Library History

The Dayton Public Library, also known as the "Mary Gilkey City Library" was founded in 1923.  It was housed first at the Methodist Church, now known as the Pioneer Evangelical Church.  Donations of both money and books were given and at that time more than 1000 volumes were on the shelves.

The library was named at a dedicatory service for Mary Ann Robinson Gilkey, who was the first girl child born in Yamhill County of pioneers.

Mary Ann Robinson was born March 7, 1846 on her father's donation land claim in the Webfoot district and she passed away February 21, 1931 at the age of 84 years.  She attended Willamette University, where she graduated in 1866.  She taught school for 14 years and was married in 1880 to William Gilkey.

In June 1935 the library was moved to City Hall.   It is rumored that Mary Gilkey donated the land that City Hall now sits on with the condition that a Public Library is always open.

In 1996, the old Fire Hall bays adjacent to the City Hall were remodeled and the Library was moved out of City Hall to the space it currently occupies.

Are you looking for photographs of Dayton or Yamhill county taken prior to 1930? The Yamhill County Historical Society and Museums might be able to help! Due to our limited size, the Mary Gilkey Library houses very few historic photos and works about Dayton's past. 

The Mary Gilkey Library has been fine free since 2019.
Mary Gilkey
Mary Robinson Gilkey