Calling local historians: The city of Dayton needs your help.
On a wall on the second floor of City Hall hang portraits of Dayton’s mayors, dating back to the city’s earliest days.
Except there’s a problem: Some of the names and photographs may be mismatched.
This was discovered after a relative of Mayor Lawrence Butz contacted the city to say the person in the photograph above his name wan’t actually Butz, who was mayor in the 1870s.
Best guess, said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, the photos and name plates were mixed up, possibly during a change to the display.
Butz’s relative sent an article to the city from the 1920s, which had some of faces and names of the city’s mayors. Using that information, the city rearranged eight of the mayor portraits on wall that were believed to be in the wrong place.
But the city wants to be sure that it is correctly honoring citizens who have served as elected leaders, city staff said.
The city is seeking candidates to be the city’s historian, which will be an unpaid but important position to ensure the city commission’s history is accurately told and shared, said Whaley.
The city historian will help research the city’s past using government and institutional reocrds, archived newspapers and other sources, Whaley said.
The historian hopefully will “straighten out” the history of the commission at a time when the city is old enough to have a very lengthy past, Whaley said.
“I think it’s a good way to get the pictures right that are on the wall,” Whaley said.
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