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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Sara’s Author Talk

Meet Dayton Unknown’s very own local author, Sara Kaushal, and learn more about her recently released book, Murder and Mayhem in Dayton and the Miami Valley next week on Thursday, July 22, at 6:30 PM.

Troy Miami County Public Library will be hosting. If you have not gotten her book yet, this is your chance to buy it! If you already have the book, come get it signed!

The Troy-Miami County Public Library is located at 419 West Main Street, Troy, Ohio 45373.

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Also, please wish a HAPPY HAPPY Birthday to Dayton Unknown’s other half, Bethany! Bethany is very important to Dayton Unknown and DU wouldn’t survive without her! Happiest of Birthdays to you!

Miscellaneous Dayton Facts

It’s been a while since we shared some miscellaneous facts about Dayton, so here are a few!

  • The expression “You’re fired” dates back to John Henry Patterson, founder of NCR. Patterson was reported to have terminated an employee by having his desk taken outside and set on fire.
  • The name of the horse in the statue with John H. Patterson in Hills and Dales Park is Spinner.
  • The Ohio accent is the basis of the accent taught to newscasters – The Ohio accent is considered to be so bland that you don’t hear the accent, just the words.
  • The group Stars of Joy was the first local African American gospel group to air on WHIO TV.
  • Possum Run Creek got its name from the great number of possums being caught in the lowlands.
  • John H Patterson urged the city to build a road over the canal, and that’s how Patterson Boulevard got its name.
  • The Thomas Clegg house on the corner of First and Jefferson is Dayton’s oldest continuously occupied home. Downtown used to be a glamorous place for the rich to live in young Dayton, but the 1913 flood and increasing noise of streetcars and traffic made downtown living less appealing. The house was renovated in the early 2000s for condo use.
  • The Wright Brothers purchased Spruce from Requarth Lumber in Downtown Dayton for the second and third Wright flyers.

Murder & Mayhem in Dayton and the Miami Valley is Out!

Sara’s book has been published by The History Press!wp-1624473617276.jpg

You can purchase from Sara directly at one of the upcoming author events (we’ll update you), or from the book at the following links:

Dr. Helen Octavia Dickens Henderson

Even as a child, Helen Octavia Dickens knew she wanted to be a doctor even though she had many odds stacked against her as a black woman born in 1909. Helen’s father was born into slavery then raised by a Union Colonel from the age of nine. After obtaining his freedom, he named himself Charles Warren Dickens, after the famous author he once met. Helen Octavia Dickens was born in Dayton on February 21st, 1909.

Helen’s father Charles had dreams of becoming a lawyer, but when racial prejudice reared its ugly head, preventing his dream, he took a job as a janitor to support his family. He never lost hope in the future for his children and sent them to one of the few integrated schools in the area to get them the best education possible. Daisy Dickens, Helen’s mother, worked as a domestic servant until she married Charles. Despite Charles insisting his wife stay at home, he encouraged Helen to become a nurse. But Helen had different plans. If she could be a nurse, Helen reasoned, she could also be a doctor. “It was what I wanted to do and I didn’t see why I couldn’t do it.” she’d say.
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The Story of Natalie Clifford Barney

In honor of Pride Month, we thought we would re-share the story of Daytonian Natalie Clifford Barney.

“I built a fire to welcome her
And my voice sighed
Aloud her name. To be with her
This night, I would have died…”

Natalie Clifford Barney was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1876, to an affluent family. By age twelve, Natalie knew she was a lesbian. Although society in the late 1800’s was very conservative, Natalie knew she would “Live openly, without hiding anything.”

Natalie developed an interest in the French language as a child. Her governess often read Jules Vern stores aloud to her in French, and she had to learn the language quickly to understand the stories.  In adulthood, Natalie was fluent in French, and published most of her work in French.
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