Tuesday, December 2, 2008

East Dayton Farmhouses: Surveys, Early Settlers, & Tates Point

Continuing to explore East Dayton's pioneer past with a look at the lay of the land, the first surveys and settlers, and Tates Point.

The landscape from a 1804 map, which shows contours. East Dayton as the bottoms of the Mad River, the low bluff or rise marking the end of the flood plain, and the bench or flats from the bluff to the eastern hills. One of these had two historic names, Hamer's Hill (from the first settler) and Tates' Point, which was the name used during most of the 19th Century. Both usages are no longer current.

South of Tates Point was the rise or ridge known as Huffman Hill. To the east the land rolls down to the valley again, toward McConnells Creek.

A saddle or gap seperated the high land of Huffman Hill from the heights of Belmont to the south. This gap was used by the road to Xenia and later the DX&P railroad, and in modern times US 35.

Lines on the Land: The Between the Miamis Survey

The land had questionable early history. Aboriginal title was extinguished at the Treaty of Greene Ville, and the land was mistakenly thought to be part of Symmes Purchase, thus underwent an early survey in the late 1700s.
Subsequent to the Symmes land ownership controversy (people were buying property from Symmes that he did not own) Congressed authorized a re-survey in 1801 and the land was surveyed as the Land Between the Miamis Survey, between 1802 and 1805.

The modern township, section, and quarter section lines date from this survey and form the framework for land sudivision in East Dayton.

In the above map the numbers are the sections (640 acres), which are subdivided into quarter sections (160 acres) . These can be subdivided again into quarter-quarter sections (40 acres, which is where "40 acres and a mule" comes from). Federal surveys usually went no further than quarter secctions.

Early Settlers and Locations

Since Dayton was settled in 1796 with and the official Federal surveys commenced in 1802 some parcels were settled prior to the Federal survey. An early record of property ownership is the 1805 tax duplicate for Dayton Township. This lists taxpayers by name and by location and acreage. Using this information, the 1850s map, and knowlege of the section numbering system the location of the first landowners in East Dayton can be mapped with some accuracy:

It should be noted that Daniel Cooper obtained the Dayton townsite, city and town lots and surrounding lands, via a pre-emption. The eastern boundary of his land was a half section line running north-south to the Mad River, and was the city limit until the 1870s.

One can recognize some familiar names on this map, such as Van Cleve, Edgar, and Newcom, the first settlers of Dayton. The first Dayton settler to actually locate beyond the townsite was William Hamer, who acquired two quarter sections in 1796. One of the quater sections was in section 29, set aside for "ministerial purposes" by Symmes, and since Hamer was a Methodist preacher he located on the section, on the hill that was named for he and his kin.

The first anglo child born here was born to the Hamers, named Dayton after the new town.

The 1805 property ownership with some later changes, drawn on the 1869 Titus map. One can see Hamer's property at a strategic location, whith their cabin, later house, facing the Springfield road and Mad River bottoms.

James Findlays property, which we've seen earlier, is shown in gray.

It's unclear how the property came to be further subdivided. Doing some cursory geneological research on Dayton Hamer: He was married in 1819 sold mill rights and land along the Mad River in 1826, and eventually relocated to Tippicanoe County Indiana either in the late 1820s or early 1830s.

Apparently his descedents ended up in Illinois (Danville area) and perhaps one, also named Dayton Hamer, ended up on San Francisco Bay, Alameda County California, buried in a pioneer cemetary near San Leandro. A neat little family saga illustrating the westering urge in American history.

Tates Point

In any case the property came to the Tate Family, listed as beloning to S. Tate in the 1850s map (most of the eastern quarter section came to Jonathan Harshman). The Tates apparently aslo owned Tates Mill, located in todays McKinley Park: Forest Avenue was known as Tates Mill Road in 1869.

But the house was older, probably built by Dayton Hamer, as Lutzenberger dates it to 1818 (though I think the brackets at the roof are later than that). This is a surviving photo of one of the oldest farmhouses in East Dayton

Lutzenberger's caption on Tates Point reads:

Note:The 116-year-old house at Tates Point in which officers of the First Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry were quartered. Colonel Edwin Parrott of Dayton was in charge of the regiment at that time. He and other officers lived in the house. The men camped on the hillside. The house was built in 1818 and was razed in 1934.

This camp was Camp Corwin, and was a mustering point for Civil War volunteers from the Dayton area. The First Regiment mentioned in the caption eventually fought at First Bull Run, coverning the Union retreat to Washington.

Perhaps a later image of Tates Point showing the industrializing Mad River bottoms. The house was replaced by a big slaughterhouse which still stands, though it's used for something else now.

The rest of the Tate/Hamer property atop the hill was developed as a very out-of-the-way housing project.


Fred Mischler said...

Some of the later history of that farmhouse, as I understand it, is that it was owned in the 1870's and later by the Focke family. My grandfather, Elmer Focke, was born there in 1892. The slaughterhouse you mentioned was probably the Focke Meatpacking plant that operated until about 1972. You can probably get more history from my cousin Ed Breen, living in Kettering as of September 2015.

Unknown said...

Fred, I'm trying to pinpoint the location on the former Tate home on Google Earth. While I agree is was razed at some point, I question if it was replaced by the plant. Based on the photos appearing on this webpage the home is at least part way up the hill whereas the building once used by the plant is at the base of the hill. Could you or your cousin post the latitude/longitude of your best estimate of where the home once stood?

FredMischler said...

Alan, my cousin is glad to speak with you. He wrote the following:

"would you please tell him to contact me at catbreen6@aol.com I would be glad to talk to him. Tell him also to go on Amazon or go to Dayton History gift shop at Carollon Park and buy the book "Elmer's World" Butchers, bombs and Broadway Stars the house is fully described in the book as well as the early ownership of the lane by Mr. Hamer and Mr. Tate who made liquor there and sold it in Cincinnati. You are correct all the Focke children from 1872 until 1900 were born in that farm house. The plant never replaced the farm house. The farm house was on top of the hill and the plant below the hill. Every day William Focke left the family home and waked down the hill to his meat plant. All of that is explained in the book. Tell that guy if he would go out to 1712 Springfield St. where the plant still is today to go to the left of the parking lot and he will find an old brick road that lead up to where the farm house use to be. The old brick road is over grown some what but is still very visible and will give him a good idea of where the farm house use to be., Thanks....
Sincerely, Ed Breen"

Unknown said...

Fred, thanks - just e-mailed Ed.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Did you ever find the old road? Thanks!

Unknown said...

Yes, it is visible from Springfield Street and on Google Earth.