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Woodland Cemetery Collection

Identifier: MS-414

Scope and Content

The Woodland Cemetery Collection consists primarily of materials that detail the history of the Woodland Cemetery Association of Dayton, Ohio. There are a variety of meeting minutes both from internal organizational meetings (i.e. WCA board meetings) and external organizational meetings (i.e. professional organization conference meetings). In addition to meeting minutes, there are an abundance of interment and cremation records. These records indicate a person’s date of birth, date of death, place of death, as well as the date of interment/cremation. The interment records also often include the location of the interred person. The other records help to complete the history of Woodland Cemetery.

Series I, Correspondence, consists of letters written Woodland Cemetery or employees of Woodland Cemetery. There are business letters and personal letters. The letters cover a variety of topics, such as concerns over lots, cremation, interment, plants and animals, and monuments. The correspondence is organized primarily according to date.

Series II, Historical Records, is divided into four subseries. Subseries IIA, General Records, consists of records about the history of Woodland Cemetery and the Woodland Cemetery Association including rules and regulations of the cemetery, meeting minutes, and newsletters. Subseries IIB, Mausoleum Records, consists of information about the construction of the mausoleum at Woodland. Subseries IIC, Arboretum Records, includes materials from arboretum board meetings and tour materials. Subseries IID, Meeting Minutes—Professional Associations, contains minutes from professional organizations that Woodland Cemetery staff attended.

Series III, Financial Records, consists of sales receipts for lots, monuments, and services. Also included in this series are yearly financial reports. Of particular interest may be the balance sheets and account books that indicate pricings and expenditures that the cemetery incurred. Many of the financial records are in large ledgers.

Series IV, Marketing and Sales Administrative Records, is divided into three subseries. Subseries IVA, General Marketing Records, consists of flyers, printed advertisements, and brochures for Woodland Cemetery. There are also brochures for other cemeteries and catalogs of products for cemeteries and funeral homes (grave-markers, urns, etc.). Subseries IVB, Sales Team Meeting, Minutes, Plans, consists of materials regarding marketing plans for Woodland Cemetery. Subseries IVC, Rubicon Park, contains materials regarding Woodland’s involvement in the Rubicon Park Business District.

Series V, Interment and Disinterment Records, is divided into five subseries. Subseries VA, Lot Records, contains lot deeds and bury permissions for lots. Subseries VB, Interment Orders, consists of ledgers of interment records. There are several oversized books in this subseries. The records are largely organized chronologically, and several years are further organized alphabetically. Subseries VC, Memorial and Marker Records, consists of purchase agreements for memorials/markers. Subseries VD, Foundation Work Orders, consists of work orders that are arranged chronologically and alphabetically according to the customer who ordered the foundation work. Subseries VE, Burial-Transit Permits, are organized chronologically and consist of records regarding body-movement.

Series VI, Cremation Records, consists of records regarding cremations performed at Woodland Cemetery. Included in this series are infant cremation records from Miami Valley Hospital. The cremation records are organized according to year and then alphabetically.

Series VII, Photographs, consists of photographs and negatives of Woodland Cemetery. There are photographs of people and events at Woodland as well as animals, plants, and monuments. Some of the monument photographs are labeled. There are photographs of the Wright family marker and the Paul Laurence Dunbar monument. The negatives that are a part of this series are not organized. There are also slides that are not organized. In this series are photographs that were entries in the annual Woodland Cemetery photography contest. These are organized according to the division of the entry. Division A was for photographers aged 18 and under; Division B is for photographers 19 and older. Many of the contest photos are oversized.


  • Creation: 1841-2010


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing materials in this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Any and all literary rights and other property rights (including, but not limited to, copyrights) which arise in law or othenrise or have otheruvise been obtained by Woodland in connection with the Woodland Collection are retained by Woodland. Woodland will review all requests to publish from the Woodland Collection and grant or deny permission to publish.

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

History of Woodland Cemetery

Plans for Woodland Cemetery began in 1841. Situated on one of the highest points in Dayton, Ohio, Woodland Cemetery opened in 1843, and the first interment was in July. Initially, the cemetery was on the outskirts of the city, but the city would eventually grow to surround it. By 1849, the cemetery board had created plans for the gateway, chapel, and office at Woodland. These constructions were completed in 1889 and were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The cemetery expanded its grounds in 1908 when it purchased land from the University of Dayton, and a tunnel was constructed to connect these 35 acres with the main area of the cemetery. Another major construction project began in 1968 as work began on the mausoleum and crematory. The first cremation at Woodland was in 1969.

In 1991, the Woodland Arboretum Foundation was established, and free audio tours began being offered in 1998. As of 2011, Woodland Cemetery covers 200 acres. Woodland Cemetery supports an annual photo contest that began in the 1990s. Several notable people are buried at Woodland Cemetery such as the Wright Brothers, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Charles Kettering, and Daniel C. Cooper.


114 linear feet

Language of Materials



The Woodland Cemetery Collection contains materials relating to the organization and business ventures of the Woodland Cemetery Association. Materials such as organization histories, rules and regulations, meeting minutes, financial records, and correspondence provide a history of the organization while documents such as interment and cremation records provide insight into the function that the cemetery plays in Dayton, Ohio. In addition to these written documents, there are numerous visual documents such as photographs, negatives, and slides that illustrate Woodland Cemetery.

Statement of Arrangement

The Woodland Cemetery Collection is organized into 7 series and 12 subseries.

  1. SERIES I: Correspondence
  2. SERIES II: Historical Records
  3. Subseries IIA: General Records
  4. Subseries IIB: Mausoleum Records
  5. Subseries IIC: Arboretum Records
  6. Subseries IID: Meeting Minutes -- Professional Associations
  7. SERIES III: Financial Records
  8. SERIES IV: Marketing and Sales Administrative Records
  9. Subseries IVA: General Marketing Records
  10. Subseries IVB: Sales Team Meetings, Minutes, Plans
  11. Subseries IVC: Rubicon Park
  12. SERIES V: Interment and Disinterment Records
  13. Subseries VA: Lot Records
  14. Subseries VB: Interment Orders
  15. Subseries VC: Memorial and Marker Records
  16. Subseries VD: Foundation Work Orders
  17. Subseries VE: Burial-Transit Permits
  18. SERIES VI: Cremation Records
  19. SERIES VII: Photographs

Acquisition Information

The Woodland Cemetery Collection was placed on deposit with Wright State University's Special Collections and Archives by the Woodland Cemetery Association in August 2009.


Future additions to the collection are possible.

Related Material

MS-366 Greencastle Cemetery / Harrison Township Cemetery Association Records

MS-393 Dayton Memorial Park Cemetery & Mausoleum Collection

SC-1 Rockafield Family Papers

SC-139 Wright Family Funeral Records, a Narrative

Separated Material

One (1) Oversized Plat Map located at the Medical Sciences Building Storage: Local Government Records Room

Processing Information

Processed by: Patricia A. McEldowney, 2012

August, 2012 - Ximena Chrisagis added several legal size folders related mostly to Ohio taxation and benefits. Also added a new file in the photographs series and renumbered a few files in the finding aid.

December, 2012 - Gino Pasi added 1912-1913 Interment Blotter to Collection Finding Aid.

Finding aid for the Woodland Cemetery Collection (MS-414)
Finding aid prepared by Patricia A. McEldowney
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • August, 2012: Ximena Chrisagis revised finding aid to reflect additions.
  • December, 2012: Gino Pasi added 1912-1913 Interment Blotter to Collection finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA