(1773 - 1821)Benjamin Van Cleve was one of Dayton's most prominent founding citizens. Among the original settlers, he served as Dayton's first postmaster, librarian, and schoolteacher. His home at First and Jefferson Streets, known as a warm, friendly way station and a reliable source of information on Miami country, housed Dayton's original post office and library. There, Van Cleve sorted mail in his living room and occasionally found himself in trouble with the federal government for giving the settlers their coveted mail on credit. He was a stricter librarian. At a time when people needed candles to read at night, he fined citizens two cents for each grease spot. Van Cleve originally conducted school in Newcom Tavern, then later at a blockhouse built to defend Dayton against the Indians. Benjamin's mother, Catherine, was the Wright brothers' great great grandmother, and Orville and Wilbur named the "Van Cleve" bicycle after their prominent ancestors. Benjamin kept a diary for 26 years. The diary, which survived, provides us with clear accounts of Dayton's beginning and a legacy of stories about the city's earliest days.
|Placed By||Montgomery County, City of Dayton, Five Rivers MetroParks, Miami Conservancy District, et al|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 2:35am PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||16S E 740680 N 4405360|
|Decimal Degrees||39.76418333, -84.19025000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 39° 45.851', W 84° 11.415'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||39° 45' 51.06" N, 84° 11' 24.90" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 111 E Monument Ave, Dayton OH 45402, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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