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Dayton Township was originally a part of Chickasaw Township, one of the five election districts created at the organization of the county. At the February term of the County Court, 1857, an order was made the Congressional Township 95, range 13, be organized as a separate township under the name of Dayton, the name being given in honor of the man who had been the candidate for vice president on the Fremont ticket the year previous to this. D. A. Jackson was appointed organizing constable and authorized to call an election of the qualified voters of the township to select the necessary officers.
Pursuant to the order of the court, D. A. Jackson, organizing constable, called an election to be held at his house, April 6, 1857, for the purpose of choosing men to serve as township officers. Twenty-three qualified voters responded to the call and proceeded to the formalities of choosing an election board to have charge of the ballets.
Eli Darst, was made chairman of the organization meeting.
E. R. Gillet, was secretary.
C. M. Webster, William S. Morley, Wesley Swayzee, judges of the election.
D. A. Jackson and L. J. Young, clerks.
This election was formally sworn and the ballot was cast and counted with the following results:
Trustees - - C. M. Webster, Eli Darst and Wesley Swayzee
Clerk - - Levi J. Young
Justices of Peace - - E. R. Gillett and William S. Morley ( There were two opposing candidates for each of these offices and the vote for Morley and E. B. Hewitt, for justice of peace ended in a tie. The choice was determined by lot in favor of Morley).
Constables - - E. B. Miller and William Haslam
Road Supervisor - - Z. H. Morton
At the present time Dayton Township has a population of 742, mostly farmers, of different nationalities, but all loyally united in the promotion of American ideals. The farms, farm buildings, and everything about the farms, are indicative of modern ideas and general prosperity.
The first entry of record in Dayton Township was made by a land speculator for a valuable tract of timber, some time in the month of May 1853. It is given as the opinion of the writer, that this entry of the speculator was largely responsible for the tardy development of this township, in that it tended to prevent actual settlers from locating there.
William Millikan and a man by the named of Smith, from Illinois were the first permanent settlers in Dayton Township arriving around 1854. Millikan built a temporary shack near Spring River where he had pre-empted land. His place was known by hunters and travelers for miles around, as the "Hunters House" It is said that Millikan often entertained and fed as many as fifteen or twenty hunters and travelers, and land speculators in one night.
Smith also pre-empted land and built a shack thereon but sold his claim to a land speculator some time in the winter following.
Relating to Millikan, the article from which these facts are gleaned says:
" The same winter (1854) our honest host of the "Hunters Home" was shamefully wronged from the legal possession of his homestead, The facts related to me by him were as follows:
" During the fall, Millikan received intelligence that his son lay sick in Dubuque, and was not likely to recover, and wished to see him. While he was gone, a land speculator with two bribed witnesses, made oath the Mr. Millikan had left the country and did not intend to return, and the speculator entered the land. Mr. Millikan, being a raw Irishman, and knowing nothing about the laws of our country, made no disturbance about it on his return."
Ref: New Hampton Courier, Historical Paper 1881, Author - L. J. Young
History of Chickasaw and Howard Counties (1919) Vol. 1, Chapter 11, Pages 249 and 250
Synopsis of Pages Transcribed by Lookup Person, Leonard Granger firstname.lastname@example.org
CHICKASAW COUNTY MAIN PAGE