Dayton viewed by New York 1878

Howard Burba, a well known Dayton Daily News reporter in the early 1930s, wrote many stories centering not only around Dayton events, but Dayton itself. One of which was an article he found from the New York Daily Graphic, October 29, 1878. Quotes from this article describe Dayton as seen through the eyes of C. H. Miller, a New York journalist.

Here are some excerpts from the article he wrote:

    • Dayton, the county seat of Montgomery Co., is universally conceded by visitors to be one of the most beautiful cities on the continent. And its surroundings are equally attractive. It is notable for its broad, clean, smooth avenues, its uniformly comfortable and numerous elegant residences, its admirable public school system and school houses, its handsome church architecture, its numerous and large manufacturing establishments and the general air of thrift and solid comfort which pervades the community. It is indisputably one of the most delightful of inland cities for a home, and as reliable in its established wealth and credit as any fortunate city in the Union. These are features which impress all strangers, and the well-contented people of Dayton are pardonable for the pride they take in their most enviable city.”

    • While many citizens of Dayton are well-to-do and rich, there is not one of immense wealth in the city. There may be a dozen who rate from $500,000 to $1,000,000 cash, but none over a million.”

    • It impresses them that Dayton is a very reliable city; a fact of which eloquent demagogues are not apt to take notice, and which is, perhaps, more general than is supposed or presumed, is worthy of attention. The great mass of these fortunes were made by the men who own them, generally at hard labor at mechanical trades, in manufacturing and in commercial trading. Hard work was the capital the men ‘in good circumstances’ begun on. Dayton’s ‘aristocrats’ are working men. There are hardly a score of fortunes in Dayton that were not made by the men who own them.”

    • From the sketch of Dayton already given, readers will infer that its social life is very charming. No people live more comfortably, few enjoy more luxuries, and none are less ostentatious. The people are as generously hospitable as the ‘Blue Grass Barons’ of Kentucky. Social, benevolent and religious clubs of all kinds are numerous. Every known secret society in the nation thrives here, and there is hardly a man who is not a member of something from the Young Men’s Christian association down to the Put-in-Bay Black Bass fishing club, under the special guardianship of ‘Commodore’ Cooper.”

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