Dayton, a city and the capital of Montgomery co., Ohio, at the confluence of the Mad and Great Miami rivers, on the Miami canal, 46 m. N. N. E. of Cincinnati, and 66 m. W. S. W. of Columbus; pop. in 1840, 6,067; in 1850, 10,-977; in 1860, 20,081; and in 1870, 30,473, of whom 7,423 were foreign born. There were 6,109 families, with an average of 4.99 persons to a family, and 5,611 dwellings, averaging 5.43 persons to a dwelling. The city is regularly laid out on the E. bank of the Great Miami, with streets 100 ft. wide, crossing each other at right angles, lighted with gas, and lined with tasteful private residences, surrounded by fine gardens. The public buildings display a magnificence rarely equalled in commercial cities of such rapid growth. The county court house, planned after the model of the Parthenon, is an imposing edifice, 127 ft. long by 62 ft. wide, of coarse but compact white marble, quarried in the neighborhood. The roof is of stone, the doors are of solid iron, and the cost of the whole was somewhat over $100,-000. One of the market houses, 400 ft. long, and paved with blocks of limestone, has accommodations for a city hall and council chamber in the second story.
Several lines of railroad furnish ready means of communication with the principal cities of the west, viz.: the Atlantic and Great Western; the Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton; the Dayton and Union; the Dayton and Michigan; the Dayton, Xenia, and Western; and the Cincinnati, Sandusky, and Cleveland. There is an immense water power within the city limits, a great part of which is obtained from a hydraulic canal, built by a company in 1845, and drawing its supply from a point on the Mad river 4 m. above Dayton. The power thus obtained is leased to manufacturers, and the surplus ultimately finds its way to the Miami. Dayton is a place of great industrial activity, and one of the most important of the interior cities of the United States. It is especially noted for its manufactures of railroad cars, paper, stoves, and hollow ware, which amount annually to over $3,000,000. There are also several iron founderies and machine shops, brass founderies, flour mills, saw mills, manufactories of cotton and woollen goods, of linseed oil, agricultural implements, of sash, doors, and blinds, numerous breweries, 3 national banks with $800,000 capital, 2 state banks, and 8 insurance companies with $1,260,000 capital. It is divided into 11 wards.
The principal charitable institutions are the city orphan asylum, the county almshouse, and the southern lunatic asylum of Ohio, which has about 250 patients. An institution of great interest is the central national soldiers' home, situated on an elevation 4 m. from the city. It consists of a group of 40 large buildings, including a handsome church of native white limestone, and a hospital of brick, with freestone facings and trimmings, capable of accommodating 300 patients. There are also a brick dining hall seating 3,000, a library, music hall, billiard room, bowling alley, headquarters building, and barracks for the men. The grounds embrace 640 acres, shaded with natural forest trees, handsomely laid out, with fine avenues, a deer park, an artificial lake, natural grotto, hothouses, and flower beds. During 1872 the home provided for 2,426 disabled soldiers; the current expenses amounted to $199,136 68. The public schools are numerous and of a high character. In 1872 the high school had 6 teachers and an average attendance of 167pupils; grammar schools, 28 teachers and 836 pupils; primary schools, 54 teachers and 2,580 pupils; evening schools, 5 teachers and 210 pupils; total, 93 teachers and an average attendance of 3,812. The total expenditure for school purposes was $144,149 03, of which, $48,043 10 were for permanent improvements, and $60,302 59 for teachers'wages. The public school library contains 10,000 volumes.
Cooper seminary (Presbyterian), an institution for the superior instruction of females, organized in 1843, in 1872 had 8 instructors, 123 students, of whom 76 were in the collegiate department, and a library of 1,200 volumes. There are 2 daily newspapers, 1 tri-weekly (German), 7 weekly (2 German), 3 semimonthly and 3 monthly periodicals, and 42 churches. Dayton was settled in 1796, and incorporated as a town in 1805, but it made little progress until the opening of the Miami canal in 1829. It received a city charter in 1841.