A long, long time ago …

…the first settlers arrived in Dayton. It was 1825 when William Bush and others settled here, and Bush probably sold the first lots about 1827, the year the town celebrates as its founding. Two years later, the town was officially platted, in two parts. In 1829, both Dr. Timothy Horram, who owned land adjoining Bush’s, and William Bush decided it was time to file a plat. The two men used the same surveyor and filed their plats on the same day, September 16, 1829. Bush called his plat Marquis (de), with all lots lying along the south side of the state road now known as Indiana 38.  Dr. Horram called his plat Fairfield, with all lots lying north of the road. Bush’s plat for Marquis was entered first (Deed Book A, p. 381), earning him the honor of town founder. Horram’s plat for Fairfield is recorded on the following page (Deed Book A, p 382.). The name Marquis may never have been used, but for some reason early local histories often get it backward, claiming that the town was first called Fairfield by William Bush, and later Marquis by Horram.

In a deed recorded October 5, 1830 (at Deed Book B, page 278), David Gregory platted an addition to the town of Fairfield, with all lots lying west of Conjunction St (alongside Fairfield) and north of the state road (across from the west half of Bush’s Marquis plat).

When the growing town applied for a post office, it was denied the use of the name Fairfield because there was already a post office by that name in Indiana, a dilemma shared with several other aspiring Fairfields around the state. Legend says Gregory offered to donate a lot for a school if the town would take the name Dayton, after the prosperous Dayton, Ohio, in the area from which Gregory and others had come. On April 19, 1831, the Dayton post office was established, and on July 5, 1831, Gregory deeded a lot for a school (lot 19; Book 58, p. 172), although it was not, as legend says, exactly on the spot where the school stands today. It was on a lot directly in front of today’s school location but facing Main Street. The one-room school was built far back on the lot, and the land where the school stands today was also Gregory land at the time, making it essentially the same location. As new buildings were erected, they were located behind the existing building, on the north edge of the town.

 

Much has happened in Dayton since then…

 

Susan Clawson