History of Dover Township, Racine County, Wisconsin
From: Racine, Belle City of the lakes
and Racine County, Wisconsin.
Fanny's Stone, Supervising Editor
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1916


Dover Township, one of the southern tier, is coextensive with Congressional Township No. 3, Range 20 East. It is bounded on the north by the Town of Norway, east by Yorkville, south by Kenosha County, and west by the Towns of Burlington and Rochester. Its area is thirty six square miles. Eagle Lake is situated a little south of the center. Its outlet and the Muskego Creek, which crosses the northwest corner, are the only watercourses in the township

The first settler in Dover was Captain John T. Trowbridge, who brought his family, consisting of a wife and two sons, to Racine County in 1836. Prior to that time he had been a sea captain for some twenty five years, had been engaged in whaling, and had been a prisoner at Calcutta and Dartmoor. His two story log house, which he erected in the Town of Dover, became a landmark and sheltered many a traveler over night. He laid out a town and named it Brighton, after the place from which he came, and was the first postmaster when an office was established there. He also served as justice of the peace and was a member of the lower branch of the Territorial Legislature in 1843.

In August, 1836, Samuel Ormiston and J. Sellers located claims near that of Captain Trowbridge. Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. Ormiston, born November 12, 1838, was the first white child born in this township. Mr. Sellers settled on the tract of land afterward known as the Bryce farm. Judge Dyer tells the following story of an experience that happened to Mr. Sellers soon after taking up his residence in Racine County: "He started one morning to go to Pike Grove and on his journey called at the house of George Nichols, in Yorkville. He tarried but a few moments and, bidding his friends 'good morning', set out on his travels. He journeyed to the end of the day and at evening found himself at the house of Mr. Nichols; nor could he be made to believe that he had not arrived at Pike Grove until he was introduced to the hospitalities of Mr Nichols' cabin and was told that on a prairie without roads, guiding posts or human habitations, a bewildered traveler sometimes made a circuitous journey, arriving at the precise place from which he started."

During the next two years a number of settlers located in what is now the Town of Dover. Among them were: John Duffus, Archibald Brown, Peter Manny, Robert Beatty, Thomas Green, George and Robert McKey, James Ballock (or Ballach), Aaron Putnam, Joseph Scott, James Graham and William Cruikshank. Samuel Stenhouse came a little later, some time in 1840.

John Duffs, Archibald Brown and Peter Manny selected claims that adjoined each other. Mr. Duffus built a cabin, or shanty. 10 by 12 feet in dimensions, on his claim, in which all three lived. When his son and daughter arrived in March, 1839, they also found quarters in the shanty, giving it five regular inmates, with an occasional guest or two now and then. But there was "always room for one more" in the home of the pioneer, no matter how humble it might be. The shanty had no floor and the roof was a makeshift affair that afforded but little protection. Elsie Duffus did the cooking for the "men folks." One day, while she was baking bread, having just placed the dough in a skillet, which she set upon the coals in the fireplace, a sudden gust of wind carried away the roof. A heavy fall of rain followed and the family went without bread that day. Elsie Duffus afterward became the wife of Nicholas D. Fratt, who was for many years prominently connected with the banking interests of Racine. Her sister, Maragret Duffus, married Peter Manny, their wedding being the first ever solemnized in the township.

The writer has been unable to ascertain just when the Town of Dover was established as a separate jurisdiction, but it was some time subsequent to February 2, 1846, for on that date Governor Dodge approved an act defining the boundaries of the Town of Yorkville, which included the eastern half of the present Town of Dover.

Dover Township is one of the most beautiful and fertile farming sections of Racine County. The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul (formerly the Western Union) Railroad crosses the southern portion and there are two stations within the town limits - Kansasville and Dover. The population in 1910 was 820, and the assessed value of the property in 1915 was $2,377,787, or nearly three thousand dollars for each man, woman and child living in the township.


Seventeen miles west of Racine, in Dover Township, was once a rural postoffice called Beaumont. Its exact location was in the south side of Sections 2 and 3, Township 3, Range 20. The postoface was discontinued upon the introduction of the rural free delivery system, and the people living in the northern part of Dover Township receive mail through the office at Kansasville. There is little left of Beaumont except the name

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