History of Dover Township, Cuyahoga County, OH

From: A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
Publishers: The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924


We are writing of the extreme northwest part of Cuyahoga County, number 7, range 15, in the original survey, now twenty five square miles. We say now, because when this number of range 15 was organized as a township, its jurisdiction extended west twenty five miles even to the "Fire Lands." Thus was the protecting hand of the local government extended into otherwise unorganized territory. At the first election for township officers, voters outside the present boundaries of the township participated. The boundaries are, west, Lorain County; north, Lake Erie; east, Rockport, and south, Olmsted. This is an agricultural, a fruit growing section. It has good roads and the Lake Shore Electric Railroad from Cleveland to Detroit passes through the township. Fine residences dot the northern part along the lake and land that sold in pioneer days for $1.25 an acre now sells for double that per foot. The streams are small, affording feeble water power, but they were harnessed when the settlers came and ran the mills that were a great boon to the first comers. Hubbard and Stowe were the purchasers from the Connecticut Land Company and they figure in the history of Dover merely as such, never coming to their possessions in the West, but leaving the business in the hands of Dams Kelley, their agent. The first settler was Joseph Cahoon, who came from Vergennes, Vermont, with his wife and seven children, arriving October 10, 1810. Mr. Cahoon brought the family in a wagon drawn by four horses and brought a fifth horse, which was ridden by the girls in turn. In this way they relieved the tediousness of the long journey. They located at a creek which has ever since been called Cahoon Creek. Arriving, the first thing was the building of a log house, which was finished in four days, the women sleeping in the wagon box while the building was under construction. There was no delay. No strikes and no conflicts between the various trades employed in the construction, delayed its completion. The man who swung the ax and the mason who built the chimney worked in harmony, for the two trades were combined. The material men had no schedule of prices. The stones from the creek and the logs from the woods were free. The tea kettle brought from Connecticut by the Cahoon was preserved by Joel B. Cahoon and at the first celebration of the first settlement by the Cahoon Pioneer Association, which was held on the spot where the log house was built, October 10, 1860, fifty years afterwards, tea for dinner was steeped in it and they served also pies made from apples picked from the first apple tree set out in the township. The Cahoon Pioneer Association held annual meetings for many years attended by members of the family and their friends. In 1878, 120 were present. These meetings were held on October 10th for some years and then changed to October 28th, the birthday of Joseph Cahoon. He built the first gristmill west of the Cuyahoga River and it was raised on September 10, 1813, the day of Perry's victory on Lake Erie. On that day also, in the county, a barn was raised in Euclid Township, a large party attending the raising, the workmen were just finishing the courthouse at Cleveland, and to make the day complete this gristmill was raised on Cahoon Creek. Joseph Cahoon and his son, Joel B., quarried two millstones on the creek at North Dover for the mill. These are preserved as relics of the olden time and were in the possession of the family for many years. Joseph Cahoon built a sawmill nearby on the creek and when the raising of peaches had progressed beyond the needs of the home market, set up a distillery for the manufacture of peach brandy. In 1818 Joseph built a very pretentious frame house on the premises, which was later occupied by Joel Cahoon, his son.

The Cahoon became first settlers only by a scratch for on the afternoon of the day they came, October 10, 1810, Ashahel Porter and family came and with them Leverett Johnson, a nephew, who lived with the family in Connecticut. Johnson was only seventeen when they came to Dover. Porter built a log house on lot 94, near the lake, which was later occupied by Charles Hassler. Lake Erie has been constantly encroaching on the land, and the site where stood the log house built by Porter has been washed into the lake. Quite early in the history of the pioneer experience of this family, the Porters, a tragedy is recorded. In 1814, Mrs. Porter with an infant child and accompanied by Noah Crocker and George Smith, journeyed to Cleveland in an open boat. On the return trip they were overtaken by a storm and as they were attempting to turn in at Rocky River all were drowned but Crocker. Mr. Porter remained in Dover for a time after this tragedy. He kept a store on the shore of the lake and was postmaster in 1815. Later he moved to Rockport, but the family was represented in Dover by a daughter, Mrs. Catherine Foot, who lived past three score and ten there. Of the boy. Leverett Johnson, who came with the Porters, a record is preserved of his descendants. While living with the Porter family he began clearing land some distance away, on lot 58. We say living with the Porters but he only came home to spend the weekend, to use the modern phrase. During the week he lived alone in the wilderness, not disturbed, as was Daniel Boone, who, when a family settled within a mile or two of him, said it was getting too crowded and moved on. Johnson admitted it was sometimes darned lonesome. The first season, his home was a bark roof set against an old log of great size. He was not disturbed by the Indians, who were friendly and sometimes helped him in his work, and he kept the wild beasts away by a fire at night. What kept him at his task, what made the burdens of this life endurable, this lonely strenuous battle in the wilderness? The love of woman. He was carving a home in the forest and battling for her as men have endured, not always in the same way, but for the love of woman. In 1814 he married Abigail Cahoon and took her to the new log house, which heĽ built that year. Johnson became prominent in the new community. He was justice of the peace from 1827 to 1833 and served five terms in the Legislature of the State of Ohio. He died in 1856 in his sixty second year. He was the first director of the Dover Academy, of which we will speak further on. As a legislator he had a varied experience. He began December 4, 1837, when Governor Joseph Vance was in office and Peter Hitchcock and Reuben Wood on the Supreme bench. At this session of the Legislature imprisonment for debt was abolished. The next session was held December 3, 1838. Wilson Shannon was governor. Mr. Johnson served again in 1840 when Thomas Corwin was governor and John Brough was auditor of state. The legislative records of this session recite the fact that in receiving the notice of his election, Governor Corwin made a felicitous speech. In the forty seventh General Assembly, which convened December 4, 1848, Mr. Johnson was an influential member of the House. Seabury Ford was governor. In the Senate there was a turmoil over the canvass of the vote and there were stormy scenes in both houses. At this time the vote for state officers was canvassed by the two branches of the General Assembly. Two members of the Free Soil party were elected to the Legislature and the whigs and democrats were evenly divided on joint ballot and the election of a United States senator was coming up. The vote in the organization of the House and Senate was disturbed by a contention over the seating of two men from Hamilton County. The Senate after much discussion and many ballots were taken finally perfected an organization but the House organization was more difficult. Upon a call forty two members responded and thirty two failed to respond, less than a constitutional quorum responding as present. These forty two and thirty two factions each attempted an organization, Benjamin F. Leiter presiding over the forty two and A. T. Holcomb over the thirty two. These two rival Houses did not come together until January 3, 1849. The vote for speaker at that time on the first and second ballots stood Leverett Johnson, thirty four, John G. Breslin, thirty four, scattering two. On the third ballot Mr. Breslin was elected, receiving thirty seven to Mr. Johnson's thirty three. The Dover man was not elected speaker but he had received a high compliment in a stormy period. Mr. Johnson again served in the fifty second Assembly, when Salmon P. Chase was governor, who was elected by a small majority over Henry B. Payne of Cleveland. This session began in 1856. Mr. Johnson died while serving on this, his fifth term in the House.

In 1811 Philo Taylor settled in the town. He built the first sawmill and opened the first tavern but stayed only a few years. Dr. John Taylor came from Rockport in 1813. He was the first physician, but had some peculiar theories. One of them was in regard to treatment for consumption or tuberculosis as it is now called. He contended that daily exercises of a character that would bring into play the muscles of the chest would bring a cure. His wife was afflicted with the disease and he kept her at daily exercise, swinging a flatiron in each hand, but the treatment was not a success and she died. Whether he clung to his theory after that is not recorded He moved to Carlisle, Ohio, and later to Wisconsin, where he died. Joseph Stocking of Ashfield, Massachusetts, bought a farm in Dover and with his uncle, Jonathan Smith, came to his new possessions in 1811. He went back to Massachusetts and postponed his return until after the War of 1812. In 1815 he returned with quite a delegation, his wife and five children, Nehemiah Porter, John Smith, Asa Blood, Was Porter, Jesse Lilly and Royal Holden, all relatives. He lived on the farm to the good old age of ninety five years. Jesse Lilly settled on North Ridge and then moved to the south part of the township. John Smith bought on lot 55 and Royal Holden about a mile west of the present Dover Center. Asa Blood built a log tavern and replaced it in after years by a brick hotel, which was located on the same site. In later years this hotel was kept by Philip Phillips. Dover in its pioneer period was more favored in the way of mail facilities than many other townships. In 1825 with Asa Blood as postmaster it had mail three times a week A mail stage driven by a Mr. Wolverton from Cleveland to Elyria never missed the postoffice at Dover Center and it found Postmaster Blood on the job. Nehemiah Porter with his wife, two children and Wells Porter, a bachelor relative, settled on lot 45. Ebenezer Porter came in 1816. Of this family all remained in Dover except Wells Porter, who after settling for some years on a farm of his own, moved to Cleveland. Jedediah Crocker of Lee, Massachusetts, bought in Dover and in June, 1811, came west as far as Euclid. He remained there while his son Noah with a wife and three children came on to Dover and began clearing on his father's land. After a time he found work in Elyria and worked there from time to time while clearing on his father's farm. This he found more remunerative than farming, and when in 1816 Jedediah came on to Dover with his family, he had sold all the land he bought from Hubbard and Stowe of Connecticut except two lots. He sold for $1.25 per acre, what it cost him. When he came his nearest neighbors were Barnabas Hall, Thomas Foot, Sylvanus Phinney, Bernard Case, Jesse Lilly, Jonathan Smith, and Harry and Jasper Taylor. In 1810 Moses Hall of Lee, Massachusetts, bought 2,100 acres of land in Dover and the same year moved with his wife and twelve children to Ashtabula. Of the Dover land he gave each of his seven sons 100 acres and each daughter fifty acres. Two of his sons, Barnabas and James and a married daughter with her husband settled in Dover in 1811. Barnabas was located on a farm on lot 62 where he spent his life and was succeeded by his son Charles. James in 1821 returned to Ashtabula. Nathan Bassett lived on lot 82. He had a turning lathe and made chairs. He was known as a great hunter and was a successful bee culturist, an important avocation in the days before the great sugar centrals supplied the world with sugar. He was killed by lightning in 1842 while at work in his barn. But to return to the Hall family, Nancy, another daughter of Moses Hall, who had married David Ingersoll, settled on lot 37 in Dover in 1820. The couple had seven children and outlived them all, he dying in 1879 at the age of eighty three, and she the same year at about the same age. Another son of Moses Hall, Charles, with his wife, came to Dover in the '20s and settled on lot 48. They had two children, Reuben and Z S Hall. - Of Reuben we will speak in another place. Another pioneer family, Jesse Atwell, with wife and five children from Steuben County, New York, arrived in 1817. They reached Cleveland July 4 and pushed on to Dover, making the trip from Cleveland in a day and a half. They saw only one frame house on the way. Atwell bought lot 68 of Moses Hall. At the end of five years he bought lot 69 of the original owners, Hubbard and Stowe, for $4.20 per acre, thus showing that the price of land had advanced since the first sales in the township. Atwell remained on the farm until his death in 1875 at the age of eighty nine. Amos Sperry came with his family from Oneida, New York, in 1815 and bought lot 60 of Lyman Root, who moved to Ridgville. Sperry opened a blacksmith shop and tavern in 1818, but he put up no tavern sign till 1824. Supposedly the customers at the blacksmith shop sufficiently advertised the tavern before that time. Believing as Washington said that "agriculture is the most healthful, most useful, most noble employment of man," he in a few years dropped the shop and the tavern and farmed it until his death in 1848 at the age of eighty seven. The old tavern sign has been kept in the family as a souvenir of pioneer days. His son, Amos R. Sperry, who came a year before him, also lived out his life on the farm leaving a descendant, Junia Sperry. Amos R. Sperry married the widow of Junia Beach of Elyria. She survived her husband many years, living to be 100 years old. Other families that came early were those of Jason Bradley, John Wolf, Jethro Butler, Aaron Aldrich, Lyman Root, Eber Loomis and Joseph Root.

Sylvanus Smith was the first settler at Dover Center and built a house there at a point that was later occupied by a store. Asa Blood, who kept the first tavern at the Center, married a sister of Sylvanus Smith. Other sisters married Ansel Rice and Asher Cooley, Dover pioneers. Smith built several houses at the Center, having faith in its future. In 1816 James Case with wife and nine children came from Ashfield, Massachusetts, and settled on the North Ridge, west of Cahoon Creek. He built a sawmill there but died in two years leaving a son, Bernard Case, upon whom devolved the care of the family. Bernard finally gave up the pioneer business and went back to New York. Another son, Osborn Case, went to Rockport in 1832. The James Case mentioned was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. During his short life in Dover he worked as cooper, miller and farmer. Sumner Adams should be mentioned, who came with Case in 1816, was a blacksmith in Dover for four years and then returned to New England. In 1826 Joseph Porter came from Ashfield, Massachusetts, with his wife and four children, Jemima, John, Leonard and Rebecca. At this period in our history the age of progress was dawning. They came in style, took the Erie Canal to Buffalo, boat by lake to Cleveland, and stage to Dover. The Porter family have been identified so intimately with the history of Dover that it may not be uninteresting to trace back along the line. Some 300 years ago, but after the Pilgrim Fathers had set the example, the first Porter, Samuel, came from England and landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts. Like many of the pioneer families in Cuyahoga County, this one of whom Samuel Porter was the head, was characterized by long life and large families. Samuel Porter moved from Plymouth to Beverly. Here Samuel Porter, second, married Lydia Herrick of Beverly. His son Nehemiah married Hannah Smith of Beverly. The next in line was Nehemiah II, born at Ipswick. He graduated at Harvard in 1745, married Rebecca Chapman of Beverly, was Congregational minister at Ipswich, and lived to lack twenty one days of being 100 years old. It seemed to be the passion in those days to go to Beverly for a wife. I know of no such book but it occurs to the writer that "The Belles of Beverly" would be a good title for a story. Joseph Porter, whom we have mentioned as coming to Dover in 1826 with his wife and four children, was the son of the minister, Nehemiah II. His family increased to eleven, of whom L. G. Porter, long prominent in the Dover community, was the tenth. He was the eighth son and tenth child. L. G. Porter married in 1838 Catherine Stevens, daughter of Rev. Solomon Stevens, Congregational minister of Dover. Mr. Porter was justice of the peace in Dover for six years, and held other positions of trust. By his will, which was probate after his death in 1884, he left $1,000 for establishing a library in Dover. A charter was procured from the state on application of the following charter members: Dr. J. M. Lathrop, A. S. Cooley, R. A. Hall, F J. Rose, T. H. Hurst and J. N. Hurst. The Dover Literary Society, an organization of young people, having the nucleus of a library, joined in, and the library was established under the name of the Porter Library and Literary Association of Dover. A building and lot was purchased and by petition of citizens a legislative act was passed authorizing the levy of two tenths of a mill on the taxable property of the township for the support of the library. Thus was established a valuable adjunct to the schools and asset to the community. Among the early settlers, the Cooley family have contributed to the sum of Dover's influence in the county. Two members have served in the State Legislature and it has been identified in local affairs of the township. In tracing the lineage in brief we find that Robert Cooley, or Cook, as it was sometimes written, came to America from Ipswick, England, in 1634. He had three sons, of whom Benjamin, born in 1619, was the youngest. Benjamin with his wife, Sarah, were among the first settlers of Springfield, Massachusetts. He was an ensign in King Phillip's war against the white settlers. They had eight children, of whom Obadiah, born in 1646, was the second. In 1670 Obadiah married Rebecca Williams of Springfield. Their family consisted of seven children and Obadiah Cooley II was the fourth, born in 1675. This Obadiah took a wife in 1702, whose maiden name was Dorcas Hale. They had six children. Noah, the second, born in 1706, married and moved to Palmer, Massachusetts. Their family consisted of six also. One son, Asher, was a member of a company of Minute Men, who marched from Palmer to Lexington, where occurred the first bloodshed of the Revolutionary war, and Noah II, the first born, was also a soldier in that war. This Noah Cooley, named for his father, married Esther Hyde of Monson, Massachusetts, and moved to Hawley. Their children numbered five and Asher, among the first settlers of Dover, was the fourth born. Asher married Lydia Smith, whose birthplace was Chatham, Ontario. Their typical pioneer family numbered ten and John M. Cooley was the youngest member. John M., besides being active in township affairs in Dover, served as a member of the Sixty first General Assembly of Ohio. At this session Allen G. Thurman was elected United States senator and William Allen was governor of Ohio. John M. Cooley was married in 1854 to Lucy Seymour, who had come from Connecticut to Ohio some time before. They had three children of whom Hon. A. S. Cooley, now serving his second term in the Ohio Legislature, was the first born. After the death of his father, Deacon Asher Cooley, J. M. Cooley occupied the old homestead, and now after some years of residence in Cleveland, the grandson, Hon. A. S. Cooley, or Doctor Cooley, as he is more frequently called, from his profession, has moved to the homestead in Dover and fitted it up with modem conveniences.

Reuben Hall of Dover in 1910 published "Reminiscences of Dover Pioneer Life." He said: "After the township had been partially settled there were four principal roads running through the town, east and west, and nearly parallel with each other. These were the Lake Shore, the North Ridge, the Middle Ridge, and the Coe Ridge roads. Between 1830 and 1850 there was a large emigration from the eastern to the western states. The principal line of travel was the Middle Ridge. The log school where I went to school was on this road, and it was a common sight to see the covered wagons of the emigrants passing by. There were also two or three lines of stage coaches with their loads of passengers and mail going each way daily, with four and sometimes six horses attached. The large amount of travel required many hotels or taverns, as they were called in those days. After leaving Cleveland there was the Bullshead Tavern, then a little farther west Young's Hotel, then the Brooklyn House, then the Rockport House, and at Rocky River the Wright House (now Silverthorn's), then the Telegraph House, and getting into Dover was one kept by old Granger Sperry and at Dover Center there were three, one kept by Job Smith, one by a Mr. Boone, and the other where the postoffice was kept, by Asa Blood. The latter was where the stage horses were changed for fresh ones to continue their course to Elyria, Toledo and Detroit. Some of the families who have lived in Dover and with whom I have been partially or intimately acquainted, are the following: The Cahoons, the Saddlers, the Foots, Aldrichs, Bassetts, Browns, Atwells, Clagues, Clemans, Phinneys, Bradleys, Hursts, Crockers, Halls, Stockings, Smiths, Millards, Sperrys, Coes, Hands, Austins, Roses, Taylors, Johnsons, Ingersolls, Cooleys, and many others. The older members of these families have all passed away, and of the next generation and their descendants there are but few remaining. There is one family which I have not mentioned, the Lilly family. There were at one time six brothers by the name of Lilly living in Dover and all but one had large families. Today there is not one in the township by the name of Lilly, and but two who ever bore the name, Mrs. Ann Eliza Saddler and my wife, Mrs. Hall. Uncle Barney Hall and his wife, Aunt Hannah, came to Dover in 1811 and commenced pioneer life in their little log cabin. On September 28, 1812, while Uncle Barney was away and Aunt Hannah had gone to visit a sick neighbor, their log house was burned down. As the Indians were frequent callers and knew that there was a good supply of pewter dishes in the log cabin, it was supposed that they had taken the dishes and then set fire to the house to conceal their crime. Undaunted by this calamity, Aunt Hannah established her kitchen in the hollow of a sycamore stub, from which place she served refreshments at the building of the new log house, having fresh white ash chips for plates and using the handleless knives and forks raked from the ruins."

The first postmaster in North Dover was Asahel Porter, who kept a store on the lake shore near Avon in 1815. After him in the order named were Reuben Osborn, Eli Clemens, Calvin Phinney, ancestor of Benjamin Phinney, who was county commissioner of Cuyahoga County, a Dover resident, and Daniel Brown, who was there in the '70s. Asa Blood, whom we have mentioned as postmaster at Dover Center, was succeeded by Marius Moore and he by Hon. J. M. Cooley. A postoffice was started at Coe Ridge in 1843 with A. M. Coe, who settled there in 1823, as postmaster. It had an uncertain tenure. In 1864 it was moved to Olmsted, brought back in 1867 and removed again to Olmsted in 1874.

Surveyed township number 7 of range 15 was owned as we have said by Nehemiah Hubbard and Josiah Stowe. The township organization as erected November 4, 1811, embraced in addition to number 6, range 15, all of number 7, range 18, east of Black River. On March 6, 1812, it was ordered that all that tract of land lying west of the Township of Dover and west of number 6 of range 16 and east of the east line of the Fire Lands, so called, and north of township 5 in ranges 17, 18 and 19, be and they are annexed to Dover. The first election was held at the house of Philo Taylor April 6, 1812. Eighteen votes were cast by the following electors: Philo Taylor, George Kelso, John Jordon, 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 first voters came as far as Black River. There is no record or tradition as to the selection of the name for the township. The officers selected at this first meeting were: Clerk of the township, Asahel Porter; trustees, Daniel Perry, Joseph Quigley and Asahel Porter; overseers of the poor, Asahel Porter, Joseph Cahoon and Azariah Beebe; fence viewers, Andrew Kelso and Moses Eldred; lister and appraiser, Jonathan Seeley; supervisors of roads, a large number because of the added territory, Noah Davis, Ralph Lyon, Moses Eldred, Sylvanus Fleming, Daniel Brittle and Lyman Post; treasurer Philo Taylor; constables, Jonathan Seeley and Philo Taylor. An election for justice of the peace was held May 16th and John S. Reed elected as the first justice. Among those who have served as.township officers for the first half century and more are: Trustees, Daniel Perry, Joseph Quigley, Asahel Porter, Nathan Bassett, Noah Crocker, Jonathan Taylor, John Turner, Amos R. Sperry, Wilbur Cahoon, Datus Kelley, Joseph Stocking, Asa Blood, Henry Taylor, Leverett Johnson, Samuel Crocker, John Smith, Amos Cahoon, Thomas Foot, David Ingersoll, Asher M. Coe, Rial Holden, Charles Hall, Austin Lilly, Arza Dickinson, Aaron Aldrich, A. S. Farr, Joseph Brown, Benjamin Reed, Alfred Willard, William Saddler, N. Coburn, S. U. Towner, Henry Winsor, Marius Moore, C. H. Tobey, Charles H. Hall, R. G. McCarty, C. E. Barnum, R. H. Knight, Edwin Farr, N. H. Austin, G. W. Laughlin, Reuben Hall, Josiah Hurst, Dennis Dow, Clark Smith. S. L. Beebe; clerks, Asahel Porter, John Turner, Noah Crocker, Thomas Foot, Samuel Crocker, John F. Smith, Asa Blood, Wills Porter, Jason Bradley, Eli Clemens, Austin Lilly, E. T. Smith, W. Porter, J. M. Bradley, Leverett Johnson, A. A. Lilly and John Wilson. Treasurer, Philo Taylor, Leverett Johnson, Thomas Foot, Samuel Crocker, Jedediah Crocker, Henry Taylor, Noah Crocker, Joseph Stocking, Hiram Smith, Asher Cooley, L. G. Porter, Marius Moore, Edwin Coe, D. W. Porter, Lester Simons, Jonathan Spencer. The township of Dover is no longer in existence as such. The territory after being reduced to its normal size, just embracing number 6, range 15, has been divided into two villages, Dover Village and Bay Village. Bay Village includes the northern portion of the original township and includes all of the lake front property, the balance is included in Dover Village. The township organization is no more. In Bay Village are many fine residences along the lake shore. The present officers of Dover Village are: Mayor, R. Sneddin; clerk, C. L. Hopkins; treasurer, Eugene Hickin; assessor, Henry Wulf; council, F. S. Boone, Mart Limpert, Casper Wuebker, H. H. Power, A. L. Tanner and S. A. Sperry. The officers of Bay Village are: Mayor, Walter, E. Wright; clerk, Jesse L. Saddler; treasurer, A. K. Glendenning; marshal, C. M. Geyer; council, I. C. Powell, Henry Koch, William J. Blaha, C. E. Osborn, Harry Drake and Robert Hassler. The reader will look in vain for any names among the officers of these villages suggestive of the early pioneer families. They did their work and now in these later days and in this newer era of wonderful advancement the burdens are turned over to other hands. The families of the pioneers are widely scattered.

Reuben Hall in his reminiscences states that his father and mother after their marriage in 1819 put their household goods and a stock of provisions for the winter in an ox cart drawn by two yoke of oxen and with a boy to drive or help drive, started for their new home in the wilderness of Dover. After getting to Dover his father had only 50 cents left, and 25 of this he gave to the boy to take him back to Ashtabula with one of the yoke of oxen. He had left not an extravagant sum with which to begin housekeeping, at least for a newly married couple. In 1825 the forest was dotted with clearings and log cabins. Valuable timber must be destroyed before the pioneer could raise anything to live upon. There was no market for lumber and no mills to cut it. The cutting down of trees was usually done in winter. They were cut into log lengths and piled into heaps for burning. As it required three men and an ox team to do this work, neighbors would change works, helping each other, one to drive the ox team and haul the logs together and two to pile the logs in heaps for burning. When the field, which had been chopped over was finished, the log heaps were fired, and it was a beautiful sight in the evening to see the glowing light which was cast on the surrounding forest The cleared field was surrounded by a rail fence, the rails being made from selected logs, which were free to split. The pioneer then had a hard task to get in the seed for the first two or three crops for the land could not be plowed on account of the stumps and roots, and he had to take his ox team, hitch to a three cornered drag, and loosen the ground as well as he could. The planting of fruit trees in Dover, like that in other townships of the County, began early, but, on account of the nearness to the lake, the raising of grapes soon led all the rest. This increased until at one time Dover wads the second largest shipping point for grapes in the United States, being exceeded only by Euclid in the northeast part of the county.

The market in Cleveland for potash was a great boon to the first settlers here as in other townships. For a time about the only product that could be turned into money was potash. There were two asheries started quite early in Dover. John Rose opened one at his home and Philip Phillips in another part of the township. We have explained the method of marketing this product and its commercial value in the chapter on Strongsville. Rose and Phillips would gather up the ashes where the log heaps were burned with a team and wagon and haul them to the ashery for leaching. Then the lye was boiled in large iron kettles. Mr. Rose would drive even to Olmsted, Middleburg, and Rockport for ashes. In the new community many small industries sprang up to meet the needs of the settlers. These gradually disappeared as transportation facilities made possible the centralization in larger communities with the application of improved machinery. Amos Sperry Sr. made the nails used in building a barn, in his blacksmith shop. Naturally such a nail factory would give way quickly to machine methods but the barn went up with hand wrought nails. Edwin Hall had a cooper shop where he made barrels of many kinds including pounding barrels for domestic laundry work. The demand for the latter was often greater than his ability to supply the commodity. An industry somewhat short lived grew out of the discovery of iron ore beds in the township. In 1832 Tilden and Morley had a furnace and iron ware manufactory near where the ore beds were found. They had a store also and employed altogether twelve men. The furnace stood on the spot that was later the residence of Junius Sperry. Tilden and Morley sold to the Cuyahoga Furnace Company and in 1843 the plant was destroyed by fire. Benjamin Reed rebuilt in 1848, but he had only operated a short time when the supply of ore was exhausted. Thus ended the iron business in Dover. The passing of the iron industry was followed by the passing of the gristmill that most important factor in pioneer days.

Up to the year 1856 there were several grist mills in the township operated by water power. The small creeks flowing into the lake had sufficient fall to provide for operating the overshot wheel. In 1854 Junia Sperry, Robert Crooks and Millard and Smith, built a steam gristmill. This they sold to Garret Reublin and John Kirk. Afterwards the property was acquired by E. Carpenter and O. Lilly. They did a large business for several years. After another transfer to a Mr. Murphy it burned down. This was in 1890. In 1892 William Glasgow and his brother bought the mill site and built a new mill thereon installing a roller process for making flour and special machinery for grinding feed. This mill passed to several owners and then the fatality that had followed the locality came again and on November 23, 1811 it was totally destroyed by fire. The township and the gristmill, its early benefactor, have both passed away. Fauver and Hart built a bending factory about a mile southwest of Dover Center in 1850. They manufactured felloes, sleigh runners, and shafts. This was in operation in the '80s but as Mr. Hall makes no mention of it in his Dover book we assume that it has gone the way of other small industries that have been supplanted by the greater ones, whose customers are nation and world wide.

The religious history of Dover begins with the transplanting of a sprout from New England. In 1811 a Congregational Church was organized in Lee, Massachusetts, with eight members, Jedediah Crocker, Sarah Crocker, his wife, Lydia, wife of Moses Hall, Katy Crosby, wife of Jedediah, Jonathan Smith and wife and Abner Smith and his wife. All but Mrs. Hall came to Dover, and, soon after their arrival, this organization was kept up under the name of the Congregational Church of Dover. They had no minister but conducted their own services and their numbers increased until in 1822 a log church was built. After some years the log church was burned and then services were held in Joseph Stocking's barn and in the town house, until a frame house was erected In 1840 this church split on the slavery question. A part of the membership holding that slavery was a divine institution authorized and sanctioned by the teachings of the bible, and the others holding a different view. Of the divided membership, one congregation held meetings in the church building and the other in the town house. This state of affairs continued for seven years and then the two bodies came together and reorganized as the Second Congregational Church of Dover, having at that time fifty one members. Now the slavery question seems to have been withdrawn as a bone of contention but the doctrine of election, and preordination, was much discussed. Says Mr. Hall: "At the session of the Sunday school the older members would take part, Deacon Osborn, Sr., Nehemiah Porter and others on the affirmative, and Deacon Ingersoll and Deacon Millard and others taking the negative. These discussions were very animated and attended with some heat." In this connection Mr. Hall speaks of the revival meetings held in Dover by President Charles Finney of Oberlin College. He says: "Mr. Finney was of the fire and brimstone order of preachers and he did not fail to give emphasis to the doctrine of hell and the devil. This was before there were any church buildings and he went with his tent to different towns and set it up to hold meetings." Mr. Hall speaks of Mr. Finney as president of Oberlin College, but he was not connected with the college until 1851. There is on old record of this first religious organization which says: "Congregational Society, organized December 12th, for the support of the Gospel, 1818," the membership list is Noah Crocker, Nehemiah Porter, David Ingersoll, John Smith, Jesse Lilly, Asher Cooley, Wells Porter, Jonathan Smith, Slyvanus Phinney, Jedediah Crocker, Dennis Taylor, Barnabas Hall, James Hall, Samuel Crocker and Solomon Ketchum. Another record recites: "First Congregational Society, incorporated February 2, 1831; incorporators, Calvin Phinney, Slyvanus Crocker, Josiah Hurst and Reuben Osborn."

A Methodist Episcopal Church was organized at Dover Center in 1825. The first meetings were held in houses and barns and no church building was erected until 1853. William Dempsey, James Elliott and Jerome Beardslee were trustees in the '70s. Another church of the same denomination was organized in a schoolhouse on the lake shore in 1827 by Rev. Eliphalet Johnson, brother of Leverett Johnson. It started with only six members and has never had a large membership, but in 1840 a church building was erected. Reverend Johnson preached until 1842 and was succeeded by circuit preachers. The First Baptist Church was organized February 24, 1836 with the following membership: Aaron Aldrich and wife, William W. and Julia Aldrich, Jesse Atwell and wife, and four others. This church began its meetings in the schoolhouse and nine years later built a church at North Dover. It continued in existence ten years more when services were discontinued. Among those who conducted the meetings were Elders Dimmick of Olmsted, Wire of Rockport and Lockwood of Perry. The last settled pastor was Reverend Newton. The church building was burned in 1878. Another church was formed in Dover in pioneer days that gave expression to those wishing that form of worship but which has since been abandoned. St. John's Episcopal Church was organized in 1837 and a church building was put up at Dover Center that year. Five years after there was only a scattered membership including Charles Hall, Weller Dean Jesse Lilly, Austin Lilly and Albanus Lilly. Weller Dean was lay reader, and a settled minister, Reverend Granville, preached for a time. Much consolation must have been derived from the assurance that "where two or three are gathered together, etc." The little church organization dissolved in 1850. In 1858 a German Lutheran Church was organized and the members at the start were J. H. Lindemeyer, F. H. Hencke, F. Mathews, H. Luocke, J. H. Trast, William Schmidt, J. H. Weihrmann and August Warnecke. They first held their meetings in the Baptist Church at North Dover. A schoolhouse was built by the congregation, which was used as a church for several years. In 1877 a church building was erected at a cost of $4,000. The trustees at that time being H. H. Reinkal, G. Meyer and Christian Koch.

The first school teacher in Dover so far as any information can be obtained, was Betsey Crocker, who taught in a log schoolhouse on the lake shore in 1816. This was before any school districts were formed but after the organization of the township it was a public school. Philena Crocker, sister of Betsey, taught there at the age of fourteen. There was a man teacher also, for Wells Porter wielded the switch and ferrule in the same locality In 1826 there were seventy householders in the township and it was divided into five school districts and a schoolhouse was built in each. The number of sub districts was increased with increasing population. In 1880 the school enumeration of the township was 672. The secular school connected with the German Lutheran Church had at that time 115 pupils. It began with thirty three pupils. The schools are now operated by separate school boards, Bay Village at the north constituting one school district and Dover Village the other. Parkview school in Baby Village accommodates all in the district. It employs six teachers, has an enrollment of 165 pupils, and is under the supervision of H. H. Wiggins. The schools of Dover Village are all in one large commodious building located at the Center. L. E. Hayes is the superintendent. There are twelve teachers and they have 360 pupils enrolled. The methods employed in districts in the rural parts of the county, that involve the transportation of the distant pupils in busses to the schools, are employed in these school districts.

In discussing the schools of Dover mention should be made of the Dover Academy. In 1845 John Wilson, a graduate of Oberlin College, built a building and opened a school under that name a mile and a half southwest of Dover Center. Success attended the school and in 1852 it was moved to the Center. The citizens being greatly interested organized a corporation and erected a building on what was later a part of the fair grounds. The name of the corporation was the Dover Academical Association. Wilson, the successful teacher, was retained as principal from the first and remained in charge until 1860. The public schools in the meantime had grown to greater efficiency and were very highly regarded and the academy only continued two years after the first principal ceased his labors there. The abandoned building was afterwards used by the officers of the Dover Fair Association. The first directors of the academy were, Leverett Johnson, L. G. Porter, and Benjamin Reed. The fair association was organized in 1850 and land bought by money advanced by Josiah Hurst, S. L. Beebe, and J. Coles. The property purchased was a little north of the Center. Annual fairs were held here from the date of the organization of the association and they grew in popularity from year to year. People from all parts of the county attended and it was one of the occasions that many never failed to take advantage of, regardless of weather or conditions. Have you been to the Dover Fair? was a question often propounded. Julius Fan was president of the association in 1880 and they continued to hold these annual meetings for some time afterwards.

Dover has not been devoid of fraternal orders and like her sister townships they were diversified. Dover Lodge of the Odd Fellows, No. 393, had as charter members, John Kirk, William B. Delford, C. D. Knapp, A. P. Smith, S. Bradford, C. L. Underhill, A. Wolf, P. W. Barton, W. W. Mead, A. S. Porter, Junia Sperry, J. Beardsley, D. B. Wright, and D. H. Perry. At the dose of the '70s the officers were, Perry Powell, James L. Hand, James Beardsley, Benjamin Chappel and Frank Baker. This lodge and the township jointly built a building to be used as town hall and lodge room at a cost of $6,000 in 1873. Northwest Encampment, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized July 1, 1875. The charter members were Alfred Wolf, Alfred Bates. L. J. Cahoon, Van Ness Moore, Philip Phillips, Perry Powell, and Frank Baker. A little later the officers were Philip Phillips, Perry Powell, Jerome Beardsley, John Morrisey, and F. W. Guild. The Star Lodge of the Daughters of Rebecca was organized with sixteen charter members in 1871. The officers in 1879 were John Griffin, Mrs. Murry Farr, Mrs. John Griffin, Benjamin Chappel and Mrs. Maitland Beebe. Dover Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, No. 489, organized with the list of charter members as follows: D. R. Watson, L. M. Coe, G. Reublin, John Kirk, John Jordan, E. S. Lewis, J. L. Hand, S. Barry, William Lewis, G. Pease, and William Sprague. There were others, including the Temperance League and the Dover Cornet Band, which in the township, as in other townships, was a musical and social organization. Some of these have ceased to exist and others remain as a part of the social life of today.

Reuben Hall has furnished an interesting account of the blast furnace previously mentioned, which comes from personal knowledge as a resident of the township for the period of the ordinary human life: "One of the largest industries which was ever undertaken in Dover was a blast furnace for making pig iron, which was made from bog ore, and this ore was found at different places on the north side of the middle ridge road between Rocky River and Elyria. The promoters of the enterprise were Doctor Tilden, of Ohio City, and Mr. Morley, a relative of the Morley who used to have a factory for the making of white lead, which was located at the junction of Canal and Champlain streets in Cleveland. It was supposed that the Cuyahoga Furnace Company, which was located at the foot of Detroit Street hill, had an interest in the enterprise, as the products of the furnace were taken to the Cuyahoga furnace. This enterprise required the services of a large number of men and teams. The wood had to be cut in the forest for making the charcoal, and the ore drawn from the beds to the furnace, and when the ore was smelted and made into pig iron, it took other teams to draw it to the city. A high chimney or stack was built and at the top of this, what was called a top house. A bridge was constructed starting from near the road and leading up to the top house, for the purpose of drawing up the coal, ore and lime, to where they were to be put into the top of the stack. A horse and cart were used to transport the coal, ore, and lime over the bridge up to the top house. One of the horses used for this purpose was a large, fine looking sorrel horse by the name of Mike. He was so intelligent and became so accustomed to the work that he would take his loads up to the bridgeway and deliver them in the top house without a driver. The pits for charring the wood into coal were near where the wood was cut. A level spot of ground would be selected, and he wood drawn together and set on end in a circle and built up about the shape of a hay stack and then covered with earth, after which it was fired, and then watchers had to attend it night and day to keep the fire confined so that it would not break out and burn up the wood. When the coal was charred sufficiently, the dirt covering was removed and the charcoal taken out and drawn in wagons with high boxes to the coal shed, which was near the furnace, there to be kept dry for future use. There was a large bellows at the bottom of the stack which was worked by an engine with steam power to keep the coal hot enough to melt the ore. The cinders were drawn out at the bottom of the stack and when there was enough iron melted it was drawn out into beds, which had been formed with gutters to receive it, and when it was cool it was in the shape of pig iron, and was then taken by teams to the Cuyahoga furnace in Cleveland. The Dover blast furnace was burned down in 1844. The cause of the fire was, that the stack did not settle evenly and became dogged, and when it gave way it came down with such force that it threw the hot cinders and melted iron all over the building and set it on fire instantly, so that it could not be saved. There was one man who was sleeping in his berth in the plant, who was badly burned and died the next day." While this furnace was in operation it was a great annoyance to the church people, who were brought up in the belief that no ordinary work should be done on Sunday. There were two churches nearby and the running of a blast furnace successfully requires that it continue in operation all the time, nights and Sundays included. There was no charge, however, that the cause of the fire was of divine origin.

The record of Dover in the Civil war is creditable and there were few slathers when the call for troops came. Gilbert Porter, Andrew K. Rose, George M. Miner, Thomas Hammond, Samuel H. Ames, Orlando Austin, Chauncey D. Hall, John Hamlin, Peter H. Kaiser, William Reed, J. Gesner, J. Jordan, and Orlando Smith enlisted in the One Hundred and Twenty fourth Regiment of Ohio Volunteers; John F. Flynn, Leonard G. Loomis, Benjamin Phinney, Bertrand C. Austin, R. W. Austin, Harrison Bates, Melvin B. Cousins, Asahel P. Root, William H. Webbsdale, John Griffin, Martin Lilly, Sanford Phinney, William Sage, David H. Taylor, Stephen M. Taylor, Thomas Williams, Christopher Dimmick, and Marius Tuttle, enlisted in the Forty second Ohio, and Sherman Sperry, Francis Smith, Joseph Root, William Root, and Hiram Bartholomew, enlisted in the Twenty third Ohio. In the latter end of the war when the hundred day men were called out and the One Hundred and Fiftieth Ohio was formed, Company I was composed entirely of enlistments from Dover, Olmsted, and Rockport. Among them were Junia Sperry, who was a sergeant; John M Cooley, Reuben Hall, Zibia S. Hall, and others from Dover.

This township being level the question of drainage was of primary importance, the question of ditches often holding first place in the minds of the fanners. It became necessary to establish main ditches of large capacity into which the farms could be drained by smaller ones. County ditches were built and over the location of these much controversy arose. The county engineer or surveyor was intrusted with this work and he was often harassed by divided opinions on the part of the Dover residents. The attitude of a person who came before the electors for the office of county surveyor on certain ditches in the township had much to do with his success at the polls. As late as the '70s we often heard of "The Dover Ditch Wars," but they were not wars of violence. The important question of drainage has been settled in its general character for the township. In speaking of the township we refer to the original territory, for, as we have said, the township has passed with the march of events

The presidential campaign of 1840 echoed in Dover as in all the rural communities. A mass meeting was held in Dover and large delegations came from other towns. The meeting was held in the woods. Avon and Sheffield came with a large conveyance to which was attached as the team, thirty two yoke of oxen in one line. On one end of the wagon was a small log cabin, decorated with coon skins, and on the other a barrel of cider. In front of this outfit was a small donkey hitched to a cart with the driver seated on a box labeled "Sub Treasury." This was intended as a hit at Van Buren for his position on the banking laws. Cleveland speakers addressed the meeting. Dover sent a delegation to a meeting at Elyria in this campaign, and included in the crowd was a load of thirty six young ladies dressed in white to represent the thirty six states of the Union and one dressed in black to represent Texas, which had gained its independence from Mexico and was then a republic, but, in the market for admission as the thirty seventh state of the Union. It is quite likely that this was intended as an expression against the annexation of Texas. As soon as the original pioneers had cleared sufficient land, stock raising became an important industry, horses, cattle and sheep. Buyers came from the East and the money left with the pioneers spelled prosperity. The sheep industry was important, as in many of the townships of the county, and in Dover as well the farmers kept from 100 to 200 sheep and it may be said that the larger share of the income for the year came from the sale of the "clip" of wool. The buyers would appear in June when the sheep were sheared. Buyers came to Dover from Cleveland and Elyria. In the town also came John Hall and George Hall of Olmsted, Goodwin of Columbia and Willson of Avon, to buy wool in the shearing season, so that there was much competitive bidding in prices.

In 1864, during the Civil war, Doctor Moore, who lived at Dover Center, engaged in wool buying and he paid $1 per pound for wool that year: To give the other side of the stock raising industry, one year this section was afflicted with a serious drought and farmers were short of winter feed. Sheldon Johnson of Dover bought up cattle in large numbers and drove them to a section not affected by the drought, to winter. He paid $5 and $10 per head. Reuben Hall said that, that winter his father sold a pair of steers for $17 that at the present time would be worth $200 or $300. They were three years old. So runs the life of those engaged in "the most healthful, the most useful, the most noble employment of man," farming.

We will close this chapter on the development of number 7 of range 15, in the original survey of the Western Reserve, with a few added notes. The first white child born in the township was Angelina Porter, daughter of Asahel Porter, who was born June 12, 1812, the second was Vesta Bassett, daughter of Nathan Bassett, who was born June 14, 1812. The first male child born in the township was Franklin, son of Joseph Cahoon. The first wedding was that of Leverett Johnson and Abigail Cahoon, which was solemnized by John S. Reed, the first justice of the peace in Dover. The second marriage was that of Jethro Butler and Betsy Smith. An incident that caused much excitement at the time was the taking captive by the Indians of a daughter of Daniel Page, he who built the first frame house in Dover. She was visiting in a neighboring township when taken captive. Her captivity only lasted a few days when she was rescued by United States soldiers.


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