Dayton township lies in the northwest corner of the
county, and the surface is quite rolling with the exception of an apparent
depression or valley, or more properly, there is a low range of hills extending
from the southeast corner of the township along the town line, west and then
north, with a turn to the northeast, forming a semi-circle; in this semi-circle
lies the valley mentioned, which contains the majority of the settlers. An
abundance of water is obtained at a depth of fifteen to thirty feet. The soil in
the valley is rich and productive, while the hills contain some good land, much
of it is sandy, and in going northwest out of this county we find numerous
sand-hills extending into adjoining counties. These sand-hills or rather the
adjacent land seems to be the native home of the strawberry. Wagon loads of
persons from all directions can be seen daily making for the hills about June
This township was organized as a school township in 1883 and included the north half of Stena Township, and was known as Hartford until 1885, when it was organized as a civil township, only containing a congressional township, six miles square and named Dayton.
The stage route from Groton to Lisbon via Detroit, Stena and Dayton, was established in July, 1883, and the Dayton post office in March, 1884, at Joseph Hedger's. They now have two good school-horses, but recently completed and well furnished.
Joseph U. B. Hedger, from Brunswick, Mo., located on section 35, May 1st, 1883, and was among the first to locate in this township. Mr. Hedger .was born in Dark County, Ohio, came to Michigan in 1845, enlisted in Co. "I," Twenty-fourth Infantry Regiment at Detroit, August 15, 1862. Was wounded in the battle of the Wilderness, Virginia, May 5, 1864. After the close of the war he went to Missouri, where he resided fourteen years.
H. J. Chadwick came here from Adams County, Iowa, about the same time Mr. Hedger did, and settled on section 25.
Mr. Chadwick was born in Washington county, N. Y., and came to Cedar county, Iowa, in 1847, with his parents; served in Co, K," Thirty-fifth Iowa Infantry, from July 24th, 1862 to August, 1865.
The writer had the pleasure of meeting quite a large number of Dayton citizens at their annual school meeting, and through their courtesy secured the names of settler's not present and other information relative to the township. About all of the following named settlers came here in 1883-4, and a few in the last year.
Wm. Mitchell and J. B. Loomis, from North Freedom, settled on section 1.
Wm. McKay, from Michigan, section 1.
Elmer Donaldson, from Allegany County, N. Y., section 2.
Geo. W. Loomis from North Freedom, Wis., section 4;
O. S. Hackett, from the same place, located on section 4 in '85.
J. Moore, from Chicago, Ill., section 4.
Herman Stabinaw, from North Freedom, Wis., section 9.
Wm. A. Fuller, from Michigan, section 9. H. Bartlett, from Glenco, Ont., section 9.
G. W. Trask, originally from New Hampshire, came here from Wisconsin and settled on section 10.
P. C. Fisher, from Chicago, Ill., section 10.
Joseph Ruck, from Whiteside County, Ill., section 11.
C. W. Atkins, from La Salle Co., Ill., section 12.
Albert Fuller, from North Freedom, Wis., section 12.
John Oakes, from Dane Co., Wis., section 12.
C. Grimm, from Des Moines, Ia., section 13.
Mrs. Sarah Ackers, from Lake View, Ia., section 13.
Wm. Nelson, from Meeker Co., Minn., section 14.
J. H. Taylor, from Terre Haute, Ind., section 14.
James R. Gilbert, from Eaton Co., Mich., section 17.
Geo. Bingham, from Meeker Co., Minn., section 20.
D. S. Hastings, from Colorado, section 21.
Frank Nelson and D. McKinley, from Meeker Co.; Minn., section 22.
The Haights are from Columbus Wis. E. H. Haight, section 22.
R. B. Haight, W. H. Haight and J. E. Haight, all settled on section 23, and F. Haight on section 24.
C. H. Lambert, from Cresco, Ia., section 24.
P. Ralston, from Adams Co., Ia., section 26.
Wm. Nale, from Hunting Co., Pa., section 28.
The Misses Cora and Jessie Comstock, from Renville Co., Minn., section 29:
Geo. Comstock, from Montcalm Co., Mich., section. 33.
John Taylor, from Terre Haute, Ind., settled on section 34;
Gus. Pierce, on the same section, came from Minnesota.
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