1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Dayton (Ohio)

DAYTON, a city and the county-seat of Montgomery county, Ohio, U.S.A., at the confluence of Wolf Creek, Stillwater river and Mad river with the Great Miami, 57 m. N.N.E. of Cincinnati and about 70 m. W.S.W. of Columbus. Pop. (1890) 61,220; (1900) 85,333; (1910) 116,577. In 1900 there were 10,053 foreign-born and 3387 negroes; of the foreign-born 6820 were Germans and 1253 Irish. Dayton is served by the Erie, the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St Louis, the Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Chicago & St Louis, the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton, and the Dayton & Union railways, by ten interurban electric railways, centring here, and by the Miami & Erie Canal. The city extends more than 5 m. from E. to W., and 31/2 m. from N. to S., lies for the most part on level ground at an elevation of about 740 ft. above sea-level, and numerous good, hard gravel roads radiate from it in all directions through the surrounding country, a fertile farming region which abounds in limestone, used in the construction of public and private buildings. Among the more prominent buildings are the court-house—the portion first erected being designed after the Parthenon—the Steele high school, St Mary’s college, Notre Dame academy, the Memorial Building, the Arcade Building, Reibold Building, the Algonquin Hotel, the post office, the public library (containing about 75,000 volumes), the Young Men’s Christian Association building and several churches. At Dayton are the Union Biblical seminary, a theological school of the United Brethren in Christ, and the publishing house of the same denomination. By an agreement made in 1907 the school of theology of Ursinus College (Collegeville, Pennsylvania; the theological school since 1898 had been in Philadelphia) and the Heidelberg Theological seminary (Tiffin, Ohio) united to form the Central Theological seminary of the German Reformed Church, which was established in Dayton in 1908. The boulevard and park along the river add attractiveness to the city. Among the charitable institutions are the Dayton state hospital (for the insane), the Miami Valley and the St Elizabeth hospitals, the Christian Deaconess, the Widows’ and the Children’s homes, and the Door of Hope (for homeless girls); and 1 m. W. of the city is the central branch of the National Home for disabled volunteer soldiers, with its beautifully ornamented grounds, about 1 sq. m. in extent. The Mad river is made to furnish good water-power by means of a hydraulic canal which takes its water through the city, and Dayton’s manufactures are extensive and varied, the establishments of the National Cash Register Company employing in 1907 about 4000 wage-earners. This company is widely known for its “welfare work” on behalf of its operatives. Baths, lunch-rooms, rest-rooms, clubs, lectures, schools and kindergartens have been supplied, and the company has also cultivated domestic pride by offering prizes for the best-kept gardens, &c. From April to July 1901 there was a strike in the already thoroughly unionized factories; complaint was made of the hectoring of union men by a certain foreman, the use in toilet-rooms of towels laundered in non-union shops (the company replied by allowing the men to supply towels themselves), the use on doors of springs not union-made (these were removed by the company), and especially the discharge of four men whom the company refused to reinstate. The company was victorious in the strike, and the factory became an “open shop.” In addition to cash registers, the city’s manufactured products include agricultural implements, clay-working machinery, cotton-seed and linseed oil machinery, filters, turbines, railway cars (the large Barney-Smith car works employed 1800 men in 1905), carriages and wagons, sewing-machines (the Davis Sewing Machine Co.), automobiles, clothing, flour, malt liquors, paper, furniture, tobacco and soap. The total value of the manufactured product, under the “factory system,” was $31,015,293 in 1900 and $39,596,773 in 1905. Dayton’s site was purchased in 1795 from John Cleves Symmes by a party of Revolutionary soldiers, and it was laid out as a town in 1796 by Israel Ludlow (one of the owners), by whom it was named in honour of Jonathan Dayton (1760–1824), a soldier in the War of Independence, a member of Congress from New Jersey in 1791–1799, and a United States senator in 1799–1805. It was made the county-seat in 1803, was incorporated as a town in 1805, grew rapidly after the opening of the canal in 1828, and in 1841 was chartered as a city.