Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Old Dover/Jefferson Township School

The following history of the Dover School was taken from the 1951 program for the banquet commemorating the construction of the school gymnasium: "Out school has come a long way since the first little wooden building which had to be reinforced by wire to remain standing. In 1893, this wooden building was replaced by a two-story, two-room, brick building. Henry Moore was the trustee at this time. Val Riggins, who was principal, also taught grades 6 to 8. Miss Kirkpatrick taught grades 1 to 5. Her father was the school janitor. In 1926, the present school building was erected. Leo Grimes and Walter Davis were trustees. Members of the advisory board were Charles W. Spickelmeir, Otis U. Young, and Ed. S. Graham. At the present time the township trustee is Ora W. Burgess; the advisory board members are Ruel Graham, Murray Gott, and Ray Poynter. The county superintendent is Dr. G. T. Malan. For a long time it was felt that Dover badly needed a new gymnasium and additional classrooms. The contract for the construction of a new gymnasium, commercial room, fifth-grade room, school cafeteria and dining room was let July 7, 1950, to the Wolf Construction Company of Logansport. The work was completed in the fall of 1951. Our new gym has a playing floor 78 ft. by 50 ft. and seats 1200. A stage is located at the north end of the gym. There are rest rooms, dressing rooms, showers, kitchen, and storage rooms under the gym cleachers. Our dining room with is new tables purchased by the Mothers’ club seats approximately 150. Everyone is proud of the new fifth grade and commercial rooms, with their florescent lighting and new green boards. The boys’ old dressing room is being converted into a chemistry room. The old kitchen has been made into an art room. Later we plan to change to vocational home economics, adding unit kitchens. The first graduating class, 1931, consisted of Dorcas Baker, Geneva Shaw, Wayne Bownlee, Clair Livingston, Laura Threlkeld, George Swisher, Robert Gatwood, Dorothy Wells, Wanda Shapley, Erskine Shepherd, Henry Miller, Bessie Potts, Gladys Lancaster, Jessie Edrington, Dorothy Garner, and Arthur Evans. There have been 316 graduates of Dover High School. The largest class was the class of 1951, which had 23 members. If all the present senior class graduates, this class of 1952 will be the largest graduating class since it has 24 members. During the last twenty-five years there have been only two principals: Ronald Leonard and Paul J. Swank. Mr. Leonard was principal from 1927 to 1932, and 1934 to 1941. Mr. Swank was principal from 1932 to 1934, and from 1941 to the present time." The following is a picture relating to the earlier days of the school.

This picture shows the 6th grade class for the Dover School in 1927. This picture was taken on the east side of the building. The people pictured are (from left to right, top row): Jim Holmes, Donald Randle, Henry Sumpter, Tray Stevens, ? Scott, Walter Green, and Robert Elliott; (front row, left to right): Bessie Viola (Taylor) Rice, ---, Dorothy Campbell, Mary Hardesty, Maurice Jones, and ? Harola.

The last graduating class of the school was in 1974. The elementary school remained for a few more years, but the high school classes were relocated to Thorntown High School until, in 1975, the new Western Boone High School building was completed. After this the building was used for administrative offices for the superintendent, and the gym was used, up until recently, for some sporting events. The building has fallen into disrepair, after the roof blew off during a severe storm several years ago. It seems inevitable that the building will be eventually be torn down, and even when this happens, the alumni will still have the memories of that old school which was so loved by those who attended it.


  1. Yes it sucks my dad owns the building, I played basketball there all the time. Now it has gone to hell. I like the pics wish i could find moore. I have all the yearbooks though. It is going to get a new roof next year. And the gym will be converted into a scilo and have a million bushalls of corn stored in it.

  2. It is extremely sad that the building has gone downhill so quickly the last few years. Did the fire last fall affect the building's future? Is it still going to be converted into a silo? Also, I don't know if you would be interested, but several people who work in the Local History section of the Lebanon Library have told me that they get requests for Dover yearbooks all of the time, but they only have a handful. I'm sure that they would jump at the chance to get the original yearbooks or at least copy them and give them back to you. Thanks for commenting!