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Montgomery County

Montgomery County -- which borders the northeast corner of Butler County -- was officially formed in 1803, but its history began more than a century earlier, according to the a Montgomery County Historical Society web site. "The Miami and Shawnee were the earliest peoples here before the Dayton settlements of the late 1700s. The 1795 Treaty of Greenville ended warfare with the Native Americans in this area enabling southwest Ohio settlement patterns to progress north along the Great and Little Miami rivers. Judge John Cleves Symmes, a land speculator from New Jersey, initiated much of southwestern Ohio's settlement and in late 1795, he sold Arthur St. Clair, James Wilkinson, Israel Ludlow and New Jersey Congressman Jonathan Dayton the land that became known as the Dayton Purchase. This tract included what is now eastern Montgomery and western Greene counties. April 1, 1796, settlers arrived at the Dayton town site." The Montgomery County Historical Society web site continues: "When Symmes later failed to meet his financial obligations to the federal government, the region's 600-plus settlers were forced to buy their land again -- and at a higher price than they had already paid Symmes. Local benefactor Daniel Cooper saved the struggling community by purchasing many of the preemption rights and selling the land back to the settlers, many of whom could not afford to immediately repurchase. Despite this early setback, the little village at the convergence of three rivers grew quickly," reaching a population of 383 in 1810. Twenty years later it had 2,954. "Among the young city's early achievements was the Miami-Erie Canal, which reached Dayton from Cincinnati in 1829. The canal fueled tremendous growth and stood as a symbol of Dayton's transformation from small pioneer town to important regional commerce center," the web site said. Dayton was already an industrial center two Dayton brothers initiated the age of aviation at the start of the 20th century. Inventors Orville and Wilbur Wrigh successfully tested their new flying machine at Kitty Hawks, N. C., Dec. 17, 1903. (See Montgomery County, Sunsbury, Miamisburg, Germantown, Chautauqua and Miami-Erie Canal.)

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