Dover Township History - Cuyahoga County, OH





 Home | Townships


Transcribed by Denise, County Coordinator
Proofed by Gareth Morgan

Boundaries, Surface, etc. - Attractions as a Place of Residence - Early Settlement - Joseph Cahoon - The Old Tea Kettle - Cahoon Pioneer Association - A Large Riding Whip - Asahel Porter - First Store - Leverett Johnson - Philo Taylor - Dr. Turner - The Flat-Iron Cure - Other Pioneers - Blood's Tavern - J. & N. Crocker - Moses Hall and Family - Amos Sperry - Sylvanus Smith and Others - First Births and Marriages - Drowning of Mrs. Porter - Captured by Indians - Civil Organization - First Elections and Officers - List of Principal Officers - Dover Center and North Dover - Post Offices - Second Congregational Church - Methodist Church at Dover Center - Lake Shore Methodist Church - First Baptist Church - St. John's Church - Lutheran Church - Schools - Dover Academy - Agricultural Society - Dover Lodge, I. O. O. F. - Northwest Encampment - Daughters of Rebekah - Other Organizations - Burial Places - Dover Furnace - The Grist Mill, Etc. - Wischmmeyer's Vineyards - Dover Bay Grape Company - Stone Quarries.

The township of Dover, which occupies the extreme northwestern corner of Cuyahoga county, is bounded by Lake Erie on the north; by the township of Olmsted on the south; by Rockport on the east, and by Avon, in Lorain county, on the west. It is township number seven in range fifteen, and covers an area of about twenty-five square miles. The surface is generally level or gently undulating, the soil is fruitful, and the people are chiefly engaged in agricultural pursuits.

The farmers as a rule are men of education and good understanding, and they have not only transformed the forest of sixty years ago into fine-looking farms, but they have also embellished it with many handsome residences - evidences at once of refinement and wealth. The lake shore region is largely devoted to the culture of the grape, the business being extensive and profitable. Fruit-growing has latterly received liberal attention in all parts of the township, and in time this branch of agriculture is likely to become very important. The public roads are numerous and well constructed, but as yet the limits of Dover have been untouched by a railway, although there is convenient railway communications at stations near at hand in other townships. Although there are numerous small streams their water power is feeble, and is used to only a very limited extent. As a place of residence, especially in the summer time and near the lake shore, Dover has attracted much attention, and in the season mentioned many come within its borders to seek the healthful atmosphere and cooling zephyrs found upon the bluffs which overlook Lake Erie.


The first white person to settle in what is now the township of Dover was Joseph Cahoon, who migrated with his family from Vergennes, Vermont, and on the morning of October 10, 1810, located upon land purchased of Datus Kelley, the agent for Hubbard & Stowe, the Connecticut owners of this portion of the Western Reserve. Mr. Cahoon's family consisted of himself, wife and seven children, of which latter the only one now living is Joel B. Cahoon, who, at the age of eighty-six, still resides on the old homestead. They traveled from Vermont to Dover in a wagon drawn by four horses, and a fifth horse was ridden by the girls in turn, in order to give some relief to a terribly tedious journey. They finally stopped on lot eighty-five, on the east side of Cahoon creek, at its mouth. In four days, Mr. Cahoon had completed a log house, the big wagon-box having meanwhile served as a place of nightly repose for the females of the family.

The tea-kettle which did duty on the occasion of the first meal taken by the Cahoon family in Dover is still in the possession of Joel B. Cahoon, and at the first celebration by the Cahoon Pioneer Association (held October 10, 1860, on the spot where Joseph Cahoon built his log house in 1810), a fire was built on the old hearth-stone, tea was steeped in the old tea kettle, and pies were eaten and made from apples borne by the first fruit-tree set out in the township.

The Cahoon Pioneer Association, it may be noted, has for its purpose the annual celebration in a pleasant and social way of Joseph Cahoon's settlement in Dover. Meetings are held upon the Cahoon place, and are participated in only by members of the Cahoon family and their immediate friends. At the meeting in 1878, about one hundred and twenty persons were present. These assemblages were held for a few years upon each 10th of October - the anniversary of Joseph Cahoon's settlement - but, in deference to the wishes of some aged people, the date was changed to August 28, the anniversary of that gentleman's birth.

Joseph Cahoon built upon Cahoon's creek the first grist-mill west of the Cuyahoga river, the frame being raised September 10, 1813,* the day of Perry's victory. Joseph and his son, Joel B., quarried two mill-stones in the creek at North Dover, and these stones are now preserved on Mr. Cahoon's place as relics of the olden time. They also erected a saw-mill near by, and likewise a distillery, where they made peach brandy - Mr. Cahoon engaged to some extent in peach culture.

In 1814 Joel was sent by his father to Brownhelm for a man to assist in the distillery, and before he set out on his return he pulled a small locust plant for a riding whip. When he reached home he planted it upon his father's' place, and now the riding whip, grown to a handsome tree of massive proportions shades the lawn in front of the Cahoon homestead, a graceful reminder of the historic past.

In 1818 Joseph Cahoon built the house now occupied by his son Joel B., and there he died in 1829, at the age of seventy-five.

On the evening of the day on which Joseph Cahoon and his family entered Dover (October 10, 1810), Asahel Porter and his family, together with Leverett Johnson (his nephew), then in his seventeenth year, came into the same township. Leverett Johnson had been living with the family in Connecticut, whence they came to Dover. Mr. Porter, with the assistance of George Peake, of Rockport, put up a log house upon lot ninety-four, now occupied by Charles Hassler. The spot upon which the house stood was long ago washed into the lake. Of the two children who came with Mr. Porter, one, Mrs. Catharine Foot, still resides in Dover, aged seventy-three. Mrs. Porter was drowned in Rocky river in 1814, and not long after that event Mr. Porter removed to Rockport, after renting his Dover farm to Silas and Elisha Taylor. Before that, however, he kept a store on the lake shore, in Dover, and was postmaster there in 1815. The book in which he kept his store accounts is now in the possession of L. H. Johnson, Esq., of Dover.

Almost immediately after his arrival in Dover, Leverett Johnson, although scarcely more than a boy, began alone to clear land on lot fifty-eight, continuing to live, however, with Mr. Porter. Two years later young Johnson located upon lot thirteen, where his son, L. H. Johnson, now resides. Usually he spent his Sundays at Mr. Porter's, but during the week lived alone in the wilderness. During the first season his house consisted of a bark roof set against an old log. He was the only settler in that section, and no doubt found life somewhat lonesome; but he worked sturdily away, and although Indians and wild beasts were plentiful, he suffered no molestation. The Indians were friendly, and sometimes assisted him in his farm labors; the wild beasts he scared away at night by keeping up a fire. Young Johnson married Abigail Cahoon in 1814, and conducted his bride to a new log-house, which he had that year erected upon his farm.

Mr. Johnson was early a prominent member of the settlement, and during his life was frequently called to fill positions of considerable importance. He was justice of the peace from 1827 to 1833, and served five terms in the State legislature. After a useful life of unwonted activity, he died upon the old homestead in 1856, in his sixty-second year.

Philo Taylor, an early settler in Rockport, located on the lake shore in Dover, in 1811, and there built the first sawmill in the township. He also opened the first tavern in Dover, but remained in the township only a few years. Dr. John Turner, also a Rockport settler, moved thence to Dover in 1813, locating on the place now occupied by C. C. Reed. He was the first physician in the township, and had a peculiar theory about consumption. He contended that if the patient would exercise daily by swinging a flat-iron in each hand, a cure would be effected. His wife, being consumptive, tried the remedy, but died in spite of it. Dr. Turner afterwards moved to Carlisle, Ohio, and thence to Wisconsin, where he died.

Joseph stocking came out from Ashfield, Massachusetts, with his uncle, Jonathan Smith, in 1811, and purchased land from the latter, in Dover. He returned to Massachusetts for his family, but postponed their removal on account of the war of 1812. In 1815, however, he migrated to Dover with his wife and five children, accompanied by Nehemiah Porter, John Smith, Asa Blood, Wells, Porter, Jesse Lilly and Ryal Holden - all being related to him by blood or marriage. He migrated to Dover, and located upon the place now occupied by his son Joseph. There he lived until his death in 1877, at the age of ninety-five years and three months.

Jesse Lilly settled first upon the North Ridge, but moved subsequently to the southern part of the township. John Smith located on lot fifty-five, and Ryal Holden about a mile and a half west of the present village of Dover Center. Soon after his arrival, Asa Blood built a log tavern at the place where he afterwards erected the brick hotel now kept by Philip Phillips. In 1825, when Blood was postmaster, one Woolverton drove a mail stage between Cleveland and Elyria, and delivered the mail at Dover Center three times a week.

Nehemiah Porter, with his wife and two children, and Wells Porter, a bachelor, located on lot forty-five. After residing with Nehemiah two years, Wells made a settlement upon lot fifteen. In 1816 Ebenezer Porter also came to Dover. Nehemiah and Ebenezer resided in that township until they died; Wells moved to Cleveland, and ended his days there. Jedediah Crocker moved in June, 1811, from Lee, Massachusetts, with his wife and seven children, to Euclid, Ohio, whence Noah, his son, went to Dover, where the elder owned land. Noah, with his wife and the three children, settled upon a portion of his father's land, and besides giving it some of his attention, used to go occasionally to Elyria to work in a furnace. He resided in Dover until his death; his children all removed further west. In 1816 Jedediah Crocker left Euclid, and with his family settled in Dover, upon the place cleared by his son Noah. The old gentleman had purchased considerable land in Dover from Hubbard & Stowe in Connecticut, but after his arrival in the West sold all of it except two lots, at $1.25 per acre - just what it had cost him. At the time of

Moses Hall, of Lee, Massachusetts, bought twenty-one hundred acres of land in Dover in 1810, and in the same year removed with his twelve children to Ashtabula, Ohio. Of the Dover tract, he gave to each of his seven sons one hundred acres, and to each of his five daughters fifty acres. Two of his sons Barnabas and James, and one of his daughters, with her husband, Nathan Bassett, settled in Dover in 1811. Barnabas Hall located on lot sixty-two, now occupied by his son Charles, and remained there till his death. James settled upon lot fifty-one, but in 1821 returned to Ashtabula, where he has since resided, having in July, 1879, reached his eighty-eighth year. Nathan Bassett occupied lot eighty-two. He had a turning-lathe, and manufactured chairs, and was also known far and near as a great hunter and manager of bees. He was killed by lightning while at work in his barn in 1842. Nancy, another daughter of Moses Hall, married David Ingersoll, and in 1820 they settled in Dover upon lot thirty-seven. They had seven children, but survived them all; he dying in January, 1879, aged eighty-three, and she in April of the same year, aged eighty. Charles, a son of Moses Hall, settled in Dover in 1821, upon lot forty-eight. He died in April, 1878. His surviving sons in Dover are Reuben and Z. S. Hall.

In 1817 Jesse Atwell, with his wife and five children, came from Steuben county, New York, and on the 4th of July landed at Cleveland. From there they pushed on to Dover, traveling so slowly that they were a day and a half going to Rocky river, and seeing but one framed house on the way. Mr. Atwell had bought lot sixty-eight of Moses Hall, but at the end of five years he bought lot seventy-nine from Hubbard & Stowe for four dollars and twenty cents an acre. There he resided until his death in 1875, aged eighty-nine.

Amos Sperry came west from Oneida county, New York, in 1815, and purchased lot sixty of Lyman Root, an early settler upon it, who then moved to Ridgeville. Mr. Sperry opened a blacksmith shop and a tavern on his place as soon as 1818, although he put up no tavern-sign until 1824. That sign was recently in the possession of the Sperry family. Mr. Sperry kept tavern there only a few years, but followed farming upon his place until his death in 1848, at the ripe age of eighty-seven. His son, Amos Ranson Sperry, who had preceded him into Dover a year, resided upon the homestead until he died. Junia Sperry, of Dover Center, is the only direct descendant of Amos Sperry now living. In 1818 Amos R. Sperry married the widow of Junia Beach, one of Elyria's early settlers. She survived her last husband many years, dying in Rockport in 1877, aged one hundred years.

Among other early settlers in Dover were Jason Bradley, John Wolf, Jethro Butler, Aaron Aldrich, Lyman Root, Eber Loomis and Joseph Root.

Sylvanus Smith was the fist settler at the place now known as Dover Center, and built a house upon the site of the store now there. Asa Blood, who kept the first tavern at the center, married a sister of Sylvanus Smith, and two other sisters of Smith married Ansel Rice and Asher Cooley, both Dover pioneers. Mr. Smith was a wide-awake, stirring citizen, a strong advocate of the temperance cause, and the builder of several houses at the center.

In 1826 Joseph Porter, of Ashfield, Massachusetts, migrated to Dover with four children - Jemima, John, Leonard and Rebecca, going by way of the Erie canal to Buffalo, thence by lake to Cleveland, and the rest of the way by stage. Mr. Porter located on lot fourteen, where he died in 1844, at the age of eighty-four. James Case, with a family of nine children, moved in 1816 from Ashfield, Massachusetts to Dover, and located on the North Ridge, west of Cahoon's creek, where he soon after put up a sawmill. He died in less than two years, leaving his eldest son, Bernard, to care for the family. He moved about 1826 to New York. Another son, Osborn Case, is now a resident of Rockport, whither he went in 1832. James Case had served as a privateer in the war of 1776, and during his residence in Dover had followed the pursuits of a cooper, a miller, and a farmer. Sumner Adams accompanied Case from Massachusetts to Dover, where he engaged in business as a blacksmith, returning, however, to New England at the expiration of four years.


The first white child born in the township was Angelina, daughter of Asahel Porter. The date of her birth was April 1, 1812. It is claimed that Vesta, daughter of Nathan Bassett, was the first born, but the best available evidence shows the date of her birth to have been June 14, 1812. The first male child born in Dover was Franklin, son of Joseph Cahoon. The first marriage in the township was that of Leverett Johnson and Abigail, daughter of Joseph Cahoon. John S. Reed, of Black River, - the first justice of the peace chosen in Dover, - performed the marriage service in Cahoon's log house. The second couple married were Jethro Butler and Betsey Smith. On the 1st day of April 1814, Asahel Porter's wife and infant child, Noah Crocker, and George, son of Jonathan Smith, made a journey to Cleveland in an open boat. Upon their return, being overtaken by a storm, they sought to put in at the mouth of Rocky river, when the boat was capsized and Mrs. Porter, her babe, and George Smith were drowned, Crocker alone escaping. The daughter of Daniel Page - who settled at an early date on lot ninety-seven and put up the first framed house in Dover - while temporarily sojourning in an adjoining township, was carried away by Indians, from whom, however, after a brief captivity, she was recaptured by United states soldiers.


The surveyed township now constituting Dover (No. seven in range fifteen) was, at the time of its earliest settlement, owned by Nehemiah Hubbard and Josiah Stowe, to whom it had fallen on the division of the Western Reserve among the joint proprietors, as narrated in the general history. The civil township of Dover was formed November 4, 1811, and embraced a large tract, extending nearly twenty-five miles along the lake shore as appears by the following extracts from the records: November 4, 1811, it was by the county commissioners ordered "that the following townships be and are hereby incorporated into a separate township by the name of Dover, viz: Townships No. seven in fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth ranges and all that part of No. seven which lies east of the Black river in the eighteenth range, and to be in effect on the next annual meeting." * * * March 6, 1812, it was further ordered "that all that tract of land lying west of the town of Dover and west of township No. six in range sixteen, and east of the east line of the Fire-lands, so called and north of township five in ranges seventeen, eighteen and nineteen, be and is hereby annexed to said township of Dover."

The first township election was held April 6, 1812, at the house of Philo Taylor, at which eighteen votes were cast by the following electors: Philo Taylor, George Kelso, John Jordan, John Brittle, Noah Davis, Andrew Kelso, Timothy Wallace, David Smith, Joseph Cahoon, Joseph Quigley, Ralph Lyon, Joseph Root, Jonathan Seeley, Moses Eldred, Azariah Beebe, Lyman Root, Asahel Porter and Daniel Perry. Some of these lived as far west as Black river, and some lost all identity with Dover, on account of its contraction to its present limits.

The officers chosen at that election were Asahel Porter, township clerk; Daniel Perry, Joseph Quigley and Asahel Porter, trustees; Asahel Porter, Joseph Cahoon and Azariah Beebe, overseers of the poor; Andrew Kelso and Moses Eldred, fence viewers; Jonathan Seeley, lister and appraiser; Noah Davis, Ralph Lyon, Moses Eldred, Sylvanus Fleming, Daniel Brittle and Lyman Root, supervisors of highways; Philo Taylor, treasurer; Jonathan Seeley and Philo Taylor, constables. On the 16th of May, 1812, John S. Reed was chosen justice of the peace. At the second election, which was for State officers, only ten votes were cast. In 1819 but thirty-two votes were cast at the township election. The names of the persons who have served the township as trustees, clerks and treasurers from 1812 to 1879, are given in the following list:

1812. Trustees, Daniel Perry, Joseph Quigley, Asahel Porter; clerk, Asahel Porter; treasurer, Philo Taylor.
1813. Trustees, Nathan Bassett, Noah Crocker, Daniel Perry; clerk, Asahel Porter; treasurer, Philo Taylor.
1814. Trustees, Daniel Perry, Jonathan Taylor, John Turner; clerk, Asahel Porter; treasurer, Philo Taylor.
1815. Trustees, Amos R. Sperry, Daniel Perry, Nathan Bassett; clerk, John Turner; treasurer, Leverett Johnson.
1816. Trustees, Wilbur Cahoon, Nathan Bassett, Datus Kelley; clerk, Noah Crocker; treasurer, Leverett Johnson.
1817. Trustees, Nathan Bassett, Joseph Stocking, Asa Blood; clerk, Noah Crocker; treasurer, Leverett Johnson.
1818. Trustees, Henry Taylor, Leverett Johnson, Samuel Crocker; clerk, Noah Crocker; treasurer, Thomas Foot.
1819. Trustees, John Smith, Samuel Crocker, Amos Cahoon; clerk, Thomas Foot; treasurer, Samuel Crocker.
1820. Trustees, Leverett Johnson, Amos Cahoon, Thomas Foot; clerk, Samuel Crocker; treasure, Jedediah Crocker.
1821. Trustees, Nathan Bassett, Amos R. Sperry, Leverett Johnson; clerk, John F. Smith; treasurer, Amos R. Sperry.
1822. Trustees, Amos R. Sperry, Noah Crocker, Amos Cahoon; clerk, John F. Smith; treasurer, Henry Taylor.
1823. Trustees, Noah Crocker, Amos Cahoon, David Ingersoll; clerk, Asa Blood; treasurer, Henry Taylor.
1824. Trustees, Nathan Bassett, David Ingersoll, Thomas Foot; clerk, Asa Blood; treasurer, Henry Taylor.
1825. Trustees, Nathan Bassett, Joseph Stocking, Asher M. Coe; clerk; Wells Porter; treasurer, Noah Crocker.
1826. Trustees, Joseph Stocking, Thomas Foot; clerk, Wells Porter; treasurer, Noah Crocker.
1827. Trustees, Leverett Johnson, Nathan Bassett, John Smith; clerk, Wells Porter; treasurer, Joseph Stocking.
1828. Trustees, Leverett Johnson, John Smith, Thos. Foot; clerk, Wells Porter; treasurer, Joseph Stocking.
1829. Trustees, Thos. Foot, Joseph Stocking, Leverett Johnson; clerk, Wells Porter; treasurer, Hiram Smith.
1830. Trustees, Nathan Bassett, Asa Blood, Amos R. Sperry; clerk, Wells Porter; treasurer, Hiram Smith.
1831. Trustees, A. M. Coe, Asa Blood, Thos. Foot; clerk, Jason Bradley; treasurer, Hiram Smith.
1832. Trustees, Amos Cahoon, Nathan Bassett, A. M. Coe; clerk, Eli Clemens; treasurer, Hiram Smith.
1833. Trustees, Amos Cahoon, Rial Holden, Asa Blood; clerk, Eli Clemens; treasurer, Asher Cooley.
1834. Trustees, Amos Cahoon, Chas. Hall, Leverett Johnson; clerk, Eli Clemens; treasurer, Asher Cooley.
1835. Trustees, Amos Cahoon, Leverett Johnson, Amos R. Sperry; clerk, Eli Clemens; treasurer, Asher Cooley.
1836 and 1837. Trustees, Amos Cahoon, Leverett Johnson, Thomas Foot; clerk, Eli Clemens; treasurer, Asher Cooley.
1838. Trustee, A. R. Sperry, Nathan Bassett, Austin Lilly; clerk, Eli Clemens; treasurer, Asher Cooley.
1839. Trustees, Leverett Johnson, Nathan Bassett, Austin Lilly; clerk, Eli Clemens; treasurer, Asher Cooley.
1840. Trustees, Leverett Johnson, Arza Dickinson, Aaron Aldrich; clerk, Eli Clemens; treasurer, L. G. Porter.
1841. Trustees, Leverett Johnson, Thomas Foot, Charles Hall; clerk, Eli Clemens; treasurer, L. G. Porter.
1842. Trustees, Amos Cahoon, A. S. Farr, A. R. Sperry; clerk, E. T. Smith; treasurer, Marius Moore.
1843. Trustees, A. S. Farr, Austin Lilly, A. M. Coe; clerk, E. T. Smith; treasurer, Marius Moore.
1844. Trustees, Joseph Brown, Leverett Johnson, Benjamin Reed; clerk, E. T. Smith; treasurer, L. G. Porter.
1845. Trustees, A. S. Farr, Aaron Aldrich, Benj. Reed; clerk, W. Porter; treasurer, L. G. Porter.
1846. Trustees, Aaron Aldrich, Leverett Johnson, Marius Moore; clerk, W. Porter; treasurer, L. G. Porter.
1847. Trustees, Leverett Johnson, Arza Dickinson, Thomas H. Hall; clerk, Wells Porter; treasurer, L. G. Porter.
1848. Trustees, Arza Dickinson, Chas. H. Hall, Alfred Willard; clerk, Wells Porter; treasurer, L. G. Porter.
1849. Trustees, A. M. Coe, Wm. Saddler, N. Coburn; clerk, J. M. Bradley; treasurer, Edwin Coe.
1850. Trustees, A. M. Coe, S. U. Towner, Henry Winsor; clerk, Eli Clemens; treasurer, D. W. Porter.
1851. Trustees, S. U. Towner, Henry Winsor, N. H. Austin; clerk, Eli Clemens; treasurer, Marius Moore.
1852 and 1853. Trustees, Marius Moore, C. H. Tobey, Chas. H. Hall; clerk, L. H. Johnson; treasurer, Edwin Farr.
1854. Trustees, Marius Moore, C. H. Tobey, Chas. H. Hall; clerk, L. H. Johnson; treasurer, Lester Simons.
1855. Trustees, Chas H. Hall, D. W. Porter, R. G. McCarty; clerk, A. A. Lilly; treasurer, ________.
1856. Trustees, C. E. Barnum, R. H. Knight, Edwin Farr; clerk, Eli Clemens; treasurer, Jonathan Spencer.
1857. Trustees, R. H. Knight, N. H. Austin, G. W. Laughlin; clerk, Eli Clemens; treasurer, J. Spencer.
1858. Trustees, A. S. Farr, Josiah Hurst, Reuben Hall; clerk, Eli Clemens; treasurer, J. Spencer.
1859. Trustees, Josiah Hurst, Dennis Dow, Clark Smith; clerk, John Wilson.
1860. Trustees, Dennis Dow, S. L. Beebe, A. P. Johnson; clerk, John Wilson.
1861. Trustees, Josiah Hurst, Reuben Hall, A. P. Johnson; clerk, John Wilson.
1862. Trustees, Jonathan Spencer, Adolphus Gridley, Dennis Dow; clerk, Eli Clemens.
1863. Trustees, A. J. Coe, Jonathan Spencer, Edwin Farr; clerk, Thos. Foote.
1864. Trustees, Dennis Dow, Junia Sperry, H. W. Aldrich; clerk, A. A. Lilly.
1865. Trustees, Dennis Dow, Thos. Foot, A. P. Johnson; clerk, A. A. Lilly.
1866. Trustees, H. D. Lamphair, S. W. Simons, E. F. Walker; clerk, E. Meriam.
1867. Trustees, L. H. Johnson, J. Rose, E. S. Lewis; clerk, A. S. Porter.
1868. Trustees, J. Rose, A. S. Ward, S. W. Simons; clerk, A. S. Porter.
1869. Trustees, J. Rose, a. A. Lilly, A. S. Ward; clerk, A. S. Porter.
1870. Trustees, A. A. Lilly, A. P. Smith, H. P. Johnson; clerk A. S. Porter.
1871. Trustees, R. Hall, G. Reubin, N. G. Porter; clerk, C. Pease.
1872. Trustees, A. G. Porter, Leon Coe, J. N. Hurst; clerk, C. Pease.
1873. Trustees, L. H. Johnson, Leon Coe, A. J. Coe; clerk, C. Pease.
1874. Trustees, A. J. Coe, Perry Powell, J. N. Hurst; clerk, H. B. Smith.
1875. [Trustees, sic] Perry Powell, S. W. Simons, J. N. Hurst; clerk, H. B. Smith.
1876. Trustees, S. W. Simons, A. J. Coe, Reuben Hall; clerk, John Wilson.
1877. Trustees, S. W. Simons, L. M. Coe, Henry Wischmeyer; clerk, John Wilson.
1878. Trustees, Jas. L. Hadd, S. W. Simons, H. Wischmeyer; clerk, Jas. Pease; treasurer, Calvin Pease.
1879. Trustees, A. J. Coe, David Sites, Benj. Chappel; clerk, Herbert Lilly; treasurer, Calvin Pease.


Although possessing no incorporated village, Dover has within its limits two hamlets - Dover Center and North Dover - of which the former is the larger and more thriving. The town hall is located there - a fine two-story brick structure, built in 1873 - and it also has a graded school, a Masonic and Odd Fellows' lodge, a large steam gristmill, a store, several shops, a church and a good number of handsome residences.

North Dover, a mile north of the Center, is near a German settlement and has a German church, an excellent German school, a township school, a store and perhaps a dozen dwellings.


Dover's first postmaster was Asahel Porter, who kept a store and post office on the lake shore near the Avon line in 1815. Reuben Osborn was his successor, and afterwards Eli Clemens received the office. He removed it to North Dover, where it now is. Calvin Phinney was the next incumbent, and after him Daniel Brown, the present postmaster.

The first postmaster at Dover Center was Asa Blood, who kept the tavern at that place. Marius Moore, who succeeded Blood as the landlord, was also the next postmaster, and for many years the postoffice was located in the tavern. The present incumbent is Hon. J. M. Cooley. A. M. Coe, a settler in 1823, was appointed postmaster at Coe Ridge, in the southern part of Dover, in 1843, and remained so until 1864. The office was removed into Olmstead in 1864, but in 1866 it was brought back to Dover, when Mr. Coe was reappointed, continuing in the office until his death in 1867. In 1874 a change to Olmstead was again made, and there the office still remains.


This religious organization is the outgrowth of a Congregational Church organized in Lee, Massachusetts, June 5, 1811, with eight members, as follows: Jedediah Crocker and Sarah, his wife, Lydia, wife of Moses Hall, Katy, wife of Abijah Crosby, Jonathan and Abner Smith and their wives. Of these eight, Jedediah and Sarah Crocker and the two Smith families removed shortly afterwards to Dover, and on their arrival continued the Lee church organization, changing, however, the name to the Congregational Church of Dover.

The little band having at first no minister, used to meet every Sabbath to worship with prayer and song. Alvin Coe, a missionary to the Indians, coming that way, preached to them three months, after which they reverted to their former simple service. The church increased slowly, and in 1822 a log meeting-house was built near where the present church edifice stands. Some years afterward the meeting-house was destroyed by fire, and the services were held in Joseph Stocking's barn and in the town-house, until the completion of the church building now in use.

About 1840 the church was divided on the slavery question, and until 1847 on congregation worshiped in the church building and the other in the town house. In that year the two bodies were reunited and reorganized as the Second Congregational church of Dover, with fifty-one members, and the following trustees: John Porter, Leverett Johnson, David Ingersoll. The first deacons of the reorganized church were Alfred Millard, Jonathan Oakes, Selden Osborn, Josiah Hurst. Since 1847 about two hundred and seventy-five persons have been received into the church.

Among the early preachers, Rev. John McCrea was the most prominent. He preached in 1826 and afterward, and was very highly esteemed. The pastor in charge at present is Rev. Henry Walker. The present trustees are L. G. Porter, George Whitsey and John Rose.

An old record testifies that the "Dover Congregational Society" was organized December 28, 1818, "for the support of the gospel," and that the members were Noah Crocker, Nehemiah Porter, David Ingersoll, John Smith, Jesse Lily, Asher Corley, Wells Porter, Jonathan Smith, Stephen Smith, Sylvanus Phinney, Jedediah Crocker, Dennis Taylor, Barnabas Hall, James Hall, Samuel Crocker and Solomon Ketchum. Another old record sets forth that the First Congregational Society of Dover was incorporated February 9, 1831, and that the incorporator [sic] were Calvin Phinney, Sylvanus Crocker, Josiah Hurst and Reuben Osborn.


This body was organized about 1825, but in the absence of records very little can be gleaned concerning its early history. The first meetings were held in residences and barns; later, the town-house and the Episcopal church were used for that purpose. The house of worship now occupied by the society was erected in 1853. The church is attached to the Rockport circuit, and is supplied by Rev. John McKean. The membership numbers about one hundred, and that of the Sunday school about fifty. The present trustees are William Dempsey, James Elliott and Jerome Beardsley.


This was organized as early as 1827 in the township school-house, by Rev. Eliphalet, brother of Leverett Johnson. The class contained at first but six members, but increased quite rapidly. In 1840 the present church building was erected. Mr. Johnson preached to the congregation until he removed from the township in 1842, since which time the church has been supplied by ministers attached to the Rockport circuit, Rev. J. McKean being now in charge. The membership is at present exceedingly small, numbering but seven persons; of whom the three male members, Sherman Osborn, Marshal Cahoon and Henry P. Foot, are the trustees.


This church was organized February 24, 1836, with the following members: Aaron Aldrich and wife, Wm. W. Aldrich, Julia Ann Aldrich, Jesse Atwell and wife, Phineas Alexander and wife, Wm. Nesbitt and wife. Meetings were held at first in the Lake-Shore school-house and in the town-house. In 1845 a house of worship was built on Justus Stocking's land near North Dover, and there the congregation continued to worship until 1856, at which time, the church having by removals and deaths lost nearly all its members, services were discontinued, nor have they to this day been revived. Elders Dimmock of Olmstead, Wire of Rockport, Lockwood of Perry, and Jas. Goodrich, were among those who preached to the church directly after its organization. The last settled pastor was Rev. Mr. Newton, who was engaged in 1845. The church building stood until 1878, when it was destroyed by fire.


This organization, founded in 1837, is now extinct, and only a part of its history can be obtained. The members in 1842 were Chas. Hall, Weller Dean, Jesse Lilly, Austin Lilly, Albinus Lilly and a few others, although the average attendance was quite large. A church building was erected in 1837, just north of Dover Center. It is now used by Calvin Pease as a barn. Services were at first conducted by Weller dean as lay-reader, until the engagement of Rev. Mr. Granville as a settled minister, who remained but a few years. The church began to decline previous to 1850, and in that year was dissolved.


About 1858 quite a settlement of Germans located near North Dover, who, being desirous of establishing a church, sent for Rev. E. Z. Lindeman of Cincinnati, who went to Dover and organized, in 1858, a German Lutheran Church. The original members were J. H. Lindemyer, F. H. Hencke, F. Matthews, H. Luocke, J. H. Trast, Wm. Schmidt, J. H. Weihrmann, August Warnecke. Rev. E. Rupprecht, of Lafayette, Indiana, was called to the charge in 1858, and is still the pastor.

Until 1872 worship was held in the Baptist Church at North Dover, and from that time until 1877, in the German Lutheran school-house, which was built in 1872. In 1877 the present fine church edifice was erected at an expense of four thousand dollars. The membership is now forty-seven, and the attendance comprises about sixty families. The present trustees are H. H. Reinkal, G. Meyer and Christian Koch.


The first school teacher in Dover, of whom there is any recollection, was Betsey Crocker, who taught in 1816 in a log school-house on the lake shore, near where the present school-house stands. Philena Crocker, her sister, taught there (at the age of fourteen), as did also Wells Porter. In 1826 the township was divided into five school-districts, which then contained seventy householders.

Dover contains at present eight schools and seven school-buildings, which latter are all brick structures, excellently appointed, and considerably better in every way than the average of township school-buildings. There is a graded school at Dover Center, and the school at North Dover will soon be similarly arranged.

In 1879, when the enumeration of school children was made, there was six hundred and twenty-two in the township, the levy for the support of schools being two thousand one hundred dollars.

Attached to the German Lutheran church at North Dover is an excellent secular school. It was organized in 1858 by Rev. E. Rupprecht, the pastor of the church, and began its career with thirty-three pupils. The Baptist church building was used until 1872, when the present school-house was erected. Rev. Mr. Rupprecht taught the school, in connection with his pastorate duties, until 1872, when he relinquished the charge to Mr. H. L. Brokelstuhler, the present teacher. The school is in a flourishing condition, and had, in July, 1879, the large number of one hundred and fifteen pupils.


In 1845 John Wilson, a graduate of Oberlin College - who located in Dover in 1844 - founded Dover Academy, and in that year erected a building for its use about a mile and a half south-west of Dover center. Mr. Wilson's school grew to be a popular institution, and had at one time as many as sixty pupils.

In 1852 several public-spirited citizens of Dover proposed to Mr. Wilson to have the school removed to near the Center, and to organize a corporation to control it, to which he assented. A school building was accordingly erected on what is now the Dover fair ground, and an act was obtained incorporating the Dover Academical Association. The building was completed in 1854, and Mr. Wilson continued to act as principal until 1860, when he retired. Although the academy had been fairly prosperous, the increased usefulness and liberal scope of the public schools impared (sic) its strength, and led to its being given up in 1862. The building is still standing on the fair ground, and is used by the fair association The first directors of the academy association were Leverett Johnson, L. G. Porter and Benjamin Reed.


This association was organized in 1850, for the purpose of holding annual fairs in Dover. Money to purchase land was advanced by Messrs. Josiah Hurst, S. L. Beebe and J. Coles, and the ground was at once fitted up by individual subscriptions. The association owns seven acres of land, with the requisite buildings, about half a mile north of Dover Center, and has held a successful exhibition there, every fall since 1850. Julius Farr was the president in 1879, and William Aldrich the secretary.


This society was organized in 1867, the charter members being John Kirk, Wm. B. Delford, C. D. Knapp, A. P. Smith, E. Bradford, C. L. Underhill, A. Wolf, P. W. Barton, W. W. Mead, A. S. Porter, Junia Sperry, J. Beardslee, D. B. Wright, D. H. Perry. The present officers are: Perry Powell, N. G; James L. Hand, V. G.; James Beardslee, R. S.; Benj. Chappell, P. S.; Frank Baker, T. The membership numbers about one hundred. The lodge has fine quarters in the town hall, at Dover Center. This hall, a handsome and commodious brick edifice, was built in 1873 by the town and by the lodge just mentioned, at a cost of $6,000.


Northwest Encampment was organized July 1, 1875, with Alfred Wolf, Alfred Bates, L. J. Cahoon, Van Ness Moore, Philip Phillips, Perry Powell and Frank Baker as charter members. The membership now numbers twenty-two, the officers being Philip Phillips, C. P.; Perry Powell, H. P.; Jerome Beardslee, S. W.; John Morrissey, J. W.; F. W. Guild, treasurer.


The lodge just named was organized in August, 1871, with sixteen charter members. The present officers are John Griffin, N. G.; Mrs. Murray Farr, V. G.; Mrs. John Griffin, secretary; Benjamin Chappel, F. S.; Mrs. Maitland Beebe, treasurer.


Dover Lodge was formed in 1874. The charter members were D. R. Watson, L. M. Coe, G. Reublin, John Kirk, John Jordan, E. S Lewis, J. L. Hand, S. Barry, Wm. Lewis, G. Pease, Wm. Sprague. There are now thirty members, the officers being Benj. Chappel, W. M.; Wm. Lewis, S. W.; George Tarbox. J. W.; W. V. Gage, secretary; J. M. Cooley, treasurer; Thos. J. Bates, S. D.; W. Grant, J. D.; J. Jordan and A. A. Lilly, stewards; G. Winslow, tyler.


The Dover Silver Cornet Band, a musical organization of considerable local note, was organized in 1874. The present leader is George Esberger.

A temperance union league was formed in Dover in 1873, and since that time the temperance cause has, at various times, received strong support in the township. A temperance Sabbath school now contributes its efforts toward the same object.


The first death in the township is supposed to have been that of Mrs. Abner Smith, who was buried upon the Smith farm and afterward removed to the cemetery on the lake shore, that being the first public burial-ground laid out in the township. A graveyard was laid out in 1820 west of Dover Center upon land donated by Leverett Johnson and others. The first person buried there was the wife of Rev. Mr. McCrea, the Congregational minister.

Both cemeteries contain many fine tombstones, and the care expended upon the neatly kept grounds testifies to the affection felt by the living for those who there rest in their narrow beds.


The manufacturing interests of Dover are at present limited to a few sawmills, a bending factory and a gristmill.

Tilden & Morley founded an important iron-ware manufactory at Dover Center in 1832, near which place were several rich beds of iron ore. The works, known as the Dover Furnace, stood upon the lot now occupied by the residence of Junia Sperry. The firm conducted a store in connection with the furnace, and employed twelve men. In 1840 Tilden & Morley sold the establishment to the Cuyahoga Steam Furnace Company, soon after which (in 1843) it was destroyed by fire. Benjamin Reed, a former employee of the company, bought the land, rebuilt the furnace the same year, carried on the business until 1848, when the supply of ore was exhausted, and he abandoned the undertaking.

Junia Sperry, Robert Crooks, and Millard & Smith built a steam gristmill at Dover Center in 1856, and in 1863 sold it to Kirk & Reublin, from whom it passed into the possession of Lilly & Carpenter, the present owners. It contains two run of burrs, and is the only gristmill in the township. Fauver & Hurst Brothers have a "bending factory" and sawmill, (the latter built by Philo Beach, in 1850), about a mile southwest of Dover Center. They employ six men, and manufacture felloes, sleigh runners, shafts, etc.


Grape growing is largely followed on the lake shore in Dover, and some wine is also made there. Henry Wischmeyer came out from Cleveland in 1874, and began to raise grapes upon a tract of fifty acres, now occupied by him. He set out but two acres the first year, but gradually extended his vineyard until now he has twenty-three acres planted in grapes. In 1874 he built upon his land a wine cellar with a capacity of ten thousand gallons, and manufactures considerable wine every year. Numerous varieties of grapes are cultivated, of which the chief are the Catawba, Delaware and Concord.

The pioneer enterprise, however, in the direction of extensive grape culture in Dover, was set on foot in 1865, by the Dover Bay Grape and Wine Company, organized in that year for the purpose of growing the grape in Dover township. Dr. J. P. Dake was the president; R. R. Herrick the vice president, and Dr. D. H. Beckwith, the secretary and treasurer. The original purchase of land included two hundred and ten acres, situated in Dover, on the lake shore. The capital of the company, fixed at the outset at thirty thousand dollars, was three years later increased to sixty thousand dollars. Fifteen acres were set out with grapes the first year, and since then the area has been gradually extended until now upwards of ninety acres are under cultivation and the annual yield of grapes amounts to one hundred tons. The yield includes all the varieties raised in the northern climate. The company has a capacious wine cellar in Dover and much excellent wine is manufactured yearly. The financial headquarters are in Cleveland; the present officers being R. R. Herrick, president; A. K. Spencer, vice president; and Geo. P. Smith, secretary and treasurer.

Grape-growing is also carried on all along the Dover lake shore, but the business - save in the instances above alluded to, is confined to limited individual efforts.


An excellent quality of building stone, much used in the township and elsewhere, is found in the southwest part of Dover where the quarries of E. C. Harris and Wm. Geiger have long yielded large supplies although the former quarry is at present not worked to any great extent.


*There seems to have been a good deal of building and raising on the lake shore that day. One lot of men were finishing the court-house at Cleveland; another was raising a barn in Euclid; Mr. Cahoon and his friends were raising a grist-mill in Dover, and there were perhaps other instances, of which we have not heard.


History of Cuyahoga County, Ohio; Part Third: The Townships, compiled by Crisfield Johnson, Published by D. W. Ensign & Co., 1879; pages 435-442.