The territory encompassing the Town of Dayton was annexed from Perrysburg in
1835. A watershed, on the northeast corner of the Town, flows towards
Cattaraugus Creek onto the St. Lawrence River. The southern portion of the Town,
by way of Conewango Creek, drains into the Allegany River.
Paying eighteen shillings an acre, the first settles arrived to stay in 1810,
followed by the building of the first saw mill in 1817. At the Town's organization
in 1835, there were 3 saw mills, a tannery and a population of 1,114.
The Buffalo & Southwestern Railroad (1875) runs diagonally, northeast to southwest,
across the Town and junctions with the Erie Railroad in the Village of
A number of settlements developed within the Town of Dayton. West Dayton, the
oldest hamlet in the Town, saw the existence of a saw mill in 1817, inn/hotel in
1825, a tavern, a school and a church in 1818, a shingle mill in 1862, a cheese
factory (1866), 2 general stores and 2 churches. The post office was established
within the hamlet in 1850 and known as Cottage Post Office.
Markham, formerly known as Markham's Corners, began as station and post office on the Buffalo & Southwestern Railroad. The village was named in honor of Joshua Markham, who settled here in 1834 and opened an inn. Development included a
shingle mill at Markhams, plus railroad station, 2 hotels, a grocery, several saw
mills, a cheese factory. The Dayton post office was established here in 1876.
Pine Valley (today known as South Dayton) saw its first settlers in 1816. With
time came the opening of several establishments including a railroad station, 2
dry good stores, a hardware (1878), drug store, hotel (Wickham House - 1877),
tavern, clothing store, 2 groceries (first opening in 1862), several shops (i.e.
A.L. Rowe, Ewing & Whipple, and Wilson & Wade), a dental/physician's office, a
hotel, a shingle mill (1852), 2 churches, 2 saw mills, a grape basket factory,
shingle mill (i.e. Burkhalter & Wickham - 1852), a steam lumber mill (1878), and
a stave and heading factory (i.e . C. J . Babcock & Co .). A broom factory and
carriage shop also operated in Pine Valley.
Dayton Village, the principal village in the Town, saw its first settler in 1818.
Development that followed included: store/post office (1851), drug store (1870),
hardware store (Langmaid & Cheney - 1874), furniture store, hotel (1852), 3
general stores, a drug store/doctors office (1821) , hardware store, two hotels,
a livery, a bank, a stave & heading factory, a lawyer's office (1864), a feed
mill, 3 churches, a school, telegraph and express office, several shops. "Educational
Grove" was the first brick school house built in the Village of Dayton in
1879. Cheese making was the principal industry of the Town, with a cheese factory
opening in 1865 in Dayton Village.
Wesley, (originally known as Sociality and also known as Howard's Corners) located
on the old Jamestown Road, was a postal hamlet. The first post office in
the Town in 1833 was known as Sociality (discontinued in 1851). Wesley saw the
development of a store (1833), a cheese factory (1873), a church, and a few
Read a history written by Ruth Bennett, Town of Dayton Historian.
Cattaraugus County Book 1808-1995/96