(photos and selections from "A Short History of Dayton, Indiana" by Susan Yost Clawson)
The first settlers came to Dayton from the Connorsville-Noblesville-Strawtown area of Indiana in 1825. William Bush divided part of his land into lots about 1827. Bush and Dr. Timothy Horram filed adjoining town plats on the same day in 1829. Then a few years later David Gregory filed a third plat, and the combined town took the name of Dayton after the principal town in the area of southern Ohio from which many of the settlers came. Gregory donated a lot for a town school.
The town probably began as a market place for the people on the surrounding farms. Storekeepers were among the earliest settlers. Very quickly, however, the town acquired a number of small industries. A sawmill and then a gristmill were built. Coopers, broommakers, and chairmakers settled here. Wagon makers set up shop. One of the first undertakers in the state began an undertaking business in Dayton about 1850.