wonder,—comets, eclipses, tornadoes, earthquakes. In an age of superstition these would be held to be portentous signs. Powers of the physical world, are ye not satisfied?"

In October a man by the name of Hughes, who had been in prison in West Virginia, pretended to have had a revelation "foretelling the destruction of mankind" on the 4th of June, 1812. This story was published, finding a ready sale all through the West and Southwest. To make it seemingly more plausible, in addition to the phenomena that occurred in September, on the 16th and 17th of December earth-quake shocks were felt in and around Dayton, the first and most severe between two and three Monday morning. The Centinel says: "Some left their homes in affright, and all were terrified by the unusual phenomenon. The horses and cattle were equally alarmed, and fowls left their roosts in great consternation. It was not preceded by the usual token of a rumbling noise." More than forty shocks were felt between the 16th and 21st. A surveyor attempted to do some work .on a road he was surveying on both Monday and Tuesday, but could not get his needle to settle. This earthquake was general. The following description is taken from a letter written December 20, by a gentleman on his way down the Mississippi to New Orleans, and published in the Centinel:

"On the night of the 15th we came to anchor on a sand bar about ten miles above the Little Prairie. Half past two o'clock in the morning of the 16th we were aroused from our slumbers by a violent shaking of the boat. ... We weighed anchor early in the morning and in a few minutes after we had started there came on in quick succession two other shocks more violent than the former. It was then daylight, and we could plainly perceive the effect it had on shore. The bank of the river gave way in all directions and came tumbling into the water. The trees were more agitated than I ever before saw them in the severest storms, and many of them from the shock broke off near the ground, as well as many more torn up by the roots. . . . One circumstance occurred which, if I had not seen with my own eyes, I could hardly have believed, which is the rising of the trees in the bed of the river. I believe that every tree that has been deposited in the bed of the river since Noah's flood now stands erect out of the water. Some of these I saw myself, during one of the shocks, rise up eight or ten feet out of water. . . . Immediately after the first shock, and those which look place after daylight, the whole atmosphere was impregnated with a sulphurous smell."

On Thursday morning, January 23, 1812, another severe shock was felt, and on Friday morning, February 7, the third. The Centinel says it was by far the most awful of any, and "left impressions upon the mind which time will scarcely erase… Many of the inhabitants left their houses, the fowls their roosts, and, we are told, the brutal herd manifested the same consciousness of danger." On June 27, 1812, a violent tornado passed over the county, about eight miles north of town, which greatly alarmed the people, but did not do much damage except to the forests. The timber was so torn and splintered that it was utterly useless, and the path, about half a mile wide, could be plainly seen for many years.

David Lindsley, a shoemaker, with Charity, his wife, and Ephraim, their son, came to Dayton in 1811, and lived in a frame house on Main Street, the present site of the Steele High School building. Ephraim, born in New Vernon, New Jersey, January 28, 1803, attended school in Dayton, and studied civil engineering, but his health failed, and he went to Morristown, New Jersey, where he learned the trade of printing. He was employed in the publishing house of Harper & Brothers in New York for about two years, but returned to Dayton, devoting himself to his trade for the balance of his life. In 1835, his first wife having died, he married Tryphena Crane Bradford, who came to Dayton with her parents, Abraham Crane and wife, in 1822 or 1823, and taught school in this neighborhood until her marriage to David Bradford, of Beavertown. After Mr. Bradford's death she again taught school until her marriage with Mr. Lindsley. She died March 10, 1872. Mr. Lindsley died February 5, 1873.

John Perrine was of Huguenot ancestry. The family, leaving their home near Nantes, France, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, went to Holland, and came to America about 1686. They settled first on Staten Island, afterwards moving to New Jersey. Mr. Perrine was born in Middlesex County, New Jersey, in 1774, and came to Dayton with his family in 1812. He lived on what is now the southeast corner of Monument Avenue and Wilkinson Street, then almost an unbroken forest. His wife died in 1814 and was the first person buried in what was afterward known as the "old graveyard," on Fifth Street. He was a quiet, unassuming Christian, with a high regard for right and wrong, one whose place was never vacant at the weekly or Sabbath day service until unable, by the infirmities of age, to attend. He was a lover of flowers, making them a study, and on making his home with his son James had almost if not the first private greenhouse in Dayton at a time when there were no public ones. He lived to see his children all honored citizens in the communities where they lived, noted for their honesty and high integrity. James, Johnson, and Henry were successful merchants, living and dying in Dayton, and Garret, a farmer, lived in Clark County. Mr. Perrine died in the ninety-fourth year of his age, having few of the infirmities and none of the querulousness of age, leaving behind only pleasant memories.

James Perrine, when quite young, commenced clerking for H. G. Phillips, becoming at once the trusted clerk, and in a few years a partner, under the firm name of Phillips & Perrine. They were life-long friends. Later he entered into partnership with his brother as J. J. V. Perrine & Company. After this partnership was dissolved, James continued the business himself, in the store still standing at the northeast corner of Jefferson and' Second streets. Mr. Perrine was a positive character, noted for his high integrity, truthfulness, and honesty. He was to many what the savings-banks are today. Always foremost in everything for the good of the city, he took great interest in Woodland Cemetery, and was one of its directors until his death. He was president of the Dayton Bank, director of the Second National Bank (now the Third), and one of the directors and originators of the Dayton Insurance Company. In 1830 Mr. Perrine married Julia Darst, taking her to the home he had prepared, where they always lived and the family still reside, on Second Street. It was a home of generous hospitality. Mr. Perrine died in January, 1863, after a few days' illness, mourned not only by his family, but many friends. The closing of all places of business showed the respect in which he was held.

In 1799 Stephen Johnston, with his wife and six children, emigrated from Ireland to Philadelphia, where the father soon died. The youngest son, John, with the aid of a Catholic priest, who had been tutor in the Johnston family in Ireland, and had been sent as a missionary to America, procured a position in the War Department in Philadelphia, under Mr. Bird. After serving for several years in this capacity, John was sent to Fort Wayne, Indiana, as United States factor to distribute Government supplies to the Indians, and having received some instruction in surgery, he frequently assisted Dr. Elliot in his department. The mother, with the remainder of the children, emigrated to Piqua, Ohio. In 1811 Mr. Johnston was made Indian agent, with Piqua at headquarters, but during the War of 1812 he lived in Dayton.

Colonel Johnston was a Whig, and when General Jackson was elected President was removed from office, but on the election of General Harrison in 1841 was reappointed. During the interval, the Indians could not understand why he did not furnish their supplies as usual, so he voluntarily gave them from his own resources, and shortly before his death presented his bill to Congress for twenty-one thousand dollars. His claim passed both houses, but was not signed by the President. Colonel Johnston spent the last years of his life at the home of his daughter, Mrs. J. J. Patterson, on the Rubicon Farm, but died in Washington just at the breaking out of the Rebellion. Of his fourteen children, Mrs. Patterson is the only one living.


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