Dayton History: Notable Persons

These men and women added the color, character, culture and community that made Dayton the unique city it is today. Some are doctors and scientists, others are artists, philanthropists or teachers. All are a credit to Dayton’s past and an inspiration for Dayton’s future. There are truly great stories here. We hope you will learn them and aim high in your own endeavors. Use our interactive map to find these individuals and take a self-guided tour.

Joseph F Abel – Captured many great moments of Dayton’s early history in his memoirs

Joseph J Abel – Charter Member of Knights of Columbus Dayton Council 500, est. 1900

Minnie Althoff – Librarian who helped the Wright brothers research the physics of flight, helped save the library’s books in the flood of 1913.

Virginia Cleary – Moved to New York at 22, became a Broadway dancer

Joseph Desch – Engineer, led development of Bombe machine to help the Navy decipher German codes in WWII

Lou Emm – One of the Miami Valley’s most popular radio personalities for more than 50 years

CJ Ferneding – President of Board of Directors of St. Henry Cemetery

Harry Finke Sr. – Longtime University of Dayton advisor and distinguished engineer

Clement Focke – Died from drowning at the age of seven

Marie Berno Focke – Lived her dream of becoming an actress and a dancer.

Carroll Hochwalt – Chemist, former Vice President of Monsanto Chemical Company

Clement Jauch – UD alumni, founder of Dayton Stencil Works

Joseph Keller – Prominent lawyer, University Dayton Law School donor, helped establish what would become George Mason University School of Law

Peter Kuntz Family Mausoleum – The Kuntz Foundation was established in 1946 as a private corporate foundation of The Peter Kuntz Company.

Shirley Pohl – UD alumni and medical technology expert

Joseph J Schaefer – Established Schaefer Cigar Mfg., President of Calvary Cemetery

Michael J Schaefer – Established Schaefer Cigar Mfg. with his brother Joseph

Frank P Stanley – Last King of the Gypsies (Dayton clan)

Egon & Marianne VonGreyez – Pest House Caretakers

Benjamin Wegerzyn – An avid horticulturalist with a generous spirit. In 1963, he established a horticultural center in Dayton

Ed Westendorf – Kept shot clock for UD basketball for 20 years

Charles W. Whalen Jr. – Six-term Ohio Republican congressman

Bernard Whelan – Early Aviator, WWI Signal Corps Instructor

Philip Zenni – Boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a third class passenger with ticket number 2620

Genevieve Zimmerman – Recognized as a hero for saving pilots who crashed on her farm

William Henry Zwiesler – Engraver, planter of ginko and oak trees, local celebrity

Find these historic individuals on our interactive map:


View Calvary Cemetery • Notables in a larger map