This Day in Dayton, 2 July
On July 2, 1987, the Frankfort Times ran two front-page stories about Dayton’s expansion. Under a headline reading “Leaders believe town’s growth was inevitable,” the article quoted town board president Kenneth Yost as saying that SIA and keeping the school in Dayton were vital to the health of the town. The mayor of Smyrna, Tennessee, was quoted as agreeing with this position from his experience with his own small town and a Nissan auto plant. The article also made much of Dayton’s novel 22-miles-per-hour speed limit, which was set not only for safety but to insure that the town could keep the fees for speeding.
The second story detailed rumors about the new SIA plant under construction and its effect on the town. This included a possible purchase by an Illinois company of 6.2 acres on the south side of 38 on the west end of town just east of I-65. A small commercial center was envisioned at that location once plans for the widening of the highway materialized. It was also expected that the old narrow iron bridge east of town over the Wild Cat Creek would be replaced. Bernard Guelker, principal planner for the Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission, was quoted as saying that 5,000 new people could be living in the area within 15 years. “There is an area running three to four miles north of Dayton to a mile south, and about a mile and a half wide from the interstate to Wildcat Creek that would be ideal for housing development.”