Dayton Lakes is located on the west side of the Trinity River about six miles north of Liberty in central Liberty County. The community began as a recreational area along seven small lakes that were dammed on the Trinity. Each lake had a park, and some development began in the late 1960s and expanded in the 1970s. In 1985 the town incorporated as Dayton Lakes and established a mayor/council form of government. In 1990 the population was 191. That number had fallen to 101 in 2000. By that time the residential community had suffered from several floods along the Trinity.