The Green Houses

map of Dayton showing location of Dayton Green houses

Location of Green family houses

The Green Houses
Maud V. Green

The first house in Dayton was on the site of our present home [1] and was probably not a log cabin as Grandfather [John Green] had put a saw-mill in one end of the flour-mill in the spring of 1830, leaving his family on the farm four miles up the river until the next Fall, in the cabin 18 x 24 where they had spent the first winter.  They were still in the first house in 1832 at the time of the Blackhawk War as they made a fort of it that summer and had sixty people there just after the Indian Creek Massacre.  Then they all went to Ottawa where Ft. Johnston was built on the south bluff.

I never heard how long it was until the second house was built in the hillside, facing the river.  It had three stories with a spring in the basement floor running into a stone trough, parts of which are still in existence.  The spring dried up long ago but I can remember it.  The upper floor was even with the top of the hill.  It had a porch on the east side of at least one floor.  While the men were away at the California Gold Rush in 1849 the Hite family lived in this house and rented the farm, the only time any but the Green family ever lived here (in 117 years).

In the summer of 1853 John Green & his sons David and Jesse built three square frame houses in a row [1, 2, 3],  John’s where the first house stood.  In these three houses, the Jesse, David & Isaac Green families grew up.  The Jesse Green house [3] was destroyed by fire within the last twenty years and our father’s house [1] was torn down (in 1924) and replaced by the present structure, which is the fourth house on the original building spot.  The David Green house, [2] owned by Charles and Grace Clifford, is the only one still standing of the three built in 1853.

[See pictures of all of these houses here.]

The David Green House

David Green house in 1907

The David Green house in 1907

This house is one of the three built in 1853 by John Green and his sons, Jesse and David. It is the only one of the three still standing. It was given to Grace Green as a wedding present when she married Charles Clifford in 1937.

The house in 1937







1937 floor plan









They remodeled the house, moving the stairs from the center of the house to one side in order to open up a large living room that took up half of the ground floor, adding closets to the upstairs bedrooms, and replacing the kitchen.

post-1937 floor plan




The John Green House

The house built by John Green in 1853 was on the bluff above the mill and dam. It faced south and the wide porch must have been a sunny place to work or relax. Four of John and Barbara’s children were still at home when the new house was built, although not for long. Joseph died two years later; Rachael and Rebecca married, but Isaac stayed in the family home and in 1865 brought his bride, Mary Jane Trumbo, to live there. Isaac worked the farm with his father and cared for his parents in their old age. The farm is still in the possession of Isaac’s descendants. Isaac died in 1904 and his son Lyle took over the running of the farm, with his older sister Maud keeping house for him and their mother. In 1908, Lyle married Eva Duffield and Maud and Mary Jane moved to Ottawa.

In 1926, Lyle decided to tear the house down and replace it. The kitchen was detached from the house and moved across the road, where it became a house for a hired man.

hired man's house (old kitchen)

Old kitchen now a house

The new house occupied the same site as the old and also faced south. Lyle and Eva divorced and Maud moved back to Dayton to keep house for her brother again. When Lyle died in 1935, his brother Ralph took over the house and the running of the farm.

Ralph Green house

The new house