HON. JOHN F. DAYTON.
There is scarcely a phase of legitimate activity in Mlamakee county in which Hon. John F. Dayton is not successful
and prominent and to the advancement of which he has not by his ability, industry and enterprise made substantial
contributions. He is one of the county's political leaders, an able and successful member of the bar, a force in
the development of the fruit growing industry and each year of his activity since he came to Waukon in 1873 has
witnessed his growing prominence in all of these fields of endeavor.
Mr. Dayton was born in Saratoga county, New York, January 10, 1849, and is a son of Dr. Simon N. and Lydia (Houghton)
Dayton; natives of New York. Dr. Dayton spent his youth and early manhood in that state and afterward moved to
Illinois, locating in Rockford, where he engaged in the general practice of medicine until 1890, when he returned
to New York and located in Corinth, where he spent the last years of his life, dying there in the fall of 1899.
His wife survived him only a few months, passing away in February, 1901
John F. Dayton grew to manhood in Rockford, Illinois, and acquired his education in the public schools, graduating
from the Rockford high school with the class of 1867. He was afterward a student in Beloit College for three years
and when he left that institution read law in Rockford. In 1873 he came to Iowa and settled in Waukon, where he
was admitted to the bar. In the same year he formed a partnership with his uncle, Hon. Henry Dayton, and their
association has continued since that time, the firm being today one of the strongest in the county, connected through
its patronage with much important litigation. Mr. Dayton served as county attorney for two years and in public
life proved as able, far sighted and progressive as he is in the private practice of his profession.
Aside from his work in the general practice of law Mr. Dayton is also well known in Allamalcee county as an extensive
fruit grower. In 1878 he planted almost forty acres of land in grapes, strawberries and raspberries and later added
a nursery, where he specializes in raising apple trees and others bearing the hardy fruits. He issues an annual
catalogue and does a large mail order business, shipping his products by express and freight. He owns a neat and
well improved property of sixty acres, just outside the corporate limits of Waukon, and is numbered among the successful
farmers and business men of the locality.
On the 14th of October, 1875, Mr. Dayton was united in marriage, in Rockford, Illinois, to Miss Laura Hewitt, born
and reared in that city, a daughter of John Hewitt, a pioneer of Winnebago county, who settled in that section
Eminently public spirited and progressive in citizenship, Mr. Dayton has since taking up his residence in Iowa
been continuously identified with public life in the state and is an active and able politician. He was the first
mayor of Waukon, giving to the city a constructive, efficient and businesslike administration, and he was afterward
elected to the state legislature, serving in the twenty second, twenty third arid twenty fourth general assemblies.
During his term of office he was connected with much constructive legislation, his vote and influence being always
on the side of right, reform and progress. He was a member of a number of important committees, including the committee
on railroads and commerce, and so efficient, far sighted and businesslike was his work that he was named as the
democratic candidate for speaker of the house in the twenty fourth general assembly. His public career has been
varied in service and faultless in honor and the work he has accomplished in the interests of the community is
destined to find a place in its history. Fraternally he is connected with the Knights of Pythias and has served
through all the chairs of that organization, being now past chancellor. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen
of America and is one of the most popular men in Waukon, known to his personal friends as "Frank." In
all respects his life has been exemplary and useful the life of an upright, honorable and straightforward man and
a progressive and public spirited citizen.
Past and Present of Allamakee County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievemant
By: Ellery M. Hancock
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Allamakee County, IA
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