The beehive was often used by the Freemasons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. It symbolizes human industry, faith, education and domestic virtues.
Daniel Beckel has one of the most unique monuments at Woodland. We affectionately call it the “Beckel Beehive.”
Who was Daniel Beckel?
Daniel Beckel was born in England on September 14, 1813. In 1829, when Daniel was just sixteen, he was an assistant to his step-father, a civil engineer, who worked on the construction of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Afterward they became the contractors for, and constructed the great St. Mary’s Reservoir, for the Miami Canal. After the completion of that work, Mr. Beckel came to Dayton building the Beckel Opera House, the Beckel House (Hotel), and other valuable structures. He was also engaged in the manufacture of woolens and of flour, in the lumber trade, and in the construction of railroads and turnpikes. In connection with William Dickey and Joseph Clegg, Beckel established a private bank and was almost the sole owner of the Miami Valley and Dayton Banks. Mr. Beckel additionally served in the following capacities: elected to the Ohio Legislature; Secretary of the Dayton Hydraulic Co. in 1845 and President of the first gas company, The Dayton Gas Light & Coke Co. in 1849. Daniel Beckel was married to Susan Harshman. Mr. Daniel Beckel died on February, 26, 1862. He is located in Section 52 Lot 1167.
In 2016, a group of high school students participated in a Work, Earn and Learn program at Woodland. Eight girls worked 16 hours per week for 10 weeks and did the care and upkeep of several gardens, established a new garden in a highly visible area of the cemetery with a focus on design and plant selection, learned the workings of the cemetery from the front office to grounds maintenance, received several tours learning the history of Woodland, its establishment and the people resting peacefully within and also worked on the restoration of several monuments, including the “Beckel Beehive.”
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.