How It All Began

Jesse Green, son of John Green (“father” in the excerpt below), wrote a memoir in 1895, in which he recounted the settling of Dayton:

On August 27, 1829, father with William Green, Joseph Grove and William Lambert left on horseback to explore the Northwest. They passed through Chicago where they found few settlers. They frequently slept on the ground. They came upon the Fox river and followed it down to the rapids where William Clark had arrived in the spring of that same year and built a cabin. The location was ideal for a mill site and was situated on lands subject to entry at that time. Father bought Mr. Clark’s claim on which he was living, and hired him to put in forty acres of fall wheat, and to build another and larger log cabin 18 by 24 feet (all in one room) by the time he should return from Ohio with his family.

 He then returned to his home in Ohio as speedily as possible as it was already late in the season to think of moving that fall, but he had made up his mind to do so, and was not easily swerved from his purpose, as he was a man of positive character and consequently was strong willed, many thought recklessly so sometimes. But his resolutions being coupled with good sound judgement and “good hard horse sense” he was usually successful in his ventures.

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