Wedron is located on the west bank of the Fox River, approximately 10 miles northeast of Ottawa.
Dayton embraces that part of T. 34, R4, which lies west of the Fox River, about fourteen sections, and a strip one and a half section wide, from the east side of T. 34 R.3, being about twenty-three sections of the whole. If formerly included the whole of T. 34, R. 3, but the town of Wallace was taken from its western side, reducing it to its present sizes. Indian creek passes across the northeast corner of the town and Crooked Leg creek and Buck creek across the northern part, furnishing considerable timber to that section. These creeks, with the rapid descent of the Fox river, give good drainage to the whole town.
Dayton had the first flouring mill in the county and the first woolen mill run by water, in the State. At one time, about 1834 and 1835, it was in advance of Ottawa; it had a flouring mill, doing a heavy business, a saw mill, wagon shop, tannery and chair shop, and stores doing a large business.
The dam across the Fox river is maintained by the State. It was built to turn water into the feeder for the canal and the Messrs. Green, who were the owners of the land, have what water they want, without any expense for dam or race. The Fox river branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad passes through Dayton. The flouring mill and woolen mill are both in use and a paper mill has recently gone into operation; and there is water power for many more.
The towns of Dayton and Rutland were settled simultaneously and their early settlement so connected that it is difficult to fully separate their history. They are separated by Fox river and between them lies the rapids of that stream, furnishing an excellent water power and from where the feeder for the Illinois and Michigan Canal is taken.
The first settler here was William Clark, said to be South Carolinian, but last from Fort Clark, now Peoria, in the spring of 1829. He built his cabin on the N.E. ¼ S. 24; sold his claim in September 1829 to John Green and went to Du Page County.
John Green, who purchased Clark’s claim and improvement, in company with William Green, Joseph Grove and William Lambert, left Newark, Ohio, on the 27th day of August 1829 on a tour of exploration of the Northwest. They traveled on horseback by the way of Fort Wayne, Kalamazoo, Michigan and along the south shore of Lake Michigan to Chicago. They found but few settlers and frequently had to sleep on the ground with the sky for a covering.
In September, they reached Walker’s (now Holderman’s) Grove and the Fox river, where Millington now is, following it down to the cabin of Clark. He showed them the rapids of the Fox and told them it was the best mill privilege in America. As such a privilege was what Mr. Green was seeking, he purchased Clark’s claim and determined to locate here. They found a corps of engineers surveying the canal feeder and passed on to Ottawa, where they found one cabin near where the Ottawa House now is, occupied by James Walker and one cabin on the south belonging to Dr. David Walker. They went on to Bailey’s Point, where they found Lewis Bailey and William Seeley. They explored the country as far south as Vandalia, then the capital of the State, when he purchased eighty acres for his mill site at Dayton and returned to Ohio, arriving on the 15th of October and immediately prepared to emigrate to Illinois.