Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Pacific States
Nevada Dayton

Dayton, Nevada

Dayton was founded in 1850.

In 1864, Alfred James was granted "the exclusive right for the term of ten years, to lay distributing water pipes in any of the public streets or alleys of the Town of Dayton."  He apparently built a system that same year taking water from the Birdsall Ditch.  The system passed through several owners before being bought by James Scott in 1875, who greatly improved it.  After his death in 1896, his wife and children operated it for some time before it became the property of the Hotaling Estate Company.  John M. Mason owned it from 1919 to 1923, selling it to Americo Gianni.  He in turn sold it to Charles A. Bailey in 1924, but Gianni regained ownership at some point until his death in 1948.  His widow ran it until her death in 1954, and it is not known who owned it after that, but it was damaged in a 1956 flood and apparently ceased operating sometime after that.

Lyon County built a new water system in Dayton in 1972.

Water is provided by Lyon County.

1864 An Act to supply the Town of Dayton, in Lyon County, with Water, and to protect the Town against fire, and to define the Boundaries thereof.  February 20, 1864.

1866 Map of the State of Nevada, U.S. General Land Office.  Shows location of Dayton in Lyon County.

1896 James Scott, Born February 3, 1825 in Isle of Jersey, England; Came to California by way of Australia.  Died January 13, 1896, in Dayton, Nevada.   In 1875, however: "he undertook the enterprise of giving Dayton water facilities. He bought pipe, laid the mains and brought water from a distance up to the homes of every resident. With this business he was occupied chiefly until his death when he was seventy-one years of age." (1935 biographical sketch in James G. Scrugham's "Nevada -- A Narrative of the Conquest of a Frontier Land," attached). And:
"He had charge of the plant until his death, and since then, his wife has carried on the business with the assistance of her son and daughter." (Wren's 1904 biographical sketch in his "The History of Nevada," attached).
Interestingly, as proprietor of the Dayton Water Works, James only listed his occupation in the 1880 U.S. Census as "laborer" with no mention of the business.
The Lyon County Times, January 18, 1896, Death of Jas. Scott. He Passes Away After A Lingering Illness.  While employed in this mill, he secured control of the Dayton water works and owned it up to the time of his death.

1904 A History of the State of Nevada: Its Resources and People, by Thomas Wren
Pages 402-403:  James Scott. In 1875, seeing the need for additional water facilities at Dayton, he purchased pipe and supplied the town with its water works, most of the residences in the place being piped. He had charge of the plant until bis death, and since then bis wife has carried on the business with the assistance

1919 Mary Elizabeth Cooper Scott, born October 4, 1839, Morris County, New Jersey; Died September 19, 1919, Dayton, Nevada.  Wife of James Scott, married January 2, 1872, at Murphys Camp, Calaveras County, California by the Rev. John Mole (recorded in Book C, Page 114, Calaveras County).
Continued to operate the Dayton Water Company with the help of her son, William, and daughter, Mary Ann, following the death of James in 1896

1919 Report of the Railroad and Public Service Commissions,  by Nevada. Railroad Commission
Page 280:  Dayton Water Works.  Sole Ownership - John M. Damon, Dayton, Nevada.

1922  "Historical Sketch and Reminiscences of Dayton, Nevada by Mrs. Fanny G. Gazlett and her daughter, Gertrude Hazlett Randall, deceased," from Nevada Historical Society Papers 3:3-93 (1921-1922)
Page 70:  A Water System.  The Dayton water system was first inaugurated in 1864, when an Act of the Legislature came to Alfred Jones and associates the right to construct the same.  The water was taken from the Birdsall ditch and from several water reservoirs which had been dug around town for fire purposes.  It passed through several hands, and many years ago it was purchased by Mr. James Scott.  Mrs. Scott now owns it. (Now owned by the Hotaling Estate).

1923 Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada), November 16, 1923, Page 3.
John M. Damon, who for several years has operated the Dayton water system, has recently disposted of his interests to Americo Gianni of this place.

1924 Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada), February 14, 1924, Page 3.
Dayton Notes.  C. A. Bailey of this place purchased the Dayton water works from Americo Gianni last week, the latter having acquired title to them from J. M. Damon during October last.  It is Mr. Bailey's intention to greatly improve the the system and he provided better serve than the town of Dayton has had in many years.

1929 John M. Damon, born March 20, 1853 in Maine; died January 31, 1929 at Carson City, Nevada.  Proprietor of the Dayton Water Works in 1919.

1935 Nevada; a Narrative of the Conquest of a Frontier Land: Comprising the Story of Her People from the Dawn of History to the Present Time, Volume III, James Graves Scrugham
Pages 341-342:  James Scott was one of. the most conspicuous citizens and business men of Dayton. Among other interests he owned and operated the Dayton Water Works. His record as a Nevada pioneer is cherished by his children and descendants who still live in this state.
In 1875 he undertook the enterprise of giving Dayton water facilities. He bought pipe, laid the mains and brought water from a distance up to the homes of every resident. With this business he was occupied chiefly until his death, which occurred January 13, 1896, when he was seventy-one years of age.

1945 Charles Augustus Bailey, Born May 17, 1863, Rockaway, New Jersey; died January 20, 1945, Carson City, Nevada.

1948 Americo Olivo Gianni, born May 24, 1877 at Marlia, Provincia di Lucca, Toscana, Italy; Died June 3, 1948 at Dayton, Nevada

1948 "A. Gianni Dies at Dayton Home," Reno Gazette-Journal, June 5, 1948, Page 16.
Mr. Gianni was the proprietor of the Dayton water works.

1954 "Funeral Planned for Mrs. Gianni," Nevada State Journal, December 31, 1954, Page 3.
Mrs. Margherita Gianni, of Dayton, who at one time owned a large part of that community, died yesterday at a Reno hospital in her 80th year. 
Mrs. Gianni was proprietor of the water company, and also operated a bar and hotel and the ice business in Dayton for a number of years.

1972 "Dayton Water Plan Approved," Reno Gazette-Journal, March 11, 1972, Page 8.
A $217,000 community water and sewer plan for Dayton has been approved by Lyon County commmissioners.  Will serve 650 residents currently using shallow wells and individual sewage disposal systems.

2017 Morris A. Pierce