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Below is a family biography included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Cyrus M. Dayton, farmer and dairyman, was born in the town of Hanover Cook Co., Ill., July 16, 1845, and is a son of Chauncey Dayton, also a farmer who was born in Whitestown, Oneida Co., N. Y., in 1820. His grandfather Telam Dayton, manufacturer, was born on Long Island. He was of English parents. His grandmother Dayton’s maiden name was Experience La Sure, born in Montreal, Canada; was of French parents. His mother Susan (Brunson) Dayton, was born in Barrington, Yates Co., N. Y. Her father Gen. Cyrus Brunson, was a soldier in the War of 1812, of English descent-was born in the town of Waterbury, Litchfield Co., Conn. Her mother’s maiden name was Susannah Maxwell; was born in Essex County, N. J., of Scotch parents. Chauncey Dayton left New York when twelve years old, and came to Cook County, Ill., making his home with a family by the name of Taylor, who were York State people. When old enough he began farming near Chicago, Ill. He was married in 1844, and reared a family of three children, and died in 1854 of Asiatic cholera. The children are Chauncey, Winfield Scott and Cyrus M. The two younger are dead. The mother afterward married Seneca Sly, of Will County, and is living there at present time. Cyrus M. Dayton made his home with his mother until he was twenty-one years of age, and received excellent educational advantages. He first attended the Naperville Academy, and then Wheaton College, of Dupage County, Ill. He taught school when nineteen years of age, near Pontiac, Ill., and then spent several years in traveling. In 1865 was visiting relatives in New York City, also in Western New York. In 1864 was a clerk in White’s willow and woodenware house, South Water Street, Chicago; 1867 went to Iowa as a patent-right man. While here bought eighty acres of wild land, and then went to Kansas in company with his second cousin, Scott Shattuck. Health failed in 1869, and by advice of physicians went to the Ozark Mountains, Locating at Aurora, commenced teaching in 1870. Was married the last day of February, 1871, to Mary E. Berry, who was born in Lawrence County in 1849, and the only living child of Benjamin N. and Margaret (Fitch) Berry, who were born in Kentucky and Tennessee respectively. The father died in 1884, but the mother is living with her son-in-law, Mr. Dayton. The latter and his wife have four children: Scott Beecher, born 1872; Susan Margaret, born 1874; Chauncey Brunson, born 1876, and Locke Nathan born 1882, all of whom are at home. Mr. Dayton and family worship in the Christian Church. He is a member of K. of L., acting justice and notary public, and is a Republican in politics. Has a fine farm of 200 acres, lying at the western edge of the city, and is a great lover of his town, county and the health restoring Ozark Mountains.

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This family biography is one of 272 biographies included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Lawrence County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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