Dayton Elects State's First Lady Mayor

Laumann presented this photo of Dayton's First Mayor Susan Wissler. (Leslie Stratmoen Photo)

The children would be nestled among the coats on the stage sleeping, while the parents danced the night away, back in the late 1800s, at the dance hall in Dayton. But the dance floor was unusual because of its bump in the center, and some of the gatherings got pretty rowdy and even painful, for some.

That was Helen Laumann with one her history tidbits she was passing along on Wednesday morning during her Conversations in History program presented on the town of Dayton at the Sheridan Senior Center. She also gave a bit of history on the bell tower, which she said, was originally built in 1911 on Main Street, but now stands in Scott Park.

Along with the history of some of the buildings, she also talked about the early town residents, which included Susan Frisby Wissler who was elected mayor, in 1911, the same year the bell tower was built.

She said the population of the little town of Dayton in Sheridan County has fluctuated over the years, from about 300 people in 1910, more than doubling four years later to about 800, then dropping to 240 in the 1940s, and jumping back up to nearly 700 in 2000, before arriving at the current number of 800 people. And, she said, many of the descendants of the original homesteaders are still living in the area.

More photos are posted below.

Historian Helen Laumann presented the program. (Leslie Stratmoen Photo)
To an audience of about 35 people. (Leslie Stratmoen Photo)