The township of Dover originally formed a part of Ames, and as such was settled as early as 1799. It was not, however, separately organized as a township till 1811. On the 4th of April, 1811, the county commissioners ordered:
"That so much of the township of Ames lies west of the thirteenth range, be erected into a separate township by the name of Dover.
"Ordered, further, That the clerk of the board notify the inhabitants of the township of Dover to meet at the house of Othniel Tuttle in said township, on Saturday, the 2oth of April, instant, for the purpose of electing township officers."
Thus Dover, as originally organized (including all that part of Ames lying west of the thirteenth range), comprised the present townships of Ward, Green, and Starr, in Hocking county, and Trimble, York, and Dover, in Athens. The main settlements were on Sunday creek and near the waters of the Hockhocking, and it was many years before the forests of the remote parts of the township were invaded by any but the solitary hunter and trapper, or the hardy frontiersman who could not brook near neighborhood.
The township is thoroughly well watered by the Hockhocking river, Sunday creek, and their tributaries. A portion of its surface is rather rough, but the hills are of moderate elevation, and admirably adapted to the growth of wheat and fruits, and to sheep raising; while in other parts of the township are broad and fertile plains. The mineral resources of the township are extensive and valuable. In the southern portion are the salt regions, near the junction of Sunday creek with the Hockhocking, about Chauncey and Salina. There are two extensive deposits of coal—a vein four feet thick mined from the surface, and another six feet thick reached by shafting about a hundred feet. There are also excellent limestone and building stone in the township.
There are three villages in Dover, viz: Millfield, on Sunday creek, in the northern part of the township, with a population of about two hundred; Salina, a thriving village on the Hockhocking, where the salt works of M.M. Green & Co. are situated, and Chauncey, on the opposite side of the river from Salina. Chauncey was laid out in 1839. About 1831 Resolved Fuller bored a salt well on the upper portion of his fine farm (including the present siteof Chauncey), obtained good salt water, and prepared to manufacture salt on a small scale. In 1833, however, he sold his works and about four hundred acres of land to Calvary Morris and Norman Root, of Athens, who built an enlarged furnace and so extended the business, that in 1837 they sold it to Messrs. Ewing and Vinton for six thousand five hundred dollars. In 1838 Messrs. Ewing and Vinton, together with Elihu Chauncey and Nicholas Biddle, capitalists of Philadelphia, bought Resolved Fuller's farm, on which Chauncey is located, for twelve thousand five hundred dollars, and the next year laid off the town. They invested largely in surrounding lands, bored other salt wells, built a brick hotel and several houses, and expected to establish a thriving town. But the place has never prospered greatly, and has at present a population of only one hundred and fifty.
"Weethee college," at Mt. Auburn in the northern part of the township, is one of the best educational establishments in the county. It was founded in 1861 entirely through the efforts of the Rev. J.P. Weethee, who continues to be its controller and liberal patron. Youth of both sexes are taught here, and the institution has begun a career of assured success and usefulness.
The early settlers of Dover were sterling men and not behind any others in the country in their desire for knowledge and progress. Part of the credit of forming the old "Coonskin library" justly belongs to them. Many shares were taken by persons living in those parts which afterward became Dover, and by the men who were in later years the fathers of the township In January, 1819, at a meeting of the shareholders of the library it was
"Resolved, That one of the directors of the association be hereafter chosen from among the shareholders belonging to the township of Dover, and the said director shall have the care of as many books belonging to the library as the shareholders in Dover are entitled to draw, and shall deliver out, receive in and mark the damages on said books agreeably to the rules and regulations of the society; and once in six months he shall deliver over to the society all the books in his care, and meet the other directors for the purpose of transacting the necessary business of the society."
Eventually a division of the library was made, and by an act of legislature passed December 21, 1830, the "Dover library association" was incorporated, with Daniel Weethee, Alanson Hibbard, Azariah Pratt, Josiah True, John B. Johnson, William Hyde, and John Pugsley as the original incorporators, and Daniel Weethee, Alanson Hibbard, and Azariah Pratt as directors for the first year.
The total population of Dover in 1820 was 607; in 1830 it was 550 (its territory having been curtailed); in 1840 it was 1290; in 1850 it was 1232; in 1860 it was 1423.
We have not been able to procure the records of the township previous to 1825; they have been lost or distroyed. The following are the township trustees since that time.
|Township Trustees since 1825|
|1825||Resolved Fuller||Daniel Weethee||Samuel B. Johnson|
|1826||Jonathan Allen||Simon H. Mansfield||William Bagley|
|1827||Jeremiah Morris||Simon H. Mansfield||Josiah True|
|1828||Resolved Fuller||Simon H. Mansfield||Josiah True|
|1829||Jeremiah Morris||Simon H. Mansfield||Horace Carther|
|1830||Daniel Weethee||Simon H. Mansfield||Joshiah True|
|1831||Samuel Stevens||Jeremiah Morris||Joshiah True|
|1832||Samuel Stevens||Robert Conn||Joshiah True|
|1833||Samuel Stevens||Robert Conn||Joshiah True|
|1834||John Armstrong||Robert Conn||Joshiah True|
|1835||Jeremiah Morris||Jonathan Connett||Joshiah True|
|1836-37||John Armstrong||S.R. Fox||Joshiah True|
|1839||John Armstrong||Matthew McCune||David Tarrnerd|
|1840||Mason B. Brown||Harry Clark||Josiah True|
|1841||Jeremiah Morris||Matthew McCune||Josiah True|
|1842||John Armstrong||Matthew McCune||Josiah True|
|1843-44||Albert Harper||Matthew McCune||Josiah True|
|1845||William Hyde||Matthew McCune||Josiah True|
|1846||Azariah Pratt||Matthew McCune||Josiah True|
|1847||Henry Brown||Matthew McCune||Josiah True|
|1848||Azariah Pratt||Matthew McCune||Josiah True|
|1849||William Edwards||Austen Fuller||Josiah True|
|1850-51||Matthew McCune||Austen Fuller||W.S. Hyde|
|1852||Matthew McCune||Austen Fuller||James Culver|
|1853||Seth Fuller||Austen Fuller||John Spencer|
|1854||Seth Fuller||W.S. Hyde||John Spencer|
|1855||Samuel Augustin||W.S. Hyde||Woodruff Connett|
|1856-57||John Cradlebaugh||W.S. Hyde||Austin Fuller|
|1858||John Cradlebaugh||W.S. Hyde||E.D. Harper|
|1859-60||John Cradlebaugh||Austen Fuller||O.G. Berge|
|1861||Alex. Stephenson||Austen Fuller||O.G. Berge|
|1862||Ebenezer Pratt||Joseph Tippy||W.S. Hyde|
|1863||O.G. Birge||Joseph Tippy||W.S. Hyde|
|1864||O.G. Birge||J.W.P. Cook||W.S. Hyde|
|1865-66||O.G. Birge||J.W.P. Cook||W.S. Hyde|
|1867||O.G. Birge||R.N. Fuller||W.S. Hyde|
|1868||George Connett||Samuel Augustin||Ebenezer Pratt|
|Justices of the Peace since 1825|
|1832-33||Simon H. Mansfield|
|1845||Charles R. Smith|
|1851||Charles R. Smith|
|1856||Hiram Fuller and Charles R. Smith|
|1859||Hiram Fuller and John Smith|
|1862||J.W.P. Cook, Hiram Fuller, and John Smith|
|1865||Job S. King|
|1868||Hiram Fuller, Charles R. Smith and John Smith|
Among the early settlers of Dover were Daniel Weethee, Josiah True, Abraham Pugsley, Azel Johnson, Henry O'Neill, Samuel Tannehill, Barney J. Robinson, Cornelius Shoemaker, Nehemiah Davis, James Pickett, Jeremiah Cass, Jonathan Watkins, the Nye family, Reuben J. Davis, the Fullers, Luther Danielson, George Wilson, Benjamin Davis, Uriah Nash, Eliphalet Wheeler, Reuben Hurlbut, Samuel Stacey, Thomas A. Smith, Uriah Tippee, Abner Connett, and others mentioned elsewhere.
Daniel Weethee met up with Josiah True about 1799 in Marietta and in the spring, the two came out to Dover, traveling through the woods by the aid of a compass. They built a log cabin for their joint occupancy and thus they lived for about three years in this truely pioneer fashion, with not companions but the forest trees, and no neighbors but the wild game of all sorts which abounded near their cabin. Mr True managed to secure means enough to purchase a piece of land, and bought part of the farm now owned by his son, Austin True, where he lived during the rest of his life.
the companion and friend to Daniel Weethee came to Marietta in 1793, and to Dover
township in 1800. He held the office of Justice of the peace in Dover, from 1815 till
1851. Mr True was one of the founders of the "Coonskin library" of Ames, and always a
leader in pioneer improvements. One of the first spinning wheels introduced into Dover
was bought by him in 1803 and established the first apple nursery attempted in the county in which
most of the old orchards on Sunday and Monday creeks were planted
[read the details about his adventures in his full biography]
Abraham Pugsley came in with his family, and settled on the section south of Mr. Weethee and Mr. True in 1804.
John Sweat came to Dover in 1800 with his family, and settled near the present site of Millfield. In 1802 John Sweat built a rude mill there for grinding corn. Even persons from Athens made use of this mill till the Gregory mill was built, about four years later.
Azel Johnson came in 1802, with his family, and settled in Dover, on the creek and joining the Weethee farm. Azel and Benjamin Johnson are sons of his.
came to the territory in 1790. He and his four sons, viz: George, Neal, Nathan, and Theodore,
came out from Marietta in 1814, and settled in Dover about a mile north of Chauncey.
In 1820 the Nyes and some others formed a company to bore a salt well, on the place where Jeremiah Morris now lives, but, after boring to a considerable depth, abandoned the undertaking. Ten or twelve years later it was resumed by John Pugsley, who, after boring a little deeper, struck a vein of good salt water. This was the first successful salt well bored in the Hockhocking valley.
Nehemiah Davis, "Elder Davis," came to Marietta in November, 1797, lived in Washington county several years, and removed to Dover township in 1808. While living in Washington county Elder Davis organized a Baptist church, believed to be the first Baptist church in Ohio.
The Cass, Chadwell, Nesmith, & Pratt families came to Dover about 1820 and have lived here nearly fifty years