Friday, March 25, 2011

Mr. McClure

In honor of our 200th post on this blog, here is a little slice of local history!    

McClure Street is an important part of the fabric of St. Anne's Hill.    The McClure Street bridge, on the south end of the neighborhood represents one of the major gateways into the community, leading to the Twin Towers area and Ruskin Elementary School.    There are many interesting homes along McClure, which leads north to the Fifth Street corridor.    

But where does the name come from?  Who was McClure in Dayton's history?  Luckily, there are some great sources of information that help us answer that question.    This is from ....

 In 1806 D. C. Cooper built a brick store room on the northeast corner of Main and First streets, and entering into partnership with John Compton, opened a stock of goods there. The same year James Steele, who since November 12, 1805, had been in partnership in Dayton with William McClure, built a brick store of two stories on the southeast corner of Main and First streets. November 30, 1807, McClure and Steele dissolved partnership.

In 1807 the Dayton Academy was incorporated by the legislature. The corporators were James Welsh, Daniel C. Cooper, William McClure, George F. Tennery, John Folkerth, and James Hamer. William M. Smith was the first teacher. In 1808 a brick school house was built by subscription on the west side of St. Clair, near Third Street. During the winter of 1807 and 1808 a debating club was formed. Its meetings and also spelling matches, which were very popular entertainments, were held in the school house for several winters. 

For more about Cooper and Dayton's earliest days, check out the City's website, which has some interesting information.   

According to the Dayton Daily News, William McClure was also President of the Dayton City Council from 1807-1807.   The City Council was the predecessor to the Dayton City Commission, later established in 1829.  McClure took the reins from his colleague, Mr. Cooper.

And there's more....  he was also a publisher:
WILLIAM M'CLURE and George Smith printed the first issue" of The Dayton Repertory on September 23, 1808, to judge from the date of Vol. 1, No.2, which appeared on Friday, September 30. The office address was given as "Main Street".

The Dayton Repertory was a small four-page sheet, 70 by 120 inches in size, with two columns to the page. From a publication statement on the last page of the second issue, we learn that it "Is printed weekly, at two dollars, paid in advance, or two dollars and fifty cents, paid at the end of the year.
As to news, the greater part of the issue was devoted to reprinted dispatches from Spain, England, and France. Almost no local news, which would be of the greatest interest to us, was published. The pioneer editor evidently assumed that the residents knew what was going on locally.

In the fifth issue, which was dated October 21, 1808, the printers made the following announcement: ''The office of the Repertory is removed to the south side of second street, between Main & Jefferson streets - in consequence of which the publication of the paper will be suspended for a few weeks."

During the suspension, Smith sold his interest in the enterprise to Henry Disbrow. The newspaper reappeared on February I, 1809, the definite article being dropped from the title which now read. Dayton Repertory and was embellished by flourishes. This was Vol. I, No. 6. The publication had been materially enlarged to a four­-column, four-page paper, measuring 83/4 by I8 1/4 inches in page size.

In the issue of April 12, 1809, was announced the death of William M'Clure, sen., of Montgomery County, apparently the father of one of the co-publishers of the Repertory. In the issue of June 7 of the same year, we learn that William M'Clure, the printer, was a trustee of Miami University.

The issue of December, 1809, is the last known copy of The Dayton Repertory.

So, thanks to his work we now enjoy the street that bears his name.  This is just one small part of the fascinating history of Dayton and St. Anne's Hill.   

Do you have any questions, or an idea for a blog topic?  Let us know, and help keep this blog going for another 200 posts!   Write to us at news[at] today.


No comments: