JOHN J. DAYTON, Station Agent of the C. & N. W. R. R., at Belle Plaine, was born in Orange County, N. Y., June 15, 1833, and is the son of Merritt W. and Emily J. (Hill) Dayton. His father was born in Suffolk County, L. I., and moved to Orange County in early manhood. His mother was born in Orange County, and there they were married. They emigrated from New York to Scott County, this State, in the spring of 1853, where his father died in the following fall. His mother is a resident of Belle Plaine and is now eighty years of age. John J. went to sea when fourteen years of age, sailing at first in the merchant coasting trade. Subsequently he ran between New York and Liverpool and in the Mediterranean trade. He continued to follow the sea until 1853, when, learning of his father's death, he came to Iowa and conducted the home farm for four years. In 1857 he returned to New York and again took up the life of a sailor, engaging in the merchant service to the West Indies and the Mediterranean. He continued this until 1859, when he returned to New York City and engaged as a clerk in a mercantile house.
His marriage took place in that city, Oct. 31, 1860, to Miss Maria Cone, daughter of John and Mary Cone; she was born in New York City. Mr. Dayton and wife came to Iowa in 1866, and made their home for one year on a farm in Iowa County near Belle Plaine. In the spring of 1868 Mr. D. located in Belle Plaine, and engaged in the grocery business until the spring of 1872, when he sold out and accepted a position as clerk with the C. & N. W. R. R. Co. He was soon afterward appointed Station Agent at Tama City, and filled that position five years. He was then transferred to Dakota City, where he served in the same capacity one year. He then resigned, coming to Belle Plaine in September, 1882, and in March, 1883, was appointed to his present position. He is a prompt and accurate accountant, a courteous and affable gentleman, and discharges the duties devolving upon him acceptably to the company and with satisfaction to their patrons.Mr. Dayton has served in the City Council of Belle Plaine two terms; is a Mason, a member of the A. O. U. W., and is the only charter member of Belle Plaine Lodge, No. 151, I. O. O. F., now resident of this city. He is also a member of Hope Lodge, A. F. & A. M., No. 175, of Mt. Horeb Chapter R. A. M., No. 45, and of St. Bernard Commandery, K. T., No. 14. He is an active, working member, and has held nearly all the various offices.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 261.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on February 9th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.