Dayton Historical Society
111 West Houston St., Dayton, Texas
Tour Locations of Dayton Stars
City of Dayton
Several of the homes of Dayton built in the late 1800s and early 1900s have been preserved and are still in use. The streets to tour include:
South Church St.
North Main Street
East Clayton Street
West Kay Street
Use slideshow window on right to scroll through photos.
Use page arrows at bottom to scroll through list of homes.
Click on image to left of each home for more information.
705 Ford Avenue Built in 1896 by Edmond Pruett Sr.
This home was built in 1896 by Edmond Pruett Sr. The original home was a two story frame with a half story above the two floors. the Pruetts brought acorns from live oak trees when they moved from Virginia and planted them in a square. These trees are the might oaks here today. The pine lumber was hauled by wagons from Louisiana and the flooring is 1-1/4 inches thick. There are 3 fireplaces with oak mantles.
The house has 12 foot ceilings and had porches on each of its four sides. A screened porch upstairs of the original house was used for sleeping. There were bedrooms upstairs, a hall, and a bath. The lower floor had a living room, dining room, kitchen, office-study, and a large entrance hall. This home was headquarters for a large ranching operation.
After the death of Edmond Pruitt, his wife Minnie, sold the house to J.J. Balderach. Mrs. Balderach sold the property to R.V. Young, who passed the property to Esther Drawhorn, his oldest daughter. The house was renovated in 1946 and 18 feet were taken off the height of the house.
1007 South Winfree Street Built circa 1900 by Edmund Day Pruett Jr.
This house was built circa 1900 by Edmund Day Pruett Jr. who engaged in the cattle business with his father by the same name. Sources disagree whether Edmund built the house, originally a yellow and red wood-frame, for his wife or his only daughte rLily. He sold the home in 1924 to Milo Westel and Ella Ford Sr., furnished with antiques, and the surrounding 99 acres for $7,500. Milo raised cattle while Ella raised their four children there: M.W. Jr., Allene, Goerge David, and Boonie.
602 South Church Street Built in 1934 by the J.D. Harris Jr. Family
The house was built in 1934 by the J.D. Harris Jr. Family. They planted the trees in the yard that are now huge beautiful live oaks. Harris founded Peoples Lumber and Supply Company in 1929 and the company remained int he family for three generations, closing in 2015.
When J.C. and Emma Harris could no longer maintain the home, they sold it in 1976 to Delmar Stover who stayed 10 years. He sold it to the Dr. J. Wayne MacDonald Family in 1988. Dr. MacDonald came to Dayton to practice medicine in October 1979 and still does so today, also still owning the home.
508 South Church Street Built in 1927 by Dr. Charles Payne
Dr. Charles F. and Ada Payne began building this house in 1927. It took eight years to built it and by the time it was completed in 1935, Dr. Payne had died. Ada lived here until the age of 91. The outside walls of the pier and beam house are three bricks thick. The wooden floors came from a skating rink and the front door came from a court house. The Payne's were progressive enough to have automatic light switches in all of the closets. Dr. Payne was sometimes "paid" by his patients with building supplies, a load of dirt, or labor.
403 South Church Street Built in 1918 by Emil Stoeeser
The home was built in 1918 by Emil and Tillie Stoesser who emigrated from Germany. The home was built with an outdoor kitchen to minimize the danger of fire. The upstairs had three bedrooms with curtains hung in the doorways for privacy. Since closets were considered rooms and taxes were based on the number of rooms in a house, it was built with none. Clothes were hung on hooks on the walls.
A pond located behind the home was one of the places in which the Baptist Church performed its baptisms until it built a baptistery in 1916. The Stoessers raised their three children here: Louise, Genevieve, and Eddie.
305 South Church Street Built circa 1910 by Marion Price Daniel
This home was built circa 1910. Marion Price "M.P." and his bride Nannie Blanche Partlow, a school teacher in Stilson, married December 23, 1909 and settled into the house soon thereafter. Their three children were born while living there. Marion Price Daniel Sr. who served as a Texas State Representative, Texas Attorney General, a U.S. Senator, and as Governor of Texas from 1957-1963; Ellen Virgina, born in 1913, and William Partlow "Bill" in 1915, who served as a Texas State Representative and Governor of Guam.
While living in Dayton, M.P. and two partners became owners and editors of the Daytonite - Dayton's first newspaper. He was active in the land business and was Postmaster of Dayton in 1915-1916. The family moved to Liberty in 1917.
515 North Main Street Built in 1914 by Robert B. Edgar
This home was built in 1914 by Robert B. Edgar, who was one of the key personnel for the Dayton Lumber Company when it was formed in 1906. He worked as sales manager and treasurer of the company. He was active in civic affairs, serving as a Trustee of Dayton ISD and a Trustee for the Linney Cemetery Association. Edgar Street in Dayton is named for him.
In 1924, the house was sold to J.D. Harris Jr. who came to Dayton to work for the Dayton & Goose Creek Railroad and founded Peoples Lumber and Supply Company after the Dayton Lumber Company dissolved int he 1920s. The home has belonged to others through the years: the Offord Carrier Family, the J.W. Anselin Family, and the Jim Harwell Family.
702 North Main Street Built in 1905 by Benjamin Garland Sterling
This home was built (with no indoor plumbing) by Benjamin Garland Sterling in 1905. Ben's brother, Ross Shaw Sterling, the future Texas Governor and founder of Humble Oil and Refining Company, enlisted Ben to join him in running the business along with brothers Frank and James B. Sterline Sr.
In 1921, Ben was hit and killed by a train north of Dayton while crossing the tracks during poor weather. His widow, Lillye Oldham Sterling and daughter Mary Catherine, sold the home and moved to Houston. Several other families have called it home: the Dale Grantham Family, the Fritz Kornegay Family, and the Tony LeBlanc Family.
1204 North Main Street Built in 1917 by Judge Walter Neel
This home was built in 1917 by Dayton newspaper owner, editor, publisher, and Justice of the Peace Walter S. Neel on a 1.66 acre lot he purchased in 1914. The house was constructed in 2 months. The four bedroom home was valued at $2,500 in 1926. After helping the City of Dayton incorporate in 1925, Judge Neel served as the city's first mayor and as the local Rotary Club's President.
He was also City Alderman, City Historian, and City Secretary. His notable civic achievements include helping form and equip the local fire department and establishing the city's waterworks. Judge Neel lived in the house with his wife Selma until he died in 1962. The house remained in the Neel Family until 1971.
Others who have made this their home are the Roger Markham Family and the John Simmons Family.
201 West Kay Street Built in 1911 by the Farmer Family
This home was buitl in 1911 by the Farmer Family. Before 1920, Edward F. and Camille Gaston bought the home. Gaston owned a hardware store and was Dayton Postmaster from 1934 - 1955. The Gaston's raise their two daughters, Frances and Marcelette, here and lived in the home until their deaths - Edward's in 1965 and Camille's in 1984.
604 East Clayton Street Built circa 1900-1906 by August Fingleman
The house was built circa 1900-1906 by Mr. August Fingleman for Southern Pacific Railroad Company executives. It had bedrooms upstairs for the men to stay. Nels Coleman, a local rice farmer, owned the house and land around it in 1945 when he sold it to the Coley Wright Sr. Family with four children. Coley Wright Jr., a bachelor, continues to live there (as of 2015). When he was a boy, the adjacent land that is now Magnolia Park Cemetery was just a picnic ground covered in trees.
1005 FM 1960 Built in 1910 by John William Parker
The house was built in 1910 by John William Parker from New York. His wife emma arrived in Dayton shortly thereafter and they lived there until their deaths, hers in 1918 and his in 1932. He was a rancher and donated money for a small children's park located on Winfree Street that has a marker bearing the Parker names.
In 1932, L.B. and Lydia Cumpler came to Dayton, bought the house, and lived there for 20 years. Crumpler was a farmer who raised corn and vegetables and sold them to those who picked them out of his field. He farmed cotton and even though he had a tractor, he preferred plowing with a team of mules. Crumpler also graded the roads at the drilling sites for the Esperson Oil Dome and used his mules to do the work. Lydia Crumpler was a seamstress and sewed for many people in town. The couple from the house in 1952. The home has remained in the Clyde Spence Family and descendants from 1954 until the present time (2015).
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