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 20th.
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, Missouri, 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, New York, 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, Wisconsin, settled on section 1.
Wm. McKay, from Michigan, section 1.
Elmer Donaldson, from Allegany County, New York, section 2.
Geo. W. Loomis from North Freedom, Wisconsin, section 4;
O. S. Hackett, from the same place, located on section 4 in ’85.
J. Moore, from Chicago, Illinois, section 4.
Herman Stabinaw, from North Freedom, Wisconsin, section 9.
Wm. A. Fuller, from Michigan, section 9.
H. Bartlett, from Glenco, Ontario, section 9.
G. W. Trask, originally from New Hampshire, came here from Wisconsin and settled on section 10.
P. C. Fisher, from Chicago, Illinois, section 10.
Joseph Ruck, from Whiteside County, Illinois, section 11.
C. W. Atkins, from La Salle County, Illinois, section 12.
Albert Fuller, from North Freedom, Wisconsin, section 12.
John Oakes, from Dane County, Wisconsin, section 12.
C. Grimm, from Des Moines, Iowa, section 13.
Mrs. Sarah Ackers, from Lake View, Iowa, section 13.
Wm. Nelson, from Meeker County, Minnesota, section 14.
J. H. Taylor, from Terre Haute, Indiana, section 14.
James R. Gilbert, from Eaton County, Michigan, section 17.
Geo. Bingham, from Meeker County, Minnesota, section 20.
D. S. Hastings, from Colorado, section 21.
Frank Nelson and D. McKinley, from Meeker County, Minnesota, section 22.
The Haights are from Columbus, Wisconsin. 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, Iowa, section 24.
P. Ralston, from Adams County, Iowa, section 26.
Wm. Nale, from Hunting County, Pennsylvania, [sic Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania] section 28.
The Misses Cora and Jessie Comstock, from Renville County, Minnesota, section 29:
Geo. Comstock, from Montcalm County, Michigan, section. 33.
John Taylor, from Terre Haute, Indiana, settled on section 34;
Gus. Pierce, on the same section, came from Minnesota.
Hickman, George; History of Marshall County, Dakota: Its Topography and Natural History, and Sketches of Pioneer Settlers, with the Names of Actual Settlers where They are From, and where They Live; Also the Military and Sisseton Reservations; J.W. Banbury, 1886.