Header Graphic
History of Dayton, Ohio 1889
Title and Preface






















Copyright 1889







            The following "History of Dayton" is the result of the combined labors of several individuals, all of them, but one, residents of the city, and for this reason presumably possessed of peculiar qualifications and facilities for such work. The individuals referred to as resident authors of different portions of the History, are Mr. Robert W Steele, Hon. George W. Houk, Mr. H. H. Weakley, Mr. H. E. Parrott, E L. Shuey, A. M., W. A. Shuey, A, M., and Mrs. John U. Winters. None of these individuals need introduction to the subscribers to this work. They have for many years been well and favorably known to the people of Dayton.

            No one who his had experience in the compilation of local history will be disappointed if errors, if Indeed numerous errors, should be found in the following pages by the critics; for it is never easily conceded that it is impossible for a mere human being to avoid error. It has been the aim of all concerned in the compilation and composition of the History to assume the trite attitude toward error, which is to avoid it so far as is practicable, and to correct errors made so s+non as discovered. Yet, notwithstanding all the care that has been used, there were mistakes made which were not discovered until too late to make the corrections in the text, as the small table of "Errata," at the close of the volume shows. It is hoped, however, that while this table is evidence of inability to entirely eliminate errors from the text of the work, it will at the same time be considered evidence of correct intentions.

            Robert W. Steele mentioned above as one of the authors of the History, than whom no one better qualified to perform the task could have been secured, wrote the first part of the work up to page 192. Commencing again with the chapter on education, on page 217, Mr. Steele wrote the portion of the educational history, including the history of the Public Library, closing with the first paragraph on page 253, and also the chapter on the cemeteries, a total amount of two hundred and twenty-eight pages. That this portion of the work has been conscientiously and well performed, will, it is confidently predicted be evident upon its perusal.


            Hon. George W. Houk. long one of the able and distinguished members of the Dayton Bar, wrote Chapter XIX, on the Bench and Bar. Mr. Houk's well known intellectual and literary ability and accomplishments and his high keen and accurate sense of justice were from the first a sufficient guaranty that this portion of the work. so difficult to write, as are all such chapters, containing distinctions and discriminations so necessary to be made, which are so liable to be looked upon as invidious, when nothing was further from the intention of the writer, would be ably, gracefully, and conscientiously written. And as in the case of Mr. Steele, it is believed that a perusal of the chapter will not disappoint these just expectations.

            Mr. H. H. Weakley, an experienced insurance officer, wrote the chapter on Insurance, which will be found of especial interest to those engaged in that line of business, and generally to all. Mr. H. E. Parrott wrote the chapter on Municipal Affairs, with the exception of that portion devoted to the Water Works.

            W. A. Shuey. A. M. wrote that portion of the chapter on Church History, commencing with the Dayton Ministerial Association, on page 633, and extending to the Young Men's Christian Association on page 630, besides furnishing much miscellaneous matter, notably in connection with the chapter on Literature, Music and Art, and also with the history of the United Brethren Publishing House, on page 457, besides devoting many days of earnest, careful, and gratuitous labor to the work in many ways.

            E. L. Shuey, A. M., wrote the history of the Young Men's Christian Association, commencing on page 636 and closing near the middle of page 640, and Mrs. John H. Winters wrote the history of the Woman's Christian Association, commencing on page 640 and closing on page 642.

            Mr. J. Wooldridge, of Hudson, Ohio, who has had eight years' continuous experience in writing city, county, and State histories, wrote the remainder of the work, including the biographical chapter, with the exception of the biographies of E. Fowler Stoddard and Edmond S. Young, both of which were written by Mr. George W. Houk. The sources of information consulted in the preparation of this volume, are sufficiently alluded to by Robert W. Steele on page 9 in a foot note, but it is only just to say that of the persons, citizens of Dayton, and others, who have furnished information and facilities to the various writers in a thousand ways, and without which information and facilities it would have been out of the power of even the most capable and diligent of compilers and authors to have completed this work, none have shown more patience and courtesy than Miss Minta I. Dryden, Librarian of the Dayton Public Library, and her efficient assistants, Miss Electra C. Doren, Miss Minnie Althof, and Edward Koch. The excellent paper upon which this book is printed was manufactured especially for the purpose by W. P. Levis, one of the leading paper manufacturers of Dayton, and the imprint of the United Brethren Publishing House on the title page, is a sufficient guaranty, even if there were no other, of the excellency of the mechanical execution of the entire book.





Return to "History of Dayton" Home Page