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  • Early History of Columbia County


    In The Year of 1866
    A great influx of settlers came, orchards were planted,schools established, property increased in valuation. There was no outlet for the grain the farmers were raising, but they became quite self sustaining and prosperous. A flouring mill was built at Longs Station, known as Milton Mills, also others sprung up. This mill at Longs Station laid idle for 36 years.
    In The Year of 1869

    First attempt to create a new county from Walla Walla County, mainly by Waitsburg citizens failed.

    In The Year of 1870
    In 1870, it is recorded, Jesse N. Day owned the farm at the "crossing (meaning the crossing of the Touchet and Patit). The Lewiston road followed what is now Main street through a wide lane, which was used as a race course by those having faith in the speed of their ponies. This lane divided the farm into two wheat fields. Next above on the Touchet resided John Mustard and above him were the farms of, Ezekel Hobbs, W.S. Newland and Perry Earl. Going downstream one found Lambert Hearn, Phil Gibberson, Jim Danskin, R.G.Newland, Elias Muncey, John Long, J.B. Schrum and Samuel L. Gilbreath on the Touchet. Uncle Joe Smith and Frank Thompson on the hill west of Long Station and the widows Payne and E.E. Ellis in Payne Hollow, Elisha Ping, I.N. Robinson, G.W. Miller, S.D. Earl and Lot Wiggins lived on the Patit.
    In The Year of 1871

    The plat of the townsite of Dayton was filed and recorded in Walla Walla county by Jesse N. Day and his wife. Also Mr. Wait and Bill Matzger erected a flouring mill in Dayton.
    In The Year of 1872
    A large amount of building in Dayton was going up. the first brick store was erected at a cost of $45,000
    In The Year of 1873
    A flour mill, planing mill and a woolen mill attracted a large trade.
    In The Year of 1874
    Publication of the Dayton News started.
    In The Year of 1875
    Columbia County was formed, It included land of present day, Asotin and Garfield Counties.
    In The Year of 1876
    Dayton High School will open September 4, 1876, Tuition, primary department $6.00 per quarter, advanced department $10.00 per quarter. This notice appeared in the Walla Walla Union. Later August 18, 1876....The new Presbyterian Church is being fitted up for Professor Edminston's High School. (the school opened with 38 students).
    At this time it was recorded the population of Dayton 106 families actually residing and doing business in the town. (526 individuals)
    In The Year of 1877
    Columbia County was connected with the outside world by telegraph.
    In The Year of 1878
    September 7, 1878 Dayton had nearly 1000 population, remember that Columbia County included Garfield and Asotin counties at this time. but according to the census of 1878 Columbia County had 70 more then Walla Walla county which was recorded as the second largest county in the State and for a time Columbia County was the largest in the State.
    First Hook and Ladder Company formed. 50 students reported for school. New lumber yard. Regular city dray established. City milk wagon on deliveries. This is the same year there was a attempt to put Walla Walla and Columbia county in Oregon. This failed but not without a fight.. This year there were numerous Indian War scares, especially hard fighting around Pendleton. Some of our men from Dayton were called upon to help out.

    To Be Continued

    Source:"Dayton's Main Street and more Newsletter" Nadine Dieringer Publisher, in 1998 received permission to print it as compiled by Mrs. Charlotte Smith and printed by the Dayton Chronicle in 1965,all material is Public Domain.
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