Dover, Arkansas

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Dover, Arkansas
Main Street
Main Street
Location of Dover in Pope County, Arkansas.
Location of Dover in Pope County, Arkansas.
Coordinates: 35°24′2″N 93°6′45″W / 35.40056°N 93.11250°W / 35.40056; -93.11250Coordinates: 35°24′2″N 93°6′45″W / 35.40056°N 93.11250°W / 35.40056; -93.11250
CountryUnited States
 • TypeMayor-council
 • MayorRoger Lee
 • Total2.83 sq mi (7.32 km2)
 • Land2.83 sq mi (7.32 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation446 ft (136 m)
 • Total1,378
 • Estimate 
 • Density509.37/sq mi (196.65/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)479
FIPS code05-19600
GNIS feature ID0079133 [2]

Dover is a small town in Pope County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 1,378 at the 2010 census. Dover is located in the Arkansas River Valley, and is part of the Russellville Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Dover was either named by British aristocrats in the 1830s for Dover, Kent, England or by Stephen Rye in 1832 for Dover, Tennessee.[4] Dover was the county seat for Pope County in the 1800s. The original Pope County Courthouse was located where Dover Supermarket now sits. Dover is a small town near Russellville; it has several churches, a grocery store and a hardware store.

On June 3, 1998 a Bible dated to 1283 was discovered on the grounds of a church in Dover and gained brief notoriety as the "Dover Bible," with local religious leaders citing it as "irrefutable proof of Christ's mission in the Americas." The Dover Bible, however, was eventually found to be a hoax after undergoing examination by students at Arkansas Tech University in nearby Russellville, AR, who determined the copy to be loosely based on the King James Bible and inconsistent with thirteenth century language and composition. Its current condition and whereabouts are unknown.

The Dover massacre[edit]

On December 22 and 26, 1987, Ronald Gene Simmons, of near Dover, killed all fourteen members of his family during a Christmas reunion at the Simmons property north of Dover. Two days later, he continued his killing spree in the county seat of Russellville, having targeted previous employers and co-workers, killing two and wounding two more. Simmons was arrested without resistance, was sentenced to death on December 10, 1989, and executed on June 25, 1990, the quickest sentence-to-execution time in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.


Dover is located at 35°24′2″N 93°6′45″W / 35.40056°N 93.11250°W / 35.40056; -93.11250 (35.400597, -93.112534).[5] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2), all land.

Ecologically, Dover is located within the Arkansas Valley Hills subregion within the larger Arkansas Valley ecoregion. The subregion is a thin transition area between the flat and fertile Arkansas Valley Plains to the south along the Arkansas River, and the steep and densely forested lands of the Boston Mountains in northern Pope County.

The mild hills historically supported oak-hickory forest or oak-hickory-pine forest. Elevation changes and soil types make the Arkansas Valley Hills largely unsuitable for row agriculture. Instead, forest has been cleared for pastureland, poultry farming or ranching. Logging remains an important land use where elevation or soil makes livestock farming unsuitable. Many of the smaller streams and watercourses are completely dry in summer.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)1,440[3]4.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 1,329 people, 529 households, and 372 families residing in the city. The population density was 732.7 people per square mile (283.5/km2). There were 579 housing units at an average density of 319.2 per square mile (123.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.37% White, 0.23% Black or African American, 0.68% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.60% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. 1.96% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 529 households, out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.5% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 29.3% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 79.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,697, and the median income for a family was $33,879. Males had a median income of $25,625 versus $19,073 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,261. About 10.6% of families and 14.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.9% of those under age 18 and 14.0% of those age 65 or over.


Dover operates within the mayor-city council form of government. The mayor is elected by a citywide election to serve as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the city by presiding over all city functions, policies, rules and laws. Once elected, the mayor also allocates duties to city employees. The Dover mayoral election in coincidence with the United States midterm elections. Mayors serve four-year terms and can serve unlimited terms. The city council is the unicameral legislature of the city, consisting of six council members. Also included in the council's duties is balancing the city's budget and passing ordinances.


Primary and secondary education is provided by the Dover School District, which leads to graduation from Dover High School.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Dover, Arkansas
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ Deane, Ernie (1986). Arkansas Place Names. Branson, Missouri: The Ozarks Mountaineer. p. 83.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. ^  This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document: Woods, A.J., Foti, T.L., Chapman, S.S., Omernik, J.M.; et al. "Ecoregions of Arkansas" (PDF).CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) (color poster with map, descriptive text, summary tables, and photographs)
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.