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Abandoned Towns and Village 
Dover
"Ghost Town"
Franklin Township

All that remains of Dover is the old stone school house standing on the right-hand side of the road four miles north of Donnellson.  It all started when the Bonnell brothers, wealthy apple growers out of New Jersey, bought 880 acres of land in the area.  They started a store but after two years of operating it decided they were more interested in farming.

Edmund Dickey established a post office in 1853 but Edmund went to the Civil War and never came back.  His military record on the Net says he died of disease and is buried in the National Cemetery at St. Louis.   His wife Barbara took over the job as post mistress.  The Lee County directory of 1868 shows an E.C. Atkinson, a physician; Barbara Dickey, post mistress; J.E. Kile, justice of the peace; and Lew Walter, operator of the general store.  Later the Dickey daughters took over the store and operated it for years.  The store was the center of the community.

Farm wives would bring their baskets of eggs and pounds of butter to trade for soda, flour, sugar and other staples.  It was a place to visit and a place to buy a nice length of fabric for a new dress.  If a child had a penny, he could buy a sack of candy and if he didn’t, maybe if he looked longingly enough, the Dickey girls would hand him a sweet out of the glass jars up behind the counter.   The young men liked to shoot rabbits and sell them for ten cents each at the store.  It gave them a little spending money – and money was scarce.

Dover was a small community with a few houses, a school, a tavern, blacksmith shop, and the store, but the unique thing about it was the well in the middle of the road.  It was a well that everyone used and no doubt provided water for the horses that brought customers to the village.  The well was destroyed when Highway 218 was built.  The schoolhouse was built in 1867 or 1868 and was closed in 1941.  The school was the center of the community for dances and get- togethers of all kinds.  Today, most of the windows are broken out but it still stands.

In the 1880’s with Donnellson being established to the south, people began to drift away; the post office was closed in 1903, and now there is not even a sign to show its existence.

 
Researched, transcribed and submitted by Erma Derosear


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