• The community was originally settled around 1820 as Smith's Crossroads and was renamed Dayton after the Ohio city in 1877. Early industry included manufacture of pig iron. The town was incorporated in 1895. In the year 1925, the famous Scopes trialScopes Monkey Trial came to Dayton (some believe the trial was arranged by the town's leaders as a publicity stunt), and for a period of time, filled the town with hucksters of every description and journalists from around the world. Although this trial is often represented as being pivotal in the movement to allow evolution to be taught in US schools, it actually marked the beginning of a major decline in the teaching of evolution which didn't start to recover until the early 1960s. (Likewise the Butler Act, which Scopes was supposed to have violated, though it was never invoked again, remained on the statute books until the late 1960s.) Today the city is a small manufacturing center whose products include furniture, clothing, automobile parts, and air conditioners and heating units. La-Z-Boy is the largest manufacturing employer, and the Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar DamWatts Bar and Sequoyah Nuclear Generating StationSequoyah nuclear power plants are within 20 miles of the city. Dayton is also home to Bryan College, a four-year Christian liberal arts school named in honor of William Jennings Bryan, who died in Dayton five days after the Scopes Trial ended, and Dayton City School, a K-8 public school free for all residents of Dayton. Source:

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