John Cline died from a stroke of paralysis in 1922 at 78 years of age. He had served his tenure of 53 years at Woodland Cemetery of Dayton, working at the cemetery from the age of nine. His parents, John and Teresa Cline, had arrived in this country from Switzerland in 1844, the year John was born. They moved to Dayton soon after arriving, but one year later John became an orphan after his father died of cholera and his mother died the same year. Mr. Cline was adopted by George Lane, the third sexton of Woodland Cemetery. When John was a boy of 12 years, Mr. Lane gave him his first employment as a gate attendant, opening and closing the gates, and perhaps it was there he learned reverence for the dead, as horses and buggies solemnly entered and exited the cemetery. At the age of 25, Mr. Cline took upon himself the job of Superintendent of Woodland Cemetery on May 14, 1869. He attended 38,377 burials before his death in 1922. Many of the improvements of the cemetery were attributed entirely to the efforts of Mr. Cline, especially the original surveys of Woodland he did for John W. VanCleve, the founder of the cemetery. At the outbreak of the Civil War, John enlisted in the Union Army, serving three years with the First Ohio Volunteer Regiment.
John VanCleve successfully set up the cemetery, with paid Sextons and they were: Benjamin Hughes, (July 1, 1843 – July 1, 1848), William Myers (July 17, 1848 – March 1, 1853), George Lane (March 1, 1853 – Sept. 5, 1860), and being succeeded by his son, William W. Lane (Sept. 5, 1860 – June 14, 1869). A new position of Superintendent was filled by John Cline, his son Luther and his grandson John C. Cline. The Cline Family remained in the position of superintendent for well over 100 years.
John C. Cline died on August 22, 1922 and buried in Section 46 Lot 190.
Woodland Cemetery, founded in 1841, is one of the nation’s oldest rural garden cemeteries and a unique cultural, botanical and educational resource in the heart of Dayton, Ohio. Visit the cemetery and arboretum and take one of the many tours Woodland offers free of charge. Most of Dayton’s aviation heroes, inventors and business barons are buried at Woodland.
Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum is located at 118 Woodland Avenue off of Brown Street near the University of Dayton Campus. The Woodland Office is open Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm and Saturday 8 am to 12 pm. The Cemetery and Arboretum are open daily from 8 am to 6 pm. The Mausoleum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information, call 937-228-3221 or visit the Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum website.