W.J. Lowery, City Marshall

history_wjloweryW. J. Lowery, was the present polite popular and efficient marshal of the City Of Dayton, he was born in Bledsoe County, six miles north of Pikeville, in the year 1864. He was educated in the schools of his native county finishing the course in Sequatchie College.

He came to Dayton in 1889.He served on the police force of Dayton for two years, during the wild period of the young city’s growth. By his vigilance in detecting evildoers and bringing them to speedy punishment, he soon became a terror to the law-breakers.

He served as city marshal for five years, and has done more to suppress crime, and convert the turbulent element into quiet, law-abiding citizens than all other factors combined.

He was described as being of a quiet, fearless and determined disposition the law-breakers soon learned that he would allow no violator of the law to escape through fear or favor.

While he enforced the law vigorously and fearlessly, as an officer he has always conducted himself, in a quiet, courteous, gentlemanly manner. The city of Dayton appreciates all that he done for our city in it’s early growing period.


Dayton’s first Post Office which was located in Smith’s Crossroads.

In November of 1929, the City of Dayton bought it’s first motorized fire truck. About the same time Dayton appointed, Denny Zonnas, as it’s first official paid Fire Chief. With approval of the City Commission, the new fire engine was purchased by the city at a cost of $1,600.00 dollars. The new engine was put into service under the direction of Dayton’s new Fire Chief. Denny Zonnas was a well-known citizen of Dayton. He also ran his own shoe repair business. Denny, who holds the record for the longest serving Fire Chief, retired in August of 1959. Clyde “Nappy” Johnson was the next appointed Fire Chief by the City Commission. The photo above was taken at Main & Railroad Street near the Depot Station and the Hotel Dayton. Pictured above are (L-R) 1-Unknown, 2-Unknown, 3-Chief Denny Zonnas, 4-Burkett Doll, 5-Unknown, 6-Clyde Johnson, 7-Rip Whitfield and 8-Bake Huffine.


This building was home to Dayton’s city offices from the 1930’s until the 1960’s. The building was located on Main Street next to the Old Post office. When all city offices moved from this building to their current location in City Hall, the Police & Fire Departments continued to occupy this building until they moved to their current location on South Market street.