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Dayton, Ohio

Dayton is a city located in Montgomery County, of which it is the county seat, in west-central Ohio. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 166,179. The city sits in the Miami River Valley, north of Cincinnati, south of Toledo, west of Columbus, and east of Richmond, Indiana, at the confluence of the Great Miami River, the Stillwater River, the Mad River, and Wolf Creek. After the flood of 1913, numerous water-control dams and levees were constructed to control these rivers.

Name and history

Named after Jonathan Dayton, a Captain in the American Revolutionary War and signer of the U.S. Constitution, the city was the birthplace and home of aviation pioneers Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright who, before their aviation success, ran a bicycle repair shop in Dayton. It was also the home of the poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and of John H. Patterson, 1 who founded a successful cash register business in Dayton, National Cash Register Corporation, now diversified far beyond cash registers and known by its initials NCR.

The nickname of the city is the Gem City. No one appears to be sure of the reason for the name: either a famous(?) race horse named Gem haled from Dayton, or the city was as pretty as a gem.

The first All-American Soap Box Derby was held in Dayton on August 19, 1934.

Unlike many midwestern cities of its age, Dayton has very broad, straight, downtown steets (generally 2 full lanes in each direction), facilitating access to the downtown even after the automobile became popular. The main reason for the broad streets was that Dayton was a marketing and shipping center from its beginning: streets were broad to enable wagons drawn by teams of 3-4 pairs of oxen to turn around. In addition, many of today's streets were once barge canals flanked by draw-paths.

Dayton used to have a "new" courthouse that was built in 1888 to supplement to lovely old Grecian-style courthouse that still stands. The "new" courthouse has since been replaced with even newer facilities and a downtown park.

Dayton Agreement

From November 1 to November 21, 1995 negotiations took place at Wright-Patterson Air Base near Dayton to end the war in the former Yugoslavia that had gone on for the previous three years. The main participants were Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, Bosniann President Alija Izetbegovic, and the chief Americann negotiator Richard Holbrooke. Formally signed in Paris on December 14, the document is known as as the Dayton Agreement.

Political Structure

In 1913, Dayton became the first city to adopt the council-manager government.

Public Transit

Dayton is one of only five cities left in the United States to offer trolley bus service.


Dayton is located at 39°45'46" North, 84°11'48" West (39.762708, -84.196665)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 146.7 km² (56.6 mi²). 144.5 km² (55.8 mi²) of it is land and 2.2 km² (0.9 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.50% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 166,179 people, 67,409 households, and 37,614 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,150.3/km² (2,979.4/mi²). There are 77,321 housing units at an average density of 535.2/km² (1,386.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 53.36% White, 43.13% African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.70% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. 1.58% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 67,409 households out of which 27.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.2% are married couples living together, 20.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 44.2% are non-families. 36.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.30 and the average family size is 3.04.

In the city the population is spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 14.2% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $27,423, and the median income for a family is $34,978. Males have a median income of $30,816 versus $24,937 for females. The per capita income for the city is $15,547. 23.0% of the population and 18.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 32.0% are under the age of 18 and 15.3% are 65 or older.

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