John D. Siebenthaler

1898 – 1979

John Siebenthaler grew up around nature as his father had founded a nursery in 1870 on twelve acres of land in Dayton. At age thirteen, upon his father’s death in 1911, John David Siebenthaler took over the business where he remained President until his retirement in 1978. Siebenthaler was awarded the first American tree patent in 1949 for the development of the Moraine Honey Locust Tree. Later he received patents for the Moraine Ash, the Wright Brothers Maple, and the Moraine Sweet Gum Trees. While a horticulturist at heart, his love of community was also strong. He was involved in many community and business organizations. He served as director of the Dayton Chamber of Commerce, through which in 1937 he founded the Dayton City Beautiful Commission, forerunner of the Dayton City Beautiful Council. He also served as the director of the Dayton Better Business Bureau for 24 years and, in 1954, he was named Chairman of Grandview Hospital’s Board of Trustees. Today, after 142 years, the twelve acre Siebenthaler nursery has grown to a wholesale nursery of over 450 acres.