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Woodland Cemetery - Dayton, OH

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

Located at: 118 Woodland Ave, Dayton, OH 45409


Erma Bombeck:

Erma Bombeck, born Erma Louise Fiste and graduated from the University of Dayton in 1949 with an English degree. While working for the Dayton Herald, she interviewed Shirley Temple who was in Dayton to promote one of her movies. During Erma’s career she published 11 books, wrote articles for Good Housekeeping and Reader’s Digest, had commentaries on Good Morning America and wrote & produced her own sitcom, Maggie.


A 29,000 pound boulder marks Erma’s burial spot. It was brought to Woodland Cemetery from her neighbor’s property in Phoenix, AZ. It had been one of Erma’s favorite places to sit.


Wilbur & Orville Wright

The family plot of the Wright family.


Wilbur was born April 16, 1867 and died May 30, 1912 at the age of 45. Orville was born August 19, 1871 and died January 30, 1948 at the age of 76. Wilbur was the older of the two brothers who would invent the airplane. Wilbur left high school after an ice hockey accident in the winter of 1886. Orville quit school in his senior year. The brothers started a printing business in Dayton, OH. At this time they became interested in inventing a device that could fly. In 1906 they were awarded a patent and started the Wright Company. Wilbur died of typhoid fever and Orville sold the business. Both Wilbur and Orville lived at home until their deaths and never married.


King and Queen of Gypsies - Levi and Matilda Stanley

Levi Stanley - 1818 - December 3, 1908 Matilda Joles Stanley - 1821 - January 15, 1878 Born in England, Levi & Matilda came to the United States in 1856. Levi & Matilda became King and Queen of the gypsies in 1860 after Levi’s father, Owen, passed away.

Dayton became their home during the summer and the center for the Gypsies of the country. During winter months they moved south.


Matilda was a fortune teller and mesmerist. Matilda died in Vicksburg, Mississippi on January 15, 1878 after a two year battle with cancer. She was placed in the Woodland Cemetery receiving vault. Eight months after Matilda's passing she was interred on September 15, 1878 in the Stanley family plot. It was estimated that 25,000 people attended Matilda’s funeral. The funeral procession was a mile in length with 1000 carriages. More than 50 members of the extended Stanley family are buried in Woodland Cemetery.


Asa McMillan operated a wool manufacturing company. The angel is the most photographed monument in the cemetery.


Johnny Morehouse, Dog and Boy Born in 1855 and died 8/14/1860 Johnny lived with his parents in the back of his father’s shoe repair shop. Behind the house was the Miami & Erie Canal where Johnny liked to play. Johnny accidentally fell into the Miami & Erie canal and drowned. His dog leapt into the canal and pulled Johnny out but it was too late. After Johnny’s burial his dog laid on his grave until his death.


Paul Laurence Dunbar (June 27, 1872 - February 9, 1906)

Paul was born to Matilda & Joshua Dunbar who had been enslaved in Kentucky and then later moved to Dayton, OH. Matilda wanted more for Paul than she had available to her. She taught Paul the basics of reading before he entered elementary school. He was the only African American in his class and became class president and class poet. He was also a classmate of Orville Wright. Paul went on to write poems, essays, novels, and short stories and went on to be known as America’s foremost Black poet.

Paul lived with his mother until his death in 1906 of tuberculosis at the age of 33.


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