Lewis Kemp and the Oldest House in Dayton

Lewis and Elizabeth Kemp and their family of eight children moved from Frederick, Maryland to Mad River Township in 1806. Kemp bought 822 acres of land at $10 an acre, and settled on a piece of land that looks out over the modern-day Huffman Prairie. Shortly after their arrival in 1806, Kemp built a brick and limestone house with a stone foundation. A brick addition was added around 1832.

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Aaron Nutt, Sr.

Aaron Nutt, Sr. was born on July 17th, 1758 in New Jersey to Quaker parents Levi and Ann Ivens Nutt. At age 14, Aaron’s mother sold him to be an indentured servant for a local tailor, John Lippencott. Through his period of service, Aaron became a skilled tailor.

Aaron served in the New Jersey Militia in Lippencott’s place after Lippencott was drafted in 1777. Aaron was assigned non-combat duties, due to his Quaker beliefs, and served as a spy and a teamster (a person who drove a team of animals pulling a wagon). Even though he never saw combat, Aaron was not allowed membership in the Quaker Society of Friends, since he participated in the war.

At the age of 20, Aaron married Mary Archer on May 4th, 1779. During their 17-year marriage, Aaron and Mary had nine children. Aaron and his family moved to Kentucky in 1788, along with his brother-in-law Benjamin Archer, then they all moved to Ohio in 1799. A brother-in-law already settled in the area, Benjamin Robbins, offered to store Aaron’s family’s possessions and let them stay with them while they built their home, but Aaron responded with, “I am not going to unpack until I enter my own cabin” and with help, built his new home in just one day.
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Dr. Dudley Keever

On a Ridgeville Ohio farm in 1859, Dudley Keever was born to Quaker parents. Dudley’s father Moses was a doctor serving Ridgeville and Springboro. Dudley attended a one-room schoolhouse, then Miami Valley Institute in Springboro, and then graduated the Miami Medical College in Cincinnati (later the University of Cincinnati) in 1884.

Now Dr. Keever, Dudley started his own practice in Springboro, and then met fellow Quaker Ida Wright, who he married. In 1890, the Keevers moved to Centerville and opened a practice on the northeast corner of Main Street and Franklin Street, where City Barbecue is presently.

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The Murder of Jesse Kelsey, Jr.

Born in 1829 to one of Centerville’s most prosperous farmers, Jesse Kelsey Sr., Jesse Kelsey Jr. was the 9th of 12 children. He married Unity Stokes on September 4th, 1856, and lived on a farm in Centerville on the southwest corner of what is now Spring Valley Pike and Dayton-Lebanon Pike, near the Kroger Marketplace. In September of 1862, Jesse Jr. and Unity were expecting their first child.

On the night of September 7th, 1862, just 3 days after celebrating their 6th wedding anniversary, Unity woke up to see a man standing over her and Jesse Jr. while they slept. She woke Jesse Jr. up, and he shouted at the man, who then fired a pistol at him. Jesse Jr. rushed Unity out of the room to safety and was struck by another pistol shot, and fell to the ground, dead.

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Windows of Woodland

Have you ever visited the mausoleum at Woodland Cemetery and seen the beautiful stained glass windows all throughout the building? We highly recommend going in person! Also make sure to pick up the brochure with more information about these gorgeous works of art!

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Let’s get Spooky!

Dayton Unknown will be joining Spooky Spectacular on October 4th for a spooky-themed photo scavenger hunt at a spooky-themed craft show!

What is a photo scavenger hunt?

A photo scavenger hunt is essentially a scavenger hunt that involves taking photos instead of finding objects. Every group or contestant will receive a list of prompts to encourage creativity and exploration of the area.

Dayton Unknown will be at the entrance to the event to pass out information and goodies. Make sure you come see us!

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Mark Dennis

Although the Dennis family accepted the coffin with the flag draped over the top, they were not convinced it carried the remains of Mark.

Mark V. Dennis was the youngest son of Charles and Vera Dennis. His father Charles had a sense of humor and decided to give Mark the Roman numeral V as a middle initial since he was the fifth child. Shortly after graduating high school in 1964, Mark enlisted in the Navy, training to be a medic. Mark hoped the medic training would help him in his aspirations to become a missionary after his military service. Although he was initially stationed on the aircraft carrier USS Wasp, he asked to be transferred so he could help with the effort in Vietnam. He was assigned as a medic and acting chaplain to a Marine unit fighting during Operation Hastings. On July 16, 1966, thirteen men boarded a C-47 Chinook helicopter before it lifted in the air. As it was flying over the Quang Tri Province, the helicopter was shot down by enemies.

Mark DennisSource

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Lower Miami Cemetery

The Lower Miami Cemetery is located in Jefferson Township on Germantown Street. Land for this cemetery was first sold to the Baptist Church of the Brethren by Eli and Samuel Noffsinger on January 28, 1846. Although formerly owned and operated by the Lower Miami Church, they are now only connected through name.

Originally called Holler Cemetery due to the first families buried there, it became Lower Miami Cemetery in the early 1900s. Many of the people buried there were connected through marriage and church.

Sara’s own personal connection to the cemetery is countless family members buried there. Her genealogy tree can match up with many of the tombstones in that cemetery.

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