More Wright Brothers Facts

Here are a few more interesting facts you may not know about the Wright Brothers!

  • The first woman to fly was Mrs. Hart O Berg. Mrs. Berg and her husband often accompanied Wilbur to various flying fields where he demonstrated his machine.
  • The first flight in Dayton occurred on September 22nd, 1910, as part of Aviation Day in Dayton. Orville flew from Huffman Prairie Flying Field in a Wright Model B flying machine. He circled the city and returned to the starting point. There were over 100,000 people to witness the flight, which lasted 33 minutes and spanned 25 miles.
  • After achieving the first flight on December 17th, 1903, Wilbur and Orville’s brother Lorin presented the story to Dayton Journal representative Frank Tunison. Tunison blew off the story, stating that a 19 second flight was not newsworthy. The first story to be run was an inaccurate piece which appeared in the Virginian Pilot and was reprinted in the Cincinnati Enquirer and the New York American. Later that day, Dayton Daily News ran an accurate story of the flight, and the Dayton Herald summarized the inaccurate version. The brothers’ flight finally made the pages of the Dayton Journal on December 19th.

Wright Brothers – Did you know?

There is so much known about Dayton’s own flying brothers, but did you know:

  • When Wilbur knew he was dying of typhoid fever, he called his lawyer, Ezra Kuhns, to make his Last Will and Testament. To his father Milton, he left $1,000. To his brothers Reuchlin and Lorin and his sister Katharine, he left $50,000 each. The remaining balance, which was over $100,000 (plus patent rights and shares) were left to Orville. Wilbur wrote in his will that he was sure Orville would use the money in very much the same manner as they would together if they were both to live to old age.
  • Also in his will, Orville left $300,000 to Oberlin College following the fulfillment of the following lifetime annuities: Lorin was to receive $4,000 per year, Reuchlin’s Widow Lulu was to receive $500 per year, Orville’s secretary Mabel was to receive $3,000 per year, and a few staff members received a yearly stipend as well. The files, notes, and other flight memorabilia were to be dispersed to museums and institutes.
  • The Wright Special, one of the brands of bicycle the brothers created, did not sell many units. According to the financial ledgers, only eight were sold.
  • Hawthorn Hill, site of the Wright House, was named so because of the Hawthorn trees growing on the land.

Gina Ferraro is back!

Gina Ferraro is back! Dayton Unknown has missed listening to Jeff, Kristi, Dave, and Gina on the Mix Morning Show, and we are thrilled to have her back on the airwaves!

Gina will be joining the lineup of the Bobby Bones Show, After Midnight with Granger Smith, Wazz in the Afternoon, and Kasper at Night on WZDA (New Country 103.9). She will be airing weekdays from 10am-3pm. Gina’s resume includes Mix 107.7, Channel 99.9, Warm 98.5, Traffic Reporter and co-host for WUSN (US99) and WIND-AM(AM560 The Answer), and evening traffic anchor for 720 WGN Radio. You can also see Gina’s writing talent on BET+ in the form of the film “Unfinished”.
Continue reading

A Few Fun Facts about Dayton

It’s shaping up to be a busy year, so here are a few fun facts about Dayton!

  • Dayton’s first attorney was Judge Joseph Crane.
  • James Cox served 2 terms as governor of Ohio and ran for US President.
  • Charles Lindbergh flew into Dayton’s McCook Field on August 5, 1927.
  • Susan (Koerner) Wright, mother to Wilbur and Orville, was highly-educated, especially for her time. She met Milton, her future husband, while attending Huntsville College in Huntington, Indiana. After being ordained in the United Brethren ministry, Milton was assigned to Oregon. He asked Susan to accompany him as his wife. She agreed to the marriage proposal but did not want to go to Oregon. She waited 2 years and they wed on November 24, 1859.

Huffman Dam

After the Great Flood of 1913, the Miami Conservancy District, led by Colonel Edward Deeds and Arthur Morgan, started the process of building dams to prevent future flooding catastrophes in Dayton. Driving along Route 444, you’ve probably glanced over to see the Huffman Dam.

Huffman Dam
Continue reading

Johann Jacob Coy, Jr.

Born July 27, 1739 in Bavaria, Germany, Johann Jacob Coy, Jr. came to America with his parents and siblings. Unfortunately, both of Jacob’s parents passed away on the voyage over. Jacob’s father had negotiated a labor contract for the cost of the passage, and upon his death, Jacob as the oldest son was now expected to fulfill the contract. The ship’s crew seized all of their belongings and left the Coy children without anything, and upon arrival in Philadelphia in 1757, the siblings were all sold into servitude to work off their debts.
Continue reading

Benjamin Robbins

Benjamin Robbins is one of the founders of Centerville, along with his brothers-in-law, Benjamin Archer, and Aaron Nutt, Sr..

Robbins was born in New Jersey in 1760 and was a surveyor and farmer. He married Bathsheba Nutt (Aaron’s sister) in 1782. Throughout their marriage, they had a total of 12 children:

  • Nancy (1783-1858)
  • Richard (1784-1837)
  • Abigail (1787-1854)
  • Elizabeth (1790-1879)
  • Benjamin (1791-1792)
  • Rebecca (1793-????)
  • Samuel (1795-1862)
  • Aaron (1797-1825)
  • Levi (1800-1866)
  • twins Mary (1803-1833) and John (1803-1805)
  • Bathsheba (1806-1845)

Continue reading

Fun Facts about the Van Cleves

One of the first settlers to Dayton and one of the big names as well, how much do you know about Benjamin Van Cleve? Here are some facts about Benjamin, and his son John.

Benjamin Van Cleve (1773 – 1821)

  • His marriage to Mary Whitten was the first marriage registered in Dayton. They had one son, John.
  • Benjamin accompanied the first party of settlers to Dayton.
  • Benjamin established Dayton’s first library, post office, and school, all in his log cabin.

John Van Cleve (1801 – 1858)

  • He was a child prodigy. At 16, he was teaching Latin and Greek and translating plays from German and French.
  • He contributed collections to Dayton’s first natural history museum
  • Helped found Woodland Cemetery
  • Was reportedly over 300 pounds and very sensitive about his appearance. He refused to marry and would not sit for portraits or photographs.

August Foerste – This Guy Rocks

Born May 7th, 1862, in Dayton to parents John and Louise, August Foerste (pronounced first-ee) became Dayton’s very own Natural Historian. After attending a lecture by OSU president and geologist Edward Orton in high school, August became interested geology. He graduated from Old Central High School in 1880, then taught at Schoolhouse No. 2 in Centerville until 1883.

During his time teaching, August studied the Allen Quarry tucked away in Centerville (where the Rod & Reel Fishing Club is now), and identified and named the formation there, and discovered a new classification of limestone – which he named the Brassfield limestone. He was also responsible for naming a rock formation the Beavertown Marl at the quarry site at Wilmington Pike and Dorothy Lane. August had found his specialty, and many fossils found in the Centerville area were named by him.
Continue reading