PARAGOULD , ARKANSAS
DONATED BY DENNIS DOVER
THANK YOU !
POSTED BY : TINA EASLEY
History of Greene County, Arkansas 1889
A.L. Dover , proprietor of a saw and grist-mill and cotton-gin , situated near the Fair Grounds in Clark Township , was born in Blount County , Alabama in 1848 , and was the third in a family of nine children born to B.A. and Patsy (Fielding ) Dover , the former a native of North Carolina and the latter of Georgia .
They settled in Alabama in 1847, where the father opened up a farm and resided several years. In 1868 moved to Poinsett Co. Arkansas where settled and improved another farm. Since 1874 he has lived in Greene County, his wife died in 1884.
A. L. Dover received his early education in Alabama , and after coming to Poinsett County began farming for himself, and like his father has resided in Greene County since 1874.
The year following his location here he purchased a tract of land containing 128 acres, which was heavily covered with timber, and commenced immediately to clear it. He now has sixty acres under cultivation., which are well improved with good buildings and orchard.
In 1876 he was married to Miss Tennessee V. Yates, a daughter of Henderson and Martha Yates., who were born in Tennessee and Virginia respectively; the father came to Greene County Arkansas in 1875, his wife having died in Tennessee the year before. Mr. Yates is now residing in Paragould. Mr. Dover votes with the Democratic party, and was elected on that ticket to the office of magistrate, which position he held four years.
He has always taken an interest in school matters and is now a member of the school board. Socially he belongs to the Masonic fraternity at the I.O.O.F., Paragould Lodge. He and wife became the parents of five children, three of whom are living; William Wallace, Leander Byrd and Henderson Franklin. Arthur Bruce died at the age of one year, and Major Oscar died when two years of age.
Father: proven John Dover Abt. 1793 SC Abt. 1879
Photograph courtesy of the family of William Franklin Dover, third son of Bailey.
Fathers of the Ridge, Volume II,
Page 15 & 16, by George Rowland
Bailey A. Dover was born in North Carolina in 1817. House wife, Martha, was born in Georgia in 1821.
In 1850 the family was living in Coosa County , Alabama and their children at this time were: Caroline, 1842; Elizabeth , 1844; Andrew, 1846; and Martha, 1850.
It is believed that the Dover family came to Greene County during the early 1870's.
Andrew Dover married Tennessee Yates in Greene County on Aug. 2, 1876. Tennessee was born in the state of Tennessee in 1859.
She was the daughter of Henderson Yates who was born in Tennessee in 1822.
In 1880 Andrew and Tennessee were living in Union Township and their children were: William W., 1879; and Arthur B., 1880.
James M. Dover, younger brother of Andrew, married Cordelia Anderson in Greene County on Sept. 19, 1877. Cordelia was born in Tennessee in 1856.
She was the daughter of Joseph C. and Mary Anderson who were born in Tennessee and North Carolina in 1826 and 1827 respectively.
In 1880 James M. and Cordelia were living in Union Township and at this time they had only one child, Algenon, born in 1879.
William Franklin Dover, younger brother of James M. Dover, married Martha E. Howell in Greene County on Oct. 29, 1879.
In l880 the family was living in St. Francis Township and they had no children of their own.
Martha's child by a previous marriage, Edgar Howell (born in 1878), was living with the family.
In 1880 Andrew and James M. Dover were living next to each other in Union Township. Their nearest neighbors were the families of Thomas Howard and William R. Grady.
In 1880 Bailey and Martha Dover were living in Union Township and their children still at home were Marcus J., 1862; and Georgia A., 1864.
Marcus was born in Georgia and George was born in Alabama.
Ben C. Olsen, born in Arkansas in 1860, was a servant in the household. Bailey Dovers occupation is listed, in the census record, as tanner.
Clarence G. Dover, son of Andrew, was a clerk for the St. Louis and Southwestern Railway Company in 1916. Gresham C. Dover (son of Andrew) and his wife, Goldie, lived at 620 North Fifth in Paragould at this time.
Gresham was also an employee of the St. Louis and Southwestern Railway Company.
William W. Dover, son of Andrew, is buried at the Center Hill Cemetery and his marker shows dates of 1877 and 1929.
Andrew Dover is buried at the Pruit's Chapel Cemetery south of Paragould and his marker shows dates of 1847 and 1896.
William Franklin and Martha Ellen Dover are buried at the Linwood Cemetery in Paragould.
William's marker shows dates of l858 and 1930. Martha Ellen's marker bears dates of 1857 and 1948. Goldie Irene Dover is buried nearby.
In 1939 Clarence G. Dover and his wife, Minnie, were living at 1224 West Court in Paragould. Gresham C. and Goldie Dover were living at 1221 West Court at this time.
The following memories were written and donated by Mikie Lou Fielder
Thank You !
Mikie Fielder [ mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org ]
Vignettes of our lives seem indelible, but not infallible in 1996. Incidents related here are mostly factual. Some liberty has been taken, however, to either condense material or events, and the family portrait has surely been tinted by love and time.
By Mikie Lou Fielder
"Here! This will help her stay warm," Aunt Grace said as she scurried from the kitchen to the bedside. Her arms were held aloft with a towel wrapped around something. Could you keep a dying person warm? I was puzzled, as most any six-year old would be. Was THIS what it was like? Throughout the house were numerous family members, all solemn, all related by spirit as well as by blood, all here because She was leaving us.
It hadn't seemed that long ago since all of us had been in this same house, a house where three - Granny, her only daughter Grace, and Grace's husband William - lived comfortably, but it was also where Her children brought their children and grandchildren. (I am among the latter.) Was it only last summer or the summer before when the whole family had been here? It looked and smelled like June. Sweet peas were blooming along the fence row next to the cotton field on the east. Butterflies and bees circled and whirled around the flowers during the day. At noon Aunt Grace and Mam-ma Goldie brought out enough food "to feed Cox's army," Aunt Grace said. (Even if this family did not seem to be racially prejudiced, as years passed I figured out that Cox must surely have been a Confederate.) Everyone who wasn't from out of state brought dishes laden with food that probably tasted the same as when Granny's children were at home.
That massive oak table with claw and ball feet was stretched its entire length in the big dining room as the sons and son-in-laws flanked Martha Ellen Poindexter Dover, our matriarch. Food graced every spare inch of table space and the side board, temporarily replacing Granny's crystal cups and punch bowl, as well as the demitasse cups and saucers. It was a Southern custom that the men - and any women honored with true age - were seated first. Children were often fed out on the porch picnic style if we wanted, or in the "little dining room" at a table that had been made years before by William Franklin Dover, husband of Martha Ellen. Daughters and wives willingly took care of their families' needs before they sat down to eat, probably the first leisurely moments of the day for the women. No complaints were heard, only joy and laughter that had begun as each arrived at the farm.
Some came from across town, some from Texas, some from Oklahoma, and others from Wyoming. All had roots stretching from Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia - among other places - to the sandy cotton soil in the Greene County "bottoms" less than five miles from the St. Francis River that separated Arkansas and the boot heel of Missouri. This farm had been home for many years to the Dovers, and this was where the sons brought their descendents to honor their mother.
After dinner - the noon meal being the largest of the day - Aunt Grace escorted her mother to the porch and said, "All right, Mama, we've got your rocker so you can see and hear all the boys (all of whom were older than their only sister)." Wrapping around the living room, the porch had three sections: the west where the children usually played and went in and out of the house; the north with the swing where a couple of men sat with just enough room left for one not-too-big child who usually remained no more than seven or eight minutes; and the wooden porch rockers occupied by those paying homage to the Matriarch for the time being; and the east side where more children played and adults entered and exited through the living room.
As Granny settled in her chair, she said, "Mary Margaret, get me a twist from that tree." The "twist" was a small twig twisted from a branch, the twisted end fraying and resembling a toothbrush. Granny used the twist to dip her snuff, fascinating everyone under the age of ten. And there she sat, imperial like, holding court with devoted subjects as she gently waved her palm fan.
Even by the time she had reached 90, Granny's mostly gray hair, pulled into a neat little bun, still had a few dark strands that perhaps hinted at part of her lineage. Even more evident of that heritage were her cheeks; she proudly said to her children and grandchildren: "See your high cheek bones; we have these because of our Indian blood."
With a soft summer breeze blowing over the Delta, Granny brushed a few wisps of hair away from her face as she listened to her sons swapping stories. Neither squeals of glee, peals of laughter, nor raucous stories from her sons ever disturbed her rocker's rhythm. Uncle George, second to the oldest Dover son, had a laundry in Wyoming, and nothing from Cody ever lacked Uncle George's witty description of persons or deeds. Long sleeves were rolled to just below his elbows, and with his left hand he removed his cigarette from what had to be the widest smile west of the Mississippi. Smoothing his silky graying hair straight back from his forehead with his right hand, he took center porch. After a story about "how the bear got away unharmed while the old fella practiced the mountain marathon," Uncle George received his fair share of chuckles.
Not to be outdone, Uncle Harry began a tale about an Indian he knew in Oklahoma. Granny laughed and shook her head gently with an "I'm glad they've never changed" look on her face. Uncle Mino, the oldest - and perhaps the most seriously businesslike - Dover son, had the same look on his face as his mother.
Seemingly rooted in her rocker, Granny enjoyed the stories of each son until the wives, having finished tidying the dining rooms and kitchen, would approach the porch podium. Uncle Rufus - possibly ranking only next to Uncle Harry - the fourth oldest - with an almost continuous smile, slapped his hands together and said, "Are we ready for a little music?" (Does the Delta have cotton?) Like numerous brooks converging, Dovers seemed to swell into a river flowing around the old upright piano in the living room. Continuing to flood the porches, we children tried to find unoccupied spots to look into the living room through the windows or screen door. Uncle John, educated - like his siblings - in the classics, including Latin, would lapse into down-home homilies for effect: "Such goin' on!" as though story telling and music were foreign to the Dovers.
While the family overflow sat with legs draped over the edge of the porch, we kept time to the music and savored the breezes that swept in from the Gulf over the cotton fields of Arkansas. To hear "On a Bicycle Built for Two" was wondrous for us children, but to see the dark, upright piano come to life under Uncle Rufus' dancing hands seemed a miracle. Uncle Rufus' granddaughter Sarah had a voice the mockingbirds must have envied. As her grandfather accompanied her (not playing by notes, of course), everyone justly praised her innate musical talent springing from the depths of generations through her grandfather's veins to her.
And then, regardless of the lack of musical talent that diluted the Dover genes, we all joined in singing. Taking turns as if we were vaudeville acts, others would share the limelight. Aunt Grace then played the piano so Uncle Rufus and Aunt Diva could dance. In four square feet of available living room space they would dance, dance, dance until many were exhausted from watching. We children would continue to beg for one more dance, one more song until our parents exclaimed, "You're wearing them out!" We capitulated and went off to do what children did while adults visited.
Now that we had dined, played and sung together, we girls began seriously evaluating each other while the male cousins went back to the huge barn to either play in the loft or taunt the king snake in the corn crib. We perched in the lower limbs of the mulberry trees and chatted away.
We didn't look at our cheek bones then, but we did try to see ourselves in each other and our elders. Some of Granny's living sons shared traces of Indian coloring and dark eyes from her lineage; some sons had fair Dover skin and light eyes, but our hair coloring was more varied. Griffin, Granny's youngest child and my grandfather, died of pneumonia when my mother was about 10 years old. But even in black and white photographs of him, his skin coloring appeared light even though his hair had become quite dark. He left my very dark-headed mother, Mary Margaret, with her black-headed younger sister Grace Ellen, and her older sister Betty Jean, whose hair later turned black but was a natural red in her youth.
"Where did you get red hair?" someone asked our cousin Mary Frances. With her brown eyes and flaming hair, it was easy to see that she was going to be a beauty. The oldest of three girls, Mary Frances could have been smug about her looks, but her lack of self-centeredness endeared her to all of us. Joyce, Mary Frances' beautiful younger sister, also had brown eyes, but her hair looked as dark as Granny's must have been when she was young. Janet, Mary Frances' youngest sister, was a pretty, perky blonde. No doubt Dover "beauty" genes had not been diluted in that particular branch of the family tree. But there were others equally beautiful and talented in their own ways.
I even thought my younger sister, named in honor of Granny, was a replica of Granny's younger face: high cheek bones, of course; perfect features; a slight widow's peak, and sable colored hair. And what seemed to be fair skin when she was young became Indian brown as Martha Sue (Susie) became older. When people remarked about her lovely tan and I was with her, I simply said, "She got ALL the Indian blood in this branch of the family." Of course, I wasn't envious, just jealous! And I could blame it all on Granny.
Although almost everyone had exclaimed after dinner: "I'm so full I couldn't eat another bite for a week!" adults and children began making trips to the kitchen for leftovers before the sun set. Some men had "caught a little nap" in the afternoon, and Granny continued to rest, doze, and bask royally in the presence of three generations around her feet.
It was during that visit to the farm that Granny helped some of us great-grandchildren embark on something new - catching fireflies. Because the farm was in an area cleared of most timber so cotton could be planted, it seemed that a blinking carpet stretched as far as the eye could see in any direction. "If you will ask your mothers to get each of you ajar and punch holes in the lid, you can put in a little clover and all the fireflies you can catch," Granny said. After chasing and catching numerous fireflies, we retreated to the back yard where we once more ascended the mulberry branches. But this time we had soft twinkling lights overhead and phosphorescent lights blinking in our hands. Sarah began to sing acapella and the sound in the soft night air was almost sacred. I wanted that moment to last forever. It didn't. We soon had to leave and drive out of the bottoms and onto Crowley's Ridge toward home about 10 miles away. Parting wasn't "sweet sorrow." 1 railed about having to leave when we were having so much fun! I wasn't old enough to understand that although there would be other times to visit with every one of those Dovers again, that particular moment - it could not have been ONLY a day - would be one of the most memorable of my life.
In hushed tones I heard the words: "Her legs are almost purple to her knees." Another whispered, "Her hands are almost black. It won't be long now." Would Granny hurt if they spoke aloud or didn't tip toe? I looked at all those faces as they paid one final homage to the life within what had been a formidable frame and a soul that seemed too large even for that body. Her almost 91 years still did not mean any of the entourage surrounding the white wrought iron bed was ready for this night - now "almost morning" someone softly spoke. Although we did not release her willingly from our grasps, we released her lovingly.
Would the sons' stories and music, the mulberry branches or fireflies ever be the same again? Not quite, but the Dover and the Poindexter genes possessed a spirit that continues to infuse new descendents with whom we share these - and other - memories.