Consider the year of 1827. Only the year before, our young nation had celebrated its fiftieth year. It was growing and expanding mightily, and settlers were pushing farther west. The state of Indiana was already ten years old on that same fiftieth birthday, and the County of Tippecanoe was established in that fiftieth year, coming into being after Lafayette had already been platted in 1825 by William Digby.
Though the first settlers arrived at Dayton in 1823, the town was not platted or named until 1827. The first lots were laid off by William Bush, who called it Fairfield. The next year, a Dr. Horam added to the town lots, and it was decided to change the name to Marquis because there was another town in the state named Fairfield. In 1830, David Gregory platted and laid out an addition on the north side of the existing lots. He stipulated that he would donate land for a school and schoolgrounds if the town should be called Dayton. It was so done and the Dayton Elementary School stands on that ground given by David Gregory. By 1902, Dayton had about 500 inhabitants, and J.L. Kingsley laid off more lots to the north.
(Based on material compiled and written for Sesqui ’77: A History of Dayton, Indiana.)