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History of Dayton

Dayton is an enterprising community located in the Southern part of Webster County.  It is believed that A. Peterson was the first person to settle in Dayton Township, in 1848.  Around the summers of 1851 and 1852 a number of Americans came to Dayton.  The Town of Dayton was laid out and named by Benjamin Allison in November of 1856.  Allison also built the first house in town and also started the first saw mill in 1856 that supplied the lumber for building. Some of the early settlers made their homes in caves in the hillsides and then later the log cabins were built.

Dayton became an incorporated town with the official seal on July 18, 1881.  Since Dayton was established in 1856, it has had a variety of businesses establishments.  Some thrived for a while, but with the changing of needs so did the businesses.

One particular event happened in 1894 "The Dayton Riot"

In January of 1894, a New Year's dance was being held.  Just before supper there was a commotion coming from the north end of Burnquist's Hall.  A. Winters had got to talking loud about a HAT.  John Gustafson tried to quiet him but the talking was sign to a bunch of hoodlums from Boone to clear out the hall.  In a moment chairs were flying and women were screaming.  Gustafson tried his best to fight these hoodlums at one point he had two down until the third hit him with a chair.  After getting possession of the hall the miscreants proceeded to make a complete wreck of the hall . After they were through destroying the hall they went to supper.  The citizens of Dayton were aroused by this time and came upon the scene to help the Marshal Larson.  Marshal Larson was trying to arrest the ring leader in the restaurant.  Frank Dowd was one of the heroes that night.  He came to aide Marshal Larson.  As things happened, at the end of the fight Marshal Larson was shot in the right hip by his own gun in the hands of Paris Winters.  Marshal Larson passed away that Wednesday at 1 o'clock in the morning.  They ended up sending the whole gang of rioters to Fort Dodge for trial.

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