JAMES B. DAYTON was a prominent lawyer and leading businessman in 19th Century Camden. Born in Somerset County on January 22, 1822, he graduated from Princeton University in 1841. He then studied law under his brother, William Dayton. William Dayton served as U.S. Senator from New Jersey from 1842, to 1851, was the first Republican Vice-Presidential candidate in 1856, and was America's Minister to France during the Civil War.
After passing the bar James Dayton came to Camden and set up practice. He soon became City Solicitor, City Treasurer, and legal advisor to the Board of Freeholders. Married in 1848, James Dayton's wife Louis passed in 1856, leaving him with two children. He remarried, but his own poor health caused him to give up his law practice.
James Dayton pursued other business interests. He is best remembered as President of the West Jersey Ferry Company for sixteen years, President of the Camden Safe Deposit and Trust Company, and Chairman of the executive committee of the Board of Directors of the Camden & Atlantic Railroad. All of these enterprises prospered under his management.
James B. Dayton died on March 9th of 1886, survived by his wife Sadie Dayton, son William, a lawyer in his own right, and daughter Louisa, who was married to prominent Camden attorney Peter V. Voorhees.
After his passing a street in Stockton Township was named Dayton Street. This street was renamed 18th Street after the 1899 merger with Camden. A street in Camden which runs from Mount Ephraim Avenue opposite Evergreen cemetery towards Haddon Avenue was laid out and named Dayton Street sometime between 1890 and 1906.
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