Martin Gottlieb

Although from Dayton, Author Martin Gottlieb had initially only heard of Clement Vallandigham just a few times over many years. It wasn’t until he started paying attention to the name he felt surprised knowing that despite Vallandigham’s story, he wasn’t more well known. During his author talk for the book Lincoln’s Northern Nemesis, the War Opposition and Exile of Ohio’s Clement Vallandigham, it was clear Gottlieb lived and breathed this subject while writing.

His passion for Vallandigham’s life was clear as he spoke. During the question and answer session of his author talk, Gottlieb was asked why he thought Vallandigham wasn’t more well known in today’s world. His initial answer was simple, history is told by the victors. He expanded on this by surmising that perhaps Dayton would have wanted to disassociate itself with a man who:

  • Wanted to keep slavery as-is
  • Was known for being an adversary to Abraham Lincoln
  • Accidentally shot and killed himself while demonstrating how he thinks a man shot and killed himself
  • Gottlieb retired from the Dayton Daily News in 2011 and has spent the time since researching Vallandigham for his book. Not all the time since 2011 was spent on research and writing however, as Gottlieb said he is good at being retired. Martin has also written a book called Campaigns Don’t Count. How the Media Get American Politics All Wrong. Gottlieb’s books can be bought from Amazon (linked above) or by contacting him directly at

Even More Street and Bridge Honorary Designations

This list is thanks to the book Hidden History by Tony Kroeger, with a small amount of Googling on our part.

  • Walter J. Hickman Sr. Avenue (Brooklyn Avenue) – Hickman was a respected neighborhood leader in the Westwood area, where Brooklyn Avenue is located.
  • Pastor S. N. Winston Sr. Way (Siebenthaler Road) – Winston was a pastor at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church for 46 years.
  • Lloyd Lewis Jr. Way (Ludlow Street) – Lewis was a city of Dayton Assistant City Manager, City Commissioner, State Representative, an executive at Rike’s, and VP at DP&L.
  • Willis “Bing” Davis Way (Diamond Avenue) – Davis is a renowned artist who grew up on Diamond Avenue.
  • Peace Bridge (Third Street bridge) – Connects two sides of the Great Miami River
  • Sergeant Edward Brooks Way (Elmhurst Drive) – Brooks was killed at age 25 by an IED in Iraq, on August 29, 2007.
  • Ted Mills Way (Sears Street) – Mills had a baseball school location on Sears Street.

March 3, 1996

One spring day in 1996, a young girl boarded the school bus after a long day of 5th grade, only to find out that her usual seat was taken. Thankfully, a girl she didn’t know offered to share her seat and the two girls then shared Chiclets and a conversation on the ride home.This bus ride home then blossomed into a best friendship and continued through middle school, high school, tragedy and heartbreak, adulthood, starting a blog together, and now the adventures of motherhood.

We don’t know the exact date we met, but we decided years ago that we will celebrate on March 3rd of every year. Here’s to 27 years of best friendship.



1914 Dayton Ghost Stories – The Ghost at the Mill

On Sunday January 18th, 1914, The Dayton Daily News published a contest for Ghost Stories to be submitted, with prizes ranging from $1 to the grand prize of $20.

We have five of these stories to share with you. The first is The Ghost at the Mill, which was published January 26, 1914.

Reverend Desoto Bass

Maybe you’ve heard of the DeSoto Bass apartment complex, known as “the Bass” But do you know how it got its name?

Reverend DeSoto Bass became the pastor of the Dayton First Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1895. The church was known for its abolitionist stance against slavery. Bass served at the church for thirty four years, until his death in 1928.

Bass was known for being “the community’s pastor” because of his devotion to serving the community. He aimed to serve mankind. Bass visited the sick regardless of religion or creed, both in their homes and through regular visits to Miami Valley and St. Elizabeth. Because of his service to the community the first public housing development in Dayton was named for him.

The development opened in February 1940 to house 200 low income families and two years later was expanded to house 110 more families. Over the next few years, 640 more units were added. At the end of WWII, veterans were housed there as emergency housing and within the next few years fifty-five more units were added, bringing the total amount to 1,005 units.


A Glimpse of Dayton in the Early 1800s

Sometimes in our research, we find some interesting tidbits that aren’t enough for a full story, but we would like to share. Here are three articles from the early 1800s that give a glimpse of life back then. Two missing horses, and a tract of land for sale.

Published in the Western Spy and Miami Gazette (Cincinnati, Ohio) on October 10, 1804.

Published in the Western Spy and Miami Gazette (Cincinnati, Ohio) on December 25, 1805.

Published in the Western Spy and Miami Gazette (Cincinnati, Ohio) on February 1, 1808.

Mad Anthony Wayne and the Longest Grave Ever

Mad River, the former Wayne Township (now Huber Heights), Wayne High School, and Wayne Avenue are all named for Major General “Mad” Anthony Wayne. General Wayne served in the Revolutionary War and the Northwest Indian War. His most famous victory from the Revolutionary War was leading a bayonets-only attack against the British at Stony Point, New York. During the Northwest Indian War, he helped defeat the Indian Confederacy at the Battle of Fallen Timbers and negotiated the Treaty of Greenville in 1795.

There are many theories how Anthony Wayne earned the moniker “Mad” Anthony Wayne. One theory is that it came from his impulsive decisions during battles. Another theory involves another prominent name in Dayton History, James Wilkinson. In 1792, Wilkinson and Wayne were in competition for commander of the Legion of the United States. When Washington appointed Wayne, Wilkinson attempted to discredit and criticize Wayne at every opportunity, even calling him “Mad” Anthony Wayne, hoping it would catch on with the general public.
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It’s Our 9th Anniversary!

On January 27th, 2014, Dayton Unknown shared our very first post. Since then…

Most Popular Story: Hills and Dales Lookout Tower: The REAL Story
Sara’s Favorite Story: The Chinese Tong Murder
Bethany’s Favorite Story: General Richard Montgomery

We are so excited to see what the future holds for us!

As always, if you have any story ideas or questions you’d like us to look into, please let us know! There are so many ways to contact us – leave a comment down below, via the Contact Us page, send an email (, send a message on Facebook or Instagram (@daytonunknown), etc.

More Street and Bridge Honorary Designations

This list is thanks to the book Hidden History by Tony Kroeger, with a small amount of Googling on our part.

  • Chuck Whalen Lane (L Street) – Whalen was a UD graduate who went on to serve as a US Representative
  • Local 696 Way (Alwildy Drive) – United Auto Workers Local 696 has an HQ building on Alwildy, which was designated by Paul Deneau in 1965.
  • Bishop John H. Mathews Jr. Way (College Street) – Mathews was a pastor of Mount Zion Church.
  • Keith A Byars Sr. Way (Hoover Avenue) – Byars is a Dayton native who played in the NFL for 13 seasons as fullback and tight end. He played seven seasons for the Eagles, made the Pro Bowl in 1993 with the Dolphins, then SuperBowl XXXI with the New England Patriots.
  • Commissioner Richard a Zimmer Memorial Bridge (Findlay Street Bridge) – Zimmer was a Dayton City Commissioner for 21 years.
  • Dean Lovelace Drive (Madden Hills) – Lovelace was a Dayton City Commissioner.
  • Martin Bayless Drive (Enroe Drive) – Bayless is a Dayton native who played in the NFL for 13 seasons for: St Louis Cardinals; Buffalo Bills; San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Washington Redskins. He is now a Director of Player Development and General Manager at Brevard College.

Anthony Wayne

There is a lot to learn about Anthony Wayne, and not all information can be put into one post. We highly recommend learning more about Anthony Wayne’s life.

Anthony Wayne was born January 1, 1745 in a log cabin in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Although his father wanted him to be a farmer, Anthony was charmed by his father’s stories of his time in the French and Indian War, and dreamed of being in the military. Anthony was educated as a surveyor and worked for Benjamin Franklin surveying land on Nova Scotia for a year. Anthony married Mary Penrose in 1766 and together they had two children, Margretta and Isaac. Wayne was a well-known philanderer, causing estrangement with his wife.

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