Edith Deeds

Edith Deeds was born in Spring Valley in 1869, to Samuel and Mary Walton, and was the older sister of William Walton. In her early life, Edith studied music, painting, and languages at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Though her father Samuel was a Quaker, the family attended the First Baptist Church after moving to Dayton. It was there that Edith met Colonel Edward Deeds. Edith and Edward married on June 5, 1900. Throughout their marriage, Edith assisted her innovative husband and the infamous Barn Gang by performing office work and participating in the development of the automobile self-starter.
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Benjamin Archer

In 1788, Benjamin Archer moved to Kentucky from New Jersey with his brothers-in-law, Aaron Nutt, Sr. and Benjamin Robbins. The three men struggled with the existence of slavery in Kentucky and after issues with land titles, they decided to leave Kentucky and move to Ohio. Archer, Robbins, and Nutt are considered to be the founders of Centerville.

Archer purchased over 500 acres of land near Clyo Road and Alex-Bell Road – which was originally outside of Centerville’s city limits. Archer came back to Ohio in 1798 to settle with his family.
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Ida Weller

Ida Evaline Albrecht (later Albright) was born in 1876 to farmer parents. Her father’s farm was located on the western side of State Route 48, where Bethany Lutheran Village now stands.

In 1893, At the age of 17, Ida graduated from the Washington Township High School on West Franklin Street. The building still stands today, and until recently, was the Las Piramides Mexican restaurant. Two years later at the age of 19, Ida earned her teaching certificate from Ohio Northern College and from 1895-1897, Ida taught at Schoolhouse Number 8, which was located at McEwen Road and State Route 725.
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William Walton

While driving through Centerville, have you ever spotted a tiny sign – “Walton House Museum” and wondered what it was? So have we! As it turns out, this stone house was built in 1838 by Henry Reese, who bought the parcel of land from one of Centerville’s founders, Benjamin Robbins. Eventually, William Walton and his wife Miriam (known as Mary) bought the house in 1927.

William Walton was born April 1st, 1876 to Samuel and Mary Walton. William was the grandson and great-grandson of the founders of Spring Valley, Moses and Edward Walton. Also, William’s older sister Edith married Colonel Edward A. Deeds and later created the beloved Deeds Carillon Bells.

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More Fun Dayton Facts

Here are some more Dayton fun facts!

  • In 1920, Dayton had no unsolved murders.
  • During WWII, Lieutenant Harry Zavakos was reported MIA and presumed dead after his plane was shot down over China. He was actually found by the Chinese and slowly moved across the country to be returned to his unit. During the time the Chinese transported Zavakos, they continually fed him fried chicken.
  • Flight personnel gave Dayton the moniker “The Popcorn City” due to the popcorn sold at Wileswood Country Store. Some ground crews would refuse to work on aircrafts if the flight crews did not return from a trip to Dayton with “Dayton popcorn.”
  • In 1979, while excavating for the Gem Savings headquarters, the skeleton of an adult male was discovered. The site was originally the location of Dayton’s first cemetery. Since the bodies had never been moved from the location, one theory is that this particular skeleton was John Davis, an early Dayton pioneer.
  • Dayton’s most successful professional sports team was the Dayton Gems, a hockey team that played in Dayton from 1964 to 1977.
  • Electricity was introduced in Dayton in 1882, when the first electric light turned on in the Dayton Morning Journal office.
  • Ponderosa Steakhouse, which was founded in Indiana, moved its headquarters to Dayton in 1968, where it flourished for decades.
  • During WWII, there was such a drastic labor shortage in Dayton, that a job draft was considered to fill the positions.

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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Sara’s Book Sale & Signing at Bonnett’s Book Store!

Sara will be selling her book in front of Bonnett’s Book Store! Stop on by to buy the book and chat with us!

When:
Thursday, August 19th, 6pm-9pm
Where:
Bonnett’s Book Store (in front)
502 East 5th Street
Dayton, OH 45402

Fun Dayton Facts

Here are a few more interesting facts about Dayton!

  • Of the original purchasers of the land for Dayton, Jonathan Dayton’s name was chosen because it was considered the most pleasing name to grace the township.
  • Dayton’s first hanging took place on a gallows east of the river, where Sinclair Community College is now located. This fact is the basis for the storied hauntings of the campus.
  • Dayton’s flood of 1866 cost the city a quarter of a million dollars and left only the corn crops standing in its wake.
  • Dayton born Daniel Denison Bickham pitched for the Cincinnati Reds in 1886 for one game. He returned to Dayton when his father called him home because he felt baseball was “not a gentlemanly sport.”
  • Charles Bickham, Daniel’s brother, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1904 because he “crossed a fire-swept field, in close range of the enemy and bought a wounded soldier to a place of shelter.
  • Father to Daniel and Charles Bickham, William Bickham, was Dayton’s leading newspaper editor. After the riot that burned the office of the Dayton Journal, Bickham arrived to revive the paper and return it to financial stability.
  • The Wright brothers built their first glider for about $15.

Olt Brewing Company

Charles J. Olt, along with his three brothers, Frederick, Edward, and Oscar and their father John incorporated the Olt Brewing Company (later the Olt Brothers Brewing Company) in 1907. Charles served as the president of Olt Brewing Company for many years. Olt Brewing operated from 1907 until 1942, even staying in operation during Prohibition by distilling water and distributing dairy products.
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