Dayton in Montgomery County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Benjamin Van Cleve
(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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications • Education • Forts and Castles • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 39° 45.851′ N, 84° 11.415′ W. Marker is in Dayton, Ohio, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Monument Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Marker is on a concrete pillar engraved "Van Cleve Park," part of RiverScape Metro Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 111 E Monument Avenue, Dayton OH 45402, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John Van Cleve (a few steps from this marker); 1905 Wright Flyer III (a few steps from this marker); Newcom Tavern (a few steps from this marker); Van Cleve Park (a few steps from this marker); The Great Dayton Flood of 1913 / And The Rivers Flowed Through The City (within shouting distance of this marker); The Birth of Aviation (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles F. Kettering (within shouting distance of this marker); "The History of the World is the Biography of Great Men" (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dayton.
Also see . . . Benjamin Van Cleve. (Submitted on September 9, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 2, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 7, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,419 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 7, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.