Isaac Brayton was one of 16 Nantucket sea captains to migrate to Portage County in the 1840’s. As he had in his voyages and in Massachusetts, he became involved in the community. The Reverend A. M. Hills of the Ravenna Congregational Church called Captain Brayton “the foremost man in the community. His purity, and piety, his ardent love of liberty, and his devotion to humanity, made his home the rallying place of reformers and humanitarians and eminent public men.” Among the many famous men to visit his home were Louis Kossuth, John Brown, and Salmon P. Chase. In 1853, the Union School, which he advocated, became a reality. Portage Heritage names him “The Father of the Ravenna School System.” Living in other parts of Ohio, over the next twenty years, he served as judge, legislator, administrator of the Nashville Station of the Sanitary Commission, and Superintendent of the Soldiers’ Home in Columbus.
He knew Horace Mann, which probably explains his interest in education. He encouraged his daughter to pursue her studies and speaking abilities. She became famous in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.