There is only one village within the limits of the town, Boaz, which is located on sections 19 and 20.
The first settlement in the town of Dayton seems to have been made as early as 1852. During that year John Messingil and his two sons, Thomas and Benjamin, and John and George Mathews came and selected homes within the present limits of this town.
John Messingil entered the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 23. His son Thomas entered the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 14. Benjamin made a claim of the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 15. In 1853 they all sold out and moved away.
John and George Mathews were brothers; natives of Illinois. They were here as early as the Messingils and settled on the northwest quarter of section 25, where they erected a double log cabin and made a small clearing. They remained about one year. John was the first sheriff of Richland county; he now lives in Arkansas. George is dead.
From 1852 until 1856 the settlement of the town progressed rapidly. The following named came during that period: John H Rizer, A J Parish, John H Noble, Edmund Davis, Reason Barnes and his son James T, William Akan, William Robinson, Henry Robinson, Levi Hart, L M Keepers, Archibald Benjamin, John Purcell, Lorenzo Woodman, Comfort C Walker, Lyman Wood, Peter Fall, Benjamin B Norris, Jacob Dix, Jacob Berger, Martin Shumaker, Charles Hurless, Valentine Groh, John and Henry Wolf, Christian Tappy, C C Nevil, George Marsh, Alfred Durnford, Andrew J Campbell, Levi Leslie, Martin Smith, G W Oglevie, Henry McNelly, Jacob Reed and Joel Berry.
John H Rizer was a native of Maryland. He entered land on section 20. His home is now in the town of Akan.
A J Parish entered the southwest quarter of section 19. He has since removed to Oregon.
John Noble was a native of Ohio. He came here in 1853, and located upon the west half of the northwest quarter of section 29, where he lived until the time of his death.
Seth Miller settled on the north half of the northeast quarter of section 29. He remained there about twelve years when he removed to Missouri.
William Akan was a native of New York city. He came here from St. Louis, Mo., in 1854, and entered land on section 14, which remained his home until the time of his death, Jan. 3, 1881. Mr. Akan was born in the city of New York, June 19, 1803. In 1805 the family removed to Philadelphia, and in 1814 to Pittsburg. Here he learned the stone-cutter's trade, and afterward worked on the construction of the first railroad in the United States. In 1830 he was married to Mrs. Catharine Gillmore, nee Hamel, and reared seven children. He was the third settler on Brush creek. Although he lived upon his farm, he spent the most of his time at his trade. At his death he left a wife and three children to mourn his loss. Mr. Akan was a member of the Masonic fraternity for many years, and his funeral was conducted under the auspices of the lodge at Richland Center. His wife and daughter now live at Nashville, Tenn.
William Robinson, a native of Kentucky, came here from Indiana in 1853, and bought forty acres of land in town 9, range 2 east. He lived there one year, and in 1854 came to Dayton and entered the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter of section 34. In 1866 he bought land on section 26, where he improved a farm and lived until the time of his death. His widow lives with her sons on section 35.
Mr. Barnes was a native of Maryland. He had come to the county as early as 1848, and entered land in the southern part of the county. In 1849 he moved to the county and settled at Richmond (now Orion). In 1854 Mr. Barnes and his son, J T, entered the present site of the village of Boaz. The father lived to see a flourishing village grow up here. James T is still a resident.
Edmund Davis was a native of the State of New York. He entered the southwest quarter of section 29, and the east half of the southeast quarter of section 30. He was a resident of the town until 1877, when he sold out and removed to Hancock Co., Iowa, where he still lives.
Henry Robinson, a Kentuckian, came to Richland county from Indiana in 1854, and spent the first winter at Pleasant Hill, in the town of Eagle. In the spring of 1855 he came to the town of Dayton and entered the south half of the southeast quarter of section 28. He cleared a farm and lived here until 1871, when he sold out and removed to Boone Co., Neb., where he, his wife and two sons have since died.
Comfort C Walker, a native of the State of New York, came to the town of Dayton in 1854 and settled on the northeast quarter of section 25, where he erected a log house and kept travelers. In 1857 he removed to Dayton Corners, and there erected a large house which he opened as a tavern. When the war broke out he went into the army and died in the service. His widow kept the tavern for some time, and still lives at Dayton Corners.
Lorenzo Woodman was a native of the State of New York. He settled on the southwest quarter of section 14, where he died in 1858. His widow and several of the children still occupy the old homestead.
Lyman Wood, a native of the State of New York, came here from Ohio, in 1856 and located on section 6. He lived there until the time of his death, and the family still occupy the old homestead.
Levi Hart, a native of New York State, came here from Ohio, and entered the north half of the southeast quarter of section 28, where he still resides.
L M Keepers came here from Ohio in company with Levi Hart, and entered the west half of the northeast quarter and the east half of the northwest quarter of section 32. He cleared a portion of the place and erected a small log house. When the war broke out he enlisted, and died in the service. His widow afterward married a Mr. Marsh. She is now dead, while most of the children live in Nebraska.
Archibald Benjamin, a native of the State of New York, came here from the southern part of the county and entered the northwest quarter and the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 28. He remained here five or six years and then removed to Richland Center, and engaged in trade. A few years later he went to Sparta, Wis., where he died.
John Purcell came to Richland county from Indiana, and located for a time at Orion, where he followed his trade, blacksmithing. In the spring of 1855 he came to Dayton and entered land on section 32. He lived there until 1883, when he sold out and removed to Missouri.
Peter Fall was a native of Virginia. He settled on section 13, where he cleared a portion of his land and worked at blacksmithing, remaining several years.
Benjamin B Norris was a native of Ohio. He settled on the north half of the southeast quarter of section 14. He was a cabinet maker, and erected a shop in which he manufactured chairs, tables and other articles of household furniture. In 1860 he sold out to remove to the northeast quarter of section 14. When the war broke out he enlisted and died in the service. His widow still occupies the old homestead.
Jacob Dix settled on section 11, where he improved a farm. He is now dead and the family are scattered.
Jacob Berger, Martin Shumaker, Charles Hurless, Valentine Groh, John and Henry Wolf and Christian Tappy were Germans. Mr. Berger was a cabinet maker, and had been in the United States, since his twelfth year. He entered land on section 15, where he still lives. Mr. Shumaker first settled on section 23, but now lives on section 18. Mr. Hurless settled on section 5, where he still lives. Mr. Groh located on section 21, and now lives on section 7. The Wolf brothers settled on section 22. The remaining one now lives on section 16. John sold out a few years ago and moved to Dakota, settling in Turner county, where he has since died. Mr. Tappy settled on section 10, where he still lives.
C C Nevil was a native of Pennsylvania. He settled on section 10, and is still a resident of the town.
Andrew J Campbell was a native of Indiana. He entered land on sections 12 and 13, which place remained his home until 1881. He now lives in the town of Richland.
George Marsh settled on section 11. His home is now in Minnesota.
A Durnford was a native of England. He located on section 1, where he improved a farm and lived for many years. He is still a resident of the county.
Levi Leslie first settled on section 6. He lived in several parts of the town for a number of years and finally settled in Marshall, where he died.
Martin Smith was a native of Ohio. He settled on the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section 20. He is now living in Nebraska.
G W Oglevie came here from the southern part of the county and settled on section 22. He was a miller by trade and worked on different mills in the county. He remained here a few years, then moved away and is now dead.
Henry McNelly was a practicing physician --- the first to locate in the town. He settled on section 28. He sold his land a few years later.
Joel Berry settled on section 23 and improved a farm which he occupied for several years. He is now in Kansas.
Jacob Reed was a native of Pennsylvania. He settled on section 10. He sold out several years later and moved away.
Prior to its organization the territory now comprising the town of Dayton was annexed to the civil town of Eagle. In 1857 Dayton was organized. The first election was held on the 7th of April of that year, at the house of Henry McNelly. Archibald Benjamin and John H Rizer were chosen inspectors, and J S Robinson and Alfred Durnford, clerks of the election. The town officers elected at this time were as follows: Supervisors, G W Oglevie, chairman, Lorenzo Woodman and L L Leslie; town clerk, James S Robinson; superintendent of schools, Archibald Benjamin; treasurer, Edmund Davis; assessor, C C Walker; justices of the peace, Lorenzo Woodman, Collins P Pratt, John Noble and Lyman Wood; constables, Edward F Wait, Martin Smith, J Wood and S Gravatt.
In 1883 a town house was erected on the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of section 21, which cost $400.
At the annual town meeting held at the Dayton Corners' school house April 3, 1883, the following town officers were elected: Supervisors, C A Burghagen, chairman, John Akan, W Flamme; clerk, W H Miller; treasurer, Tom J Hallin; assessor, John Bowen; justices, J M Adair, J Vanderpool and Henry Bannister; constables, W Smart, Noah McKy and Joe Brogan.
This is the only village within the limits of the town of Dayton. It is located on sections 19 and 20, on Mill creek. The village is surrounded by an excellent agricultural and dairying country, and enjoys a good trade.
The village was platted in the winter of 1857-8 by R and J T Barnes. The first store on the village site was started in 1857 by R Barnes and M Ripley. In 1861 Mr. Barnes purchased the store, and ran it until the time of his death in 1871. He was succeeded by J W Briggs and W M Barnes.
The first blacksmith shop at Boaz was opened in 1857 by Conrad Kierns, who remained about ten years. He was then succeeded by Stephen Bailey.
George H Starr was the first harness maker to locate in the village. He established his shop in October, 1870, and is still in trade.
The first wagon maker in the village was Peter Kierns, who occupied the same building as his brother, Conrad.
The next wagon shop was established by W J Woodruff and E S Fessenden. They sold to Jerome Cross.
The first hotel at Boaz was opened by Lewis Berry in 1870. Charles Pierce was the second landlord.
The Boaz House was erected in 1859 by M Ripley, who occupied it for a number of years as a store and dwelling. In 1874 the property was purchased by George H Starr, and in connection with his harness shop he ran this as the Starr Hotel. In 1876 he was succeeded as landlord by D J Conklin. Then, in succession, came Ira Campbell, James Sheffield and W M Bevier.
The postoffice at Boaz was established in 1858 with M Ripley as postmaster. The various postmasters have been as follows: M Ripley, J T Barnes, John Ewers, J T Barnes, J W Briggs and F O Smith. Mr. Smith, the present postmaster, was appointed in 1881.
The first school in Boaz was a subscription school, taught in a building owned by Reason and James T Barnes. In 1857 a log school house was erected, in which John Dunstan was the first teacher.
In 1883 a school house was erected at a cost of $1400. It is a fine two story building, 28x78 feet. Kittie Delaney has the honor of being the first teacher in this house.
The Boaz mills is the most important establishment in the town. The land upon which the mills are located was entered, in 1854, by Reason Barnes and his son James T. In 1855 they commenced the erection of a saw-mill which was ready for operation in September, 1856. It was furnish with an "up and down saw." In 1857 M Ripley became a partner and in 1858 they added a grist-mill. In 1861 Mr. Ripley withdrew. In March, 1869, the mill was destroyed by fire, but was at once rebuilt. The saw mill has been furnished with circular saws and machinery for the manufacture of wagon stock. The flour mill has two run of buhrs and all other machinery for making first-class flour. It is run as a custom and merchant mill, and has a liberal patronage. The power is derived from Mill creek, which at this point furnishes eight feet head of water. In 1871 Reason Barnes died, and the firm changed to Barnes Bros. & Co., en personnel, J T and W M Barnes and J W Briggs. In 1874 J W Briggs withdrew and the firm became Barnes Brothers. Thus it continued until 1883 when W M Barnes became sole proprietor.
The following is a directory of the business of Boaz as it stood in January, 1884:
General merchandise, Briggs & Kepler, and Smith & Shaffer.
Mills, William Barnes.
Hotel, W M Bevier.
Millinery, Mrs. Henry Heidbrink.
Supervising Architect, James T Barnes.
Wagon shop, Jerome Cross.
Blacksmiths, John Surrum and Frank Cosgrove.
Shoemakers, Alonzo Burnell and E W Bell.
Butcher, Lewis Cook.
Restaurant, William Howell.
Harness shop, G H Starr.
Physician, E S Garner.
In an early day preachers of different denominations paid frequent visits to Boaz. Among the number was Rev. Todd, a Presbyterian, from Sextonville. He did not organize a church here.
Elder Knapp, a Methodist preacher from Buena Vista, organized a class at the school house at an early day. He was well liked here, and the class flourished under his charge. Members moved away, however, and it was finally discontinued.
At the present time there is only one religious organization at Boaz, the German Lutheran. This society was probably organized as early as 1858. Rev. Wachtel was one of the first preachers. The society met to worship in different private houses until 1871, when they erected a church edifice. The society now numbers about thirty members. The present pastor is Rev. William Endeward, of Muscoda.
The Dayton Lodge, No. 213, of the IOOF, was organized Oct. 12, 1872, the charter bearing the date of Dec. 5, 1872. The following were the charter members of the lodge: David D Woodruff, William J Woodruff, Hiram Gardiner, Timothy W Woodruff, Harlow O Walker and J G Barnes. The first officers were: David D Woodruff, NG; W J Woodruff, VG; J T Barnes, treasurer; H O Walker, recording secretary. The following named have served as noble grand of the lodge: D D Woodruff, W J Woodruff, J T Barnes, J A Sheffield, E Davis, E S Fessenden, W J Woodruff, J A Sheffield, J W Briggs, E S Fessenden, Jay W Briggs, J A Sheffield, F O Smith, Frank Cosgrove, D W Core, F M Shafer and C M C Bailey. The vice-grands of the lodge have been as follows: W J Woodruff, J T Barnes, J A Sheffield, E Davis, G H Starr, D W Manchester, H B Wood, S Shafer, C H Pierce, W J Woodruff, J J Shafer, F O Smith, Frank Cosgrove, D W Core, F Shafer, C M C Bailey and M G Berry. The secretaries have been as follows: H O Walker, J T Barnes, C H Pierce, E S Fessenden, J A Sheffield, Jay W Briggs, M G Berry and L D Bailey. The treasurers of the lodge have been: J T Barnes, E Davis, G H Starr and H B Wood. The lodge is now in good working order, has a membership of forty, and meets every Saturday evening.
In 1857 Lorenzo Woodman and James Hafus, laid out some lots and blocks on the southwestern part of section 14, and the northwestern part of section 23, to which they gave the name of Dayton Corners. During the same year a postoffice was established here under the name of Ripley Postoffice, with Lorenzo Woodman as postmaster. Mr. Woodman served until the time of his death, and then C C Walker became postmaster. He was succeeded by James Hafus and the office was finally discontinued after an existence of about two years.
At an early day Peter Fall opened a blacksmith shop on the southeast corner of the northwest quarter of section 13. During the war he sold out and moved away. He did general repair work, mostly sharpening plows and grub hoes. His son Samuel opened a shop soon after the old gentleman had sold out, on the northeast quarter of section 13, and remained for several years.
Edward Bassett came to Dayton Corners in 1857, and bought a lot of Lorenzo Woodman on the southwest quarter of section 14. He erected a frame building 20x30 feet in size, and put in a stock of general merchandise. He remained in trade about four years, when he closed out and moved to Ohio.
The first school at Dayton Corners was taught in 1857 by Eliza Bevier, in a house owned by C C Walker. During the summer of the same year a school house was erected in that village, which was used until 1881, when a frame house was built on section 15.
The Dayton Corner's Methodist Episcopal Church started with the organization of a class in 1856 at the house of Lorenzo Woodman, by Rev. John Walker, who was then located at Sextonville. Among the members of the class at its organization were the following: Lorenzo Woodman and wife; Simeon Gravatt and wife; Joseph Wheaton and wife, and Joel Berry and wife. Lorenzo Woodman was the first class leader.
A United Brethren class was organized at an early day at the house of Peter Fall, on section 13. The class met for worship at the residence of Mr. Fall for a number of years. At present there is an organization that has a partially completed church edifice on section 23. Thomas Ewing is class leader.
Francis M, son of Uriah and Christiana (Barnes) Patch, early settlers of Richland county, was born in Licking Co., Ohio, in December, 1837. He came to Richland county with his parents at the age of fifteen. He was united in marriage in March, 1863, to Esther Thompson. They had one son --- James F, born May 21, 1864. In 1864, Mr. Patch enlisted in the 8th Illinois Cavalry, company H, and joined the regiment at Washington a few weeks later. He served until the close of the war, and was discharged with his regiment at St. Louis in 1865. He then returned to Dayton and purchased land on section 2, which he has improved, and where he still lives. The death of his wife occurred while he was in the army. His second wife, to whom he was married Jan. 1, 1866, was Charlotte B. (Ladd) Harris, widow of Abraham Harris. Two children have blessed this union --- Francis R and Henry T B.
Rev. Abraham Harris, (deceased), son of John and Mary (Short) Harris, was born in Devonshire, England, in August, 1832. He came to America with his parents. He was united in marriage to Charlotte B Ladd, March 27, 1852. She was a native of Orange Co., Vt., and was born March 18, 1832. Soon after their marriage they united with the Baptist Church. His early education had been sadly neglected and he learned to read after his marriage. In 1855 they came to Richland county, town of Marshall, and located on section 28. At the organization of the Church of the United Brethren, both he and his wife became members, and he was soon after licensed as a preacher of that denomination, and devoted his time entirely to the Church. He had charge of Churches in Richland, Sauk, Vernon and Crawford counties. His death occurred Oct. 17, 1862. He left a widow and six children to mourn his loss. One of the children has since died. The five remaining are --- Mary E, Martha J, J Freeman, Sarah M and Eldora J. Mrs. Harris is now the wife of Francis M Patch and resides in Dayton.
Capt. Roswell R Hamilton was born in Madison Co., NY, in 1826, and is the son of Tilley and Sarah (Orcut) Hamilton. He resided in his native State until twenty-one years old, then, in company with a brother, came to Rock Co., Wis., where he worked upon a farm. In 1854 he came to Richland county, and in 1855 settled at Richland Center, where he served as town treasurer. In September, 1861, he enlisted in company F, of the 2d Wisconsin Cavalry, went into camp in December, at Camp Washburn, Milwaukee, and was mustered into service in January, 1862. His regiment first went to Camp Benton, Mo., thence to Jefferson City, from there to Springfield, and about the 1st of June started for Helena, Ark., where the regiment brigaded with the 5th and 11th Kansas regiments. He received a wound in the hand at Augusta, Ark. From Augusta they moved to Helena, Ark., and December, 1862, was at the taking of the Arkansas Post. In February, 1863, they removed to Memphis, and scouted in the southern part of Tennessee and northern part of Mississippi. In June, 1863, they moved to Snyder's Bluff, near Vicksburg, where they were placed between Grant's and Johnson's armies, and after the surrender of Vicksburg, followed Johnson's army to Meridian, after which they fell back to Vicksburg, and went into winter quarters at Red River. On July 1, 1864, they made a raid on Jackson, Miss., had seven days' fight, and were driven back, the confederate forces numbering 5,000 men, while the union forces had barely 2,500 men. They fell back to Black river, obtained reinforcements, with which they forced the enemy to retire. In December, 1864, they made a raid on Vaughn Station, Miss., destroyed a railroad bridge across Black river, and fell back to Yazoo City. On the 4th of December, while reconnoitering, they were overpowered by the enemy and driven back, during which time Capt. Hamilton was injured by the falling of his horse; thence from Yazoo to Vicksburg; thence to Memphis, where on Feb. 6, 1865, Capt. Hamilton was mustered out of service, his time having expired, and his injury unfitting him for further military duty. In 1881 he moved to his farm on section 13, town of Dayton, where he owns eighty acres. He was united in marriage in Rock Co., Wis., in 1849, to Eliza Rose. Two children blessed this union --- Ira J and Albert S. Mrs. Hamilton died, and Capt. Hamilton was again married, June 4, 1865, to Mary Bailey. They are the parents of one son --- D Vance.
William Robinson, deceased, pioneer of Richland county, first settled near Sextonville in the year 1853. He bought eighty acres of land on section 4, town 9, range 2 east, now included in the town of Ithaca. He remained here but one year, then sold out and removed to town 10, range 1 west, now known as the town of Dayton. He entered the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter of section 34, built a log house and leased a portion of the land. In 1866 he purchased unimproved land on section 26 of the same town. This was his home until the time of his death. He was a native of Anderson Co., Ky., born July 5, 1805. When a young man he emigrated with his parents to Indiana, and located in Washington county. This was at that time a new county, and here his pioneer life began. He was joined in marriage in February, 1828, to Nancy Menaugh. She was born in Shelby Co., Ky., Dec. 15, 1810. Soon after they removed to Carroll county, where he engaged in farming, but, like many others, the fever and ague troubled him, and after living there three years he removed to Kosciusko county. Here he purchased timber land, erected a comfortable log house, and cleared a farm. In 1852 he visited Richland county in company with Dr. Sippy, made a short stay, then returned to his home and remained until the following spring, then sold his farm, packed up his goods and started overland, accompanied by his family, and settled near Sextonville, as before stated. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson were the parents of eleven children, six of whom are now living --- Eliza J, Elizabeth, James H, Francis M, Erasmus P and Samuel Edwin. The youngest son now occupies the homestead. James H and Francis M purchased 172 acres of timber land on section 35. They have ninety acres of it cleared and improved, and it is one of the best farms in the town. They have erected a large frame house, and other necessary farm buildings. Their mother makes her home with them. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson both joined the Presbyterian Church soon after marriage. As there was no Church of that denomination in Dayton, he joined the United Brethren Class, and was a member of Otterbein Church at the time of his death, which occurred in the spring of 1875.
Henry Robinson, deceased, an early settler of the town of Dayton, was born in Anderson Co., Ky., in September, 1805. He was joined in marriage to Sarah Farmer. In 1829, in company with his brother William and some others, he emigrated to Indiana and settled in Tippecanoe county, near the line of Clinton county, and was one of the pioneers in that section of the country. He remained there about ten years, then removed to Kosciusko county; he was also an early settler there. He then purchased timber land, cleared a farm, and made that his home until the fall of 1854, when he sold out and started for Wisconsin, traveling overland, bringing his family and household goods along. After three weeks travel he arrived at the home of his brother William, at Pleasant Hill, in the town of Eagle, and there spent the winter. In the spring of 1855 he removed to Dayton and entered land on section 28, as before stated, remaining here until 1871, then sold out and moved to Boone Co., Neb., where he died two years later. His wife died in 1876. They were the parents of eleven children, six of whom are now living.
Their son, William F, now resides on section 29. He was born in Anderson Co., Ky., in September, 1828. He was but one year old when his pioneer life began in Tippecanoe county, and but eleven years of age when his parents removed to Kosciusko county, where he grew to manhood. He was joined in marriage in 1851 to Eliza J Robinson. She was born in Washington Co., Ind. He purchased timber land in Franklin town and cleared a portion of it, remaining there until 1854, when he came to Richland county. He purchased land on section 4 of the town of Eagle, and lived there until 1862, when he came to Dayton and purchased eighty acres of land on section 29, in the portion of the town known as Fox Hollow. He has since that time purchased other land, and his farm now contains 180 acres. He has engaged in raising grain and stock. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson have three children living --- James E, Alfred M and Adello M.
Zenas W Bevier, in 1855, settled in the town of Akan, where he was engaged in blacksmithing and farming until his death, which occurred in October, 1881. Mrs. Bevier now resides near Dell Rapids, Dak. She reared seven children --- Henry, William M, Charles, Caroline, now Mrs. I N Neher; Norman, George and Euarcha. Mr. Bevier was a native of New York, where he learned his trade and in which he became a first-class workman. He was married to Mary Ann Austin, also of New York. About 1847 they came to Rock Co., Wis., from whence they came to this county. It was through his influence that the first postoffice was established at Akan, he receiving the appointment of postmaster, which position he held until his death. He was a member of the Church of United Brethren. W M Bevier was born in Rock county, July 27, 1848, and came with the family to this county. He was brought up on a farm. In 1874 he was married to Sarah Shafer, daughter of S Shafer. They left the State in March, 1877, and were absent four years, then returned and resided in Crawford county until March, 1883. At that date he purchased the Boaz House, of which he is now proprietor. Mr. and Mrs. Bevier have four children --- Guy M, Ida May, Floyd Z and Carrie B. In February, 1864, Mr. Bevier enlisted in company B, of the 36th Wisconsin, and served until July, 1865, when the regiment was mustered out of service. He was wounded in the right at the battle of Coal (Cold) Harbor. In politics he is a republican, and is a member of the IOOF.
Jacob J Miller was a pioneer settler of Richland county. He was born in Darke Co., Ohio, March 12, 1821, and there passed his earlier life. In 1846 he went to Indiana, and in 1850, in company with John Ewing, he started for the great northwest, and being pleased with the appearance of the land in what is now Richland county, resolved to make this his future home. He entered land on section 25, town 9 north, of range 1 east, now known as the town of Orion, upon which he erected a hewed log house, and cleared forty acres of land. Six years later (1856) he sold this land, and coming to town 10 north, of range 1 west, now called Dayton, purchased a tract of land on section 6, erected a log house and made various substantial improvements. He made that his home until his death, which occurred on Christmas day of 1863. Mr. Miller was married Feb. 16, 1853, to Angy E Goff, daughter of George and Mary Goff. She was born Oct. 7, 1832, in Izzard Co., Ark. In 1833 her parents removed to Missouri, where they resided until the year 1859, then removed to Richland Co., Wis., crossed the Wisconsin river July 28, 1849, at the village of Orion, in the present town of Orion. They have had three children --- G M, born June 8, 1855; J T, born Nov. 29, 1859; M A, born June 25, 1862. The widow and family still occupy the old homestead. The sons have proven themselves industrious farmers and efficient managers; have cleared over fifty acres of the farm, and erected a neat frame residence.
Frank O Smith, in company with J W Briggs, in 1875, established a grocery business in the village of Boaz. The name of the firm being Briggs & Smith. In 1878 they added dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes and hardware. April 1, 1881, they dissolved partnership and Mr. Smith succeeded J A Sheffield in trade. He now has a general stock of dry goods, clothing, gents furnishing goods, boots, shoes, groceries and drugs. Mr. Smith was born in Chautauqua Co., NY, in 1852. His father, William J Smith, came to Wisconsin in 1856, accompanied by W H Stewart, and both brought their families with them. They intended to make a hunting expedition and return after a time. They killed thirty deer the first winter. Being pleased with the country, Mr. Smith concluded to locate permanently and entered land on section 34, town of Sylvan, where he was engaged in farming until his death, in 1873. Mrs. Smith still resides at the homestead. They had two sons --- Frank O and Fred. Mr. Smith was a Mason and a member of the IOOF. He was town treasurer then years, but took little interest in politics. The subject of our sketch was educated in the county and taught school eighteen terms; after which he engaged in trade at Boaz, as before stated. In 1876 he was married to Flora E Barnes, daughter of J T Barnes. They have two children --- Lora C and Leathy. He is a republican in politics; is a member of the IOOF and a notary public. Mr. Smith has been postmaster at Boaz since 1881.
Jacob Van Pool was born in Franklin Co., Penn., in 1837. He is the son of Anthony Van Pool, who is a native of Maryland, born in 1790. In June, 1844, the family moved to Steubenville, Ohio. The subject of this sketch resided with his parents until 1853, after which he traveled considerably through the southern States, and in 1855 settled at Freeport, Ill., where he worked at the carpenter and painter's trades. In 1856 he moved to Wisconsin, located near Richland Center, and there engaged in farming and working at the carpenter's trade. On Aug. 14, 1862, he enlisted, at Richland Center, in the 25th Wisconsin, company B. He participated in the memorable campaign against the Sioux Indians, leaving St. Paul, Minn., in September, 1862, and returning to Winona, in December of same year, having made the trip almost entirely on foot. He also served with the regiment at Cape Giradeau, Lake Providence, Cypress Bend, siege of Vicksburg, Athens, etc. He was mustered out of service at Washington, June 7, 1865. He was married in February, 1860, to Annie Bolenbaugh. Seven children were born to them, four of whom are now living --- J A W, E E, H H and P J. Mr. Van Pool moved to Crawford Co., Kan., in 1867, where he resided until 1875, when he returned to Richland county and has since remained. Mr. Van Pool has a farm of 136 acres on section 29, town of Dayton. In politics he is liberal, and in his religious views, is an Armenian.
Samuel Harlan is a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal denomination of the town of Dayton, and has been a resident here since 1860. He was born in Columbiana Co., Ohio, Aug. 6, 1825, and was reared to manhood among rural scenes. He attended the district schools in his younger days, and received as good an education as they then afforded. On Dec. 5, 1863 (?), he was joined in marriage to Elizabeth Totten, who died April 22, 1855. Soon after his wife's death, he went to Jay Co., Ind., and was there married, March 18, 1856, to Phebe Stanley, also a native of Columbiana Co., Ohio, born Aug. 25, 1827, and taken by her parents to Indiana when quite young. After marriage Mr. Harlan remained in Jay county but a short time, and then returned to Columbiana Co., Ohio, where he lived one and a half years. Again settling in Jay Co., Ind., he bought eighty acres of land in Bear Creek, and remained there until 1860, when on account of poor health, he came to Richland county, and bought a farm on the north half of the southeast quarter of section 14, where he has since resided. Soon after coming to the town of Dayton, he became a class leader in the M E Church, and has served in that position almost continuously to the present time. Himself and wife have three children --- James W, Henry F and Phebe Emily.
E S Garner, MD, is a son of Edom and Rebecca (Langley) Garner. He was born July 30, 1854, and came with his parents to Richland county in 1864. The family settled near Port Andrew, where the subject of this sketch worked upon the farm and attended the district schools. In the fall of 1878 he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, and graduated in the spring of 1881. The July following he located at Boaz, and commenced the practice of his profession. He was married Feb. 21, 1877, to Carrie Kyle, and they have three children --- Howard L, Albert C and Carrie L. Dr. Garner is a member of the Southwestern Medical Association.
John E Surrem was born near Christiana, Norway. He emigrated with his parents to America in 1868. They landed at New York city, immediately came west, and stopped at Muscoda, Wis., some years. At the age of nineteen the subject of the sketch commenced learning the blacksmith trade. He served two and a half years and then opened a shop for himself in the village of Boaz, where he is now doing an extensive business at blacksmithing and repairing. Mr. Surrem casts his vote with the republican party, and is a Lutheran in his religious views. His father, Nels J Surrem, was born near Christiana, Norway, in 1828, where he lived until he came to America in 1868. His wife was Elizabeth Rudzer, and they were married in 1857. They now reside in this county.
Jay W Briggs, of the firm of Briggs & Kepler, merchants at Boaz, was the son of I Oscar and Mary (Frink) Briggs. He was born in Sauk county, in October, 1847. In 1851 his parents came to Richland county and settled at Sextonville. Here his father died one year later. The subject of our sketch made his home here with his mother, receiving his education in the Sextonville school. When he was fifteen years of age he engaged as clerk in A H Krouskop's store, remaining with him one and one-half years; then he engaged as clerk for McCorkle & Thomas two years. Then he went to Richland Center and clerked for A H Krouskop six months. He then went to the home farm at Sextonville and tried farming one season, then returned to Richland Center and engaged with Baker & Pease as clerk. In 1873 he came to Boaz and engaged in the mercantile business in company with William Barnes buying the store of the late R Barnes. He also bought a one-fourth interest in the flouring mill fourteen months later. He sold his interest in the mill while Barnes sold his interest in the store to A H Krouskop. The firm of Briggs & Krouskop continued in business about six months when Mr. Briggs sold to his partner and engaged to clerk for him in his store at Richland Center. At the same time he had started a small store in company with F O Smith. He remained with Krouskop one year, then returned to Boaz, and engaged in the store with Mr. Smith. In 1882 they dissolved partnership and he continued alone until January, 1884, when he sold one-half interest to William F Kepler, his present partner. They are doing an extensive business and carry a stock valued at $6,000. He was joined in marriage May 2, 1872, to Emma, daughter of Henry W and Margaret (Wolf) Fries. Four children blessed this union --- Ada Belle, Lelia Louise, Jennie Laura and Fay.
William M Barnes, proprietor of Boaz mills, is a native of Indiana, born in Tippecanoe county in 1834. In 1849 in company with his parents he came to Richland county and settled at Richmond, as it was then called, now Orion. Here he engaged with an older brother to learn the trade of carpenter and joiner. He followed that trade until 1861. During that year he enlisted in the 5th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered into the service on the 28th of June and served in Smith's division, Army of the Potomac. He participated in the battle of Williamsburg and many other minor engagements. He was discharged on account of disability at Philadelphia, in October, 1862, and returned home. He was joined in marriage Nov. 1, 1863, to Ida M Fries, daughter of Judge Fries, of Richland Center. He continued to work at his trade until 1873 when he engaged in mercantile trade at Boaz, and at the same time bought a one-fourth interest in the mill and fourteen months later bought another one-fourth interest in the mill and at the same time sold his interest in the store. He continued to operate the mill in company with his brother until January, 1882, when he bought the other one-half interest, making him sole proprietor. The flour mill has a capacity of 100 bushels per day. The saw-mill a capacity to saw 5,000 feet of lumber per day. These mills do a flourishing business. Mr. and Mrs. Barnes are the parents of six children --- Grace, Lee, Carl, Minnie, Guy and Scott. In politics Mr. Barnes is a democrat of the conservative order. In religion he favors the United Brethren Church.
There were 1855 visitors at our previous host from 11 Mar 2006 to 2 Aug 2011 and 1708 visitors to a previous site from 14 Feb 2001 to 11 Mar 2006.