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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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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Dayton Sights: Wright Brothers Benches

It wasn’t luck that made them fly; it was hard work and common sense; they put their whole heart and soul and all their energy into an idea and they had the faith.” – John T. Daniels, who witnessed the first flights.

There are reportedly nine identical benches sculpted by David Evans Black, located all around the Dayton area. On the edge of the seat on the front, it reads, “Dedicated to the immortal spirit of Daytonians Orville and Wilbur Wright…” and continues on the back seat-edge with, “whose gift of powered flight lifted our world forever skyward.” The bench is designed to be reminiscent of the bench shown in the famous photograph of the Wright brothers’ first flight.

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Going Out With a Bang: My God, I’ve Shot Myself

Clement Vallandigham (July 29, 1820 – June 17, 1871)

It was going to be the biggest case of his life. Fifty year old Dayton Attorney Clement Vallandigham was to defend Thomas McGehan, who was charged with murder for a barroom brawl turned deadly in Hamilton, Ohio. Having been unable to find a jury un-swayed by newspaper reports in Hamilton, the trial moved to Lebanon.

Vallandigham and his partner, Daniel Haynes, formed a practice that had become “one of the best and ablest in the West”, with stories of Vallandigham making final pleas so persuasive that the jury was left in tears. Nobody researched more than he did, and he was adept at anticipating the rebuttal arguments of the opposing lawyers.

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Winter in Dayton

With all the snow we’ve been getting lately, we wanted to share some of our favorite pictures from this winter, and winters past!

Also, if you have any great winter pics to share, please send them to us at daytonunknown@hotmail.com and if we may just share your pictures too! Please make sure to provide your full name for photo credit!

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Interesting Dayton Facts

During one of our research sessions at the library, we found a great book, For the Love of Dayton: Life in the Miami Valley 1796-2001, that was published by the Dayton Daily News in 2001. The book chronicles the history of Dayton year-by-year in little blurbs, and there were a lot of fascinating facts that we just had to share!

  • 1803 – Colonel George Newcom became the first sheriff, serving until 1809. He took little pity on lawbreakers, lowering alleged offenders into his empty well, where they remained until trial.
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Gustave Wiedeke

If you’ve visited Woodland Cemetery, you may have seen this life-size, imposing monument of a man, its statue often startling guards at night. The man’s specifications and dimensions in stone match his exact measurements in real life, with careful attention to every detail, from the buttons on his suit to his piercing eyes.

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Dayton Hero – David T. Chambers

The chain of events that started Dayton’s Great Flood started on March 21, 1913, with a rainstorm. Over the next few days, more rain came, ultimately weakening the levees and flooding the already oversaturated soil. Water rose quickly, and as gas lines were destroyed, a fire started downtown that destroyed most of a block.

As these events were happening, twenty four year old David T. Chambers of North Dayton could not stand by and watch without helping. From the safety of his home, which was located above the flood waters, he could see the damage being caused by the rising waters.

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Lib Hedges

Everyone knew about Pearl Street in Dayton’s Red Light District, but nobody admitted so.

“Most of the houses were ornately trimmed; each had the name of the proprietor, a single woman posted in the door glass or permanently etched there, and at night, in the window on a table sat a red lamp, spreading its cheery invitation to all.  Within the houses many women followed a profession dignified only by its extreme age.”

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