You’ve likely driven by it hundreds, if not thousands of times, but there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the stately white house located at 1815 Brown St., near the University of Dayton.
The Patterson Homestead is a house museum that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We caught up with Leo Deluca, the media coordinator for Dayton History, which operates and cares for the property. A local history buff galore, Deluca shared the following facts about the house and the influential family who lived there:
- Construction on the house began in 1816 by an American Revolutionary War veteran named Colonel Robert Patterson, who had settled in Dayton in 1804 and named his land Rubicon Farm.
- The colonel was a co-founder of both Lexington, Kentucky and Cincinnati.
- Ohio had been a state for only one year when the colonel and his wife, Elizabeth Lindsay Patterson, arrived in Dayton. They had eight children at the time, and would have three more.
- Before the colonel and his family moved into the Patterson Homestead, they lived in a log cabin.
- On Rubicon Farm, Patterson raised hogs, sheep and cattle. He also had an apple orchard and grew corn, wheat rye, oats and tobacco — yes, tobacco!
- The colonel operated a gristmill and sawmill constructed by the former owner, Daniel C. Cooper.
- The colonel’s son, Jefferson Patterson, and his wife, Julia Johnston Patterson, expanded the homestead to its present form in 1850.
- Jefferson Patterson helped with the development of Christ Episcopal Church, the Van Buren Twp.’s school and the Montgomery County Fair Association. He was a representative in Ohio’s General Assembly during the Civil War.
- Jefferson and Julia Patterson raised nine children, including John H. and Frank J. Patterson, who co-founded National Cash Register (NCR) in 1884.
- The NCR headquarters was built a half-mile away from the homestead, also on the Patterson property.
- After her husband’s death, Julia Johnston Patterson moved into town and used the homestead as a summer house.
- In 1900, the house became the NCR Women’s Century Club headquarters. By that time one-sixth of the nation’s corporate executives had spent a portion of their career at NCR.
- In 1938, Julia Shaw Patterson, the widow of Frank J. Patterson, renovated the homestead in the Colonial Revival style.
- The homestead was gifted to the City of Dayton in 1953, and ownership was transferred to Dayton History in 2013.
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