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Early history of Dayton
Dayton Texas was once part of the Atascocita District, one of Stephen F. Austins original Colonies in Texas. The earliest birth recorded is that of the son of Henry William Munson, later a joint Alcade of the settlement. This birth was given as north of Dayton in an Indian Village where the Two Munson brothers, Henry William and Micajah B. Munson lived while building their home on the bank of the Trinty River. Austin's letters contain a letter from John Ilams asking for a grant that did not flood for them.
Micajah was married to Elizabeth Everett from Martin County North Carolina. She was remembered by the state of Texas on a historical marker in West Liberty County for being given a grant from the Mexican government for a league of land in 1831. In her application, written in formal Spanish, she stated she had lived there and improved the land for six years. Her husband died in 1825, so she may have been asked to rewrite the letter or have been stating the time the men had cleared the land for the settlement as well as her time there. Her only surviving child, Martha Caroline Munson, married Isaiah Cates Day, the founder for whom the city of Dayton Texas was named. She had been married to WIlliam Orr and Edmond Prewitt prior to this marriage and was a widow at the time. She is buried in the French Cemetery called the Linney Cemetery on the lod highway to Liberty.
Isaiah Cates Day was a cattleman and owned cattle in four counties, his brand was a rocking D. His best friend was a member of the Bryan family. The two men joined their cattle and finally sold them to Day's son-in-law, Y.L. Ridgly, who married Amanda, Day's daugher by his first wife, Rachel Whitlock, and moved later to Hillsboro, Texas.
I. C. Day was responsible for the laying of the railroad and for seeing the town's name change from Days Town to Dayton. He is written up in an Oral Slave History of Dayton by a member of his household who was still a child, Lara Cornish of Houston.
Miss Cornish stated that the entire household which was extremely large, gathered at the ranch for Sunday services where "Poppa Day" , as he was called, sang "Amazing Grace." She spoke of Martha Caroline Munson Day as a gentle and loving person. She died in childbirth and left Martha Emily Day to be raised by her relatives and Mr. Day. The related families are the first families listed on the census of 1826.
The families from this line are listed in the newly published First Families of Texas and in the DAR and DRT records. The children from the two wives of Isaiah Day were brought up on the land which was given them by Mr. Day and by his son-in-law, Joseph Wiliam Davis, son of Moses Davis and Amanda Baldwin of Georgia and Louisiana. The Baldwin and Davis families were originally from Virginia.
The Munson Plantation burned. The Davis home, which was built in 1878 by William Benjamin Bradshaw of Simpson Co. Ky. for the family of his bride, Mannie Willlis Davis, burned in 1926. The land is located adjacent to the Cemetery in Dayton where the Bradshaw and Davis relatives were buried. The brother of Micajah Munson, was given a part of Austin's own grant in Brazoria. Most of his family is buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Brazoria County. There are several historical markers for this family and one for Isaiah Cates Day that tells the story of the history of these earliest settlers in this community.
Submitted by Jane Matthews.
I am the great-great grandchild of Isaiah Cates Day. My mother, Alice Bradshaw Rogers, was brought up in Dayton on the land that was known as the M. E. Davis estate. She was able to tell us how the house looked and how life in Dayton was when she grew up. She is listed in Who's Who in American WOmen and Who's Who in Advertising. She married E. A. Rogers and lived in Houston until her death in 1993 of Leukemia.
This page is for perpetual written accounts of historical events that have occurred in the city. Anyone who feels they have pertinent information may submit it. This includes all people in or out of Dayton and could involve any interested adults or children with events or items that are of interest. Items may be submitted for publication on this page where they will remain as part of a historical archive for the city. Items of interest may include noteworthy events, special events of historical importance, information about area growth that pertains to the history of the city, and other pertinent notes. We hope to establish a large data base of information about the history of each city. Historical Societies are encouraged to open their own page on Key to the City for more extensive historical information.
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