History of David's Cemetery
In the late 1700’s the Greenville Treaty between the U.S. government and the local Ohio Indians was signed allowing the territory to be surveyed and later sold. The local area known as Dayton, Ohio was Chartered in 1803 the same year Ohio became a state. Dayton was at that time a day’s ride from Lebanon and Lebanon was a day’s ride from Cincinnati—the nearest town to the Ohio River.
An earlier settler in what is now Kettering, where David’s Cemetery is located south of Dayton was John Patterson, a farmer who built the area’s first log cabin in 1798. By the early 1800’s the area was a thriving farming community.
In 1826 Christian Creager, a local gentleman, donated the first section of the cemetery specifying the land to be used for a place of worship and burial. The first burial was registered on August 5, 1831, a 6 year old boy, Noah Darner.
Rev. David Winters In 1841, an expanding population forced the creation of Van Buren Township, later known as Kettering. Van Buren Township’s name would remain for more than 100 years.
During the early years both the cemetery and the church were owned by David’s Reformed Church. The name David was selected to honor the Rev. David Winters who was the first minister in the area. Rev. Winters was a circuit rider preacher who served this church and other area churches for more than 50 years.
As the population of the area continued to grow, the church and cemetery needed additional space. In 1867 David’s Reformed Church and Cemetery purchased additional land (about ½ acre) from Henry Creager, the son of the original donor.
A major change occurred in 1890, the cemetery and church separated and the Cemetery became a non-profit corporation licensed by the Ohio Department of Commerce. This provided the cemetery with a more effective method of meeting the requirements of a non-profit corporation and meeting the requirements set by the state for a cemetery. The cemetery became David’s Cemetery Association and the church later became David’s United Church of Christ.
The Van Buren Township area continued to prosper and by 1891 the cemetery purchased additional acreage, another 1.56 acres.
1917 – The Cemetery purchased 2.2 plus acres from Martin H. Young at $500 per acre. In 1945 the cemetery again added additional acreage by purchasing another 32 acres at the cost of $750 per acre.
In November, 1952, the voters of Van Buren Township approved the incorporation of the Village of Kettering, named for its most outstanding citizen, the famous philanthropist and inventor of the automobile self-starter, Charles F Kettering. A special census in 1955 recorded the village population of 38,118 qualifying it for city status. Kettering is located in Montgomery County, five miles south of Dayton, with a current population of nearly 60,000 people.
Again as the population of the area increased David’s Cemetery did so as well and in 1987 another 15.775 acres were purchased from Georgetown Apartments’ owner Richard Jacobs. This newly purchased area was the former Pyper Gravel Pit. Today David’s Cemetery encompasses approximately 55 total acres.
David’s Cemetery will continue to grow with nearly 12 acres yet to be developed for use of in-ground burials; above ground burials (mausoleum); in-ground cremations; above ground cremations (niches); and the scattering of cremations.
In 2008, David’s Cemetery opened a new garden area for flat markers in-ground burials and the Community Mausoleum,its third mausoleum. The new mausoleum increase the number of crypts and niches available and also includes a larger chapel and a gathering room. The gathering room can be used for after-the service gatherings, and/or community meetings and events for a nominal fee.
Well-known People Buried in David’s Cemetery
David’s Cemetery provides a map with burial locations of many well-known people from the Kettering and Dayton area. Stop by the office to receive the Historical walking tour map.
- Harry Schwab – Dayton golfer, won Senior P.G.A., died 7/25/1976
- Zerbe Bradford – last survivor of Deed’s Barn Gang, died 1968
- Hadley Watts – former Superintendent. of Centerville Schools, died 8/9/1969
- Henry Seeler – developer of Oxygen Mask for pilots, died 7/7/1966
- Richard E. Kelchner – founder of Kelchner Excavating Co., died 7/15/2002
- Clark Haines – founder of NCR Band in 1973, died 6/23/2001
- Dwight L. Barnes – former Superintendent of Kettering Schools, died 2/2/1977
- Earl D. Creager – founder of Earl D. Creager Construction Company, died 5/17/1981
- Calvin Mayne – founder of Dorothy Lane Market, died 6/13/1972
- Charles H. Huber – founder/builder of Huber Heights, OH, died 5/29/2003
- Herbert C. Huber –home builder in Kettering, died 5/16/1954
- Calvin T. Hubler – past Masonic Grand Master, State of Ohio, died 10/24/1976
- Rose E. Miller – first woman principal in Kettering (1920) and one of the first women principals in Ohio, died 2/16/1967
- Samuel B. Groby – founder of Groby’s Garden Center, died 1/22/1967
- Paul R. Young – former Prosecuting Attorney for Montgomery County, died 1/11/1990
- George Walther – industrialist, died 4/10/1961
- James Stuart – past CEO of Dayton Power & Light, died 3/14/1975
- Dave Hall – former Mayor of Dayton, father of former United States Congressman Tony Hall, died 8/22/1977
- Donna Moon – former County Commissioner, died 9/19/1994
- John Shryock – first Police Chief of Kettering, died 5/4/1978
- Donald Tiller – inventor of InstaWhip Whipping Cream, died 7/29/1984
- Hans von Ohain – inventor of the jet engine, died 3/13/1998
- Edward D. Krahling – former newscaster of WHIO Radio/TV, died 10/2/1998
- John P. Kalaman – Centerville police officer killed in the line of duty, died 1/12/1998
- Dr. Robert Zipf – former Montgomery County Coroner, died 11/1/2000
- Myron E. Scott – founder of the Soap Box Derby and responsible for naming the Chevrolet Corvette, died 10/4/1998
- Ray W. Colie – former General Manager of WDTN-TV, died 1/21/1993
- Don Wayne – (Wesley Bouslog) former newscaster, WHIO TV, died 6/1/1997
- Arthur Corre – only Kettering firefighter to lose life in line of duty, died 12/25/1974
- General Ronald S. Huey – WW II, Strong force in promoting Dayton, Ohio as Birthplace of aviation, died 12/2/2003
- Robert M. Hedges - the first Washington Twp. Firefighter killed in the line of duty, died 11/16/1955
- Richard L. Dieckman - founder of the Environmental Doctor Company, died 10/18/2007