Charlotte Reeve Conover

Charlotte Reeve Conover (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Charlotte Reeve Conover

(June 14 – September 23, 1940)

Born and raised by affluent parents in Dayton, Ohio, Conover attended Dayton Central High School, Cooper Seminary, and the University of Geneva.  She married a local lawyer, Frank K. Conover on October 14, 1879; they had four children together.

During her long and distinguished life, Conover was an author, educator, activist, lecturer, and local historian. She is nicknamed “Dayton’s Historian,” and many of her books are still consulted today on Dayton’s history.  Known for her love of local history and research, she also wrote magazine articles for Ladies’ Home Journal, The Atlantic, and Harper’s.  She had a regular column in the Daily Dayton News entitled “Mrs. Conover’s Corner,” and was the Women’s Page editor for four years.  In 1901, she spearheaded a promotional fundraiser called “The Day the Women Got out the News,” which had the Young Women’s League of Dayton raise money for the Woman’s Suffrage Party of Montgomery County by taking over the publication of the Dayton Daily News for one day.  She was the founder of the Dayton’s Woman’s Literary Club, and had a long history of encouraging all local authors – both genders and different races – to write and publish their work.  In fact, Paul Laurence Dunbar dedicated a piece to Conover, titled Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow.

As an older woman, Conover’s eye sight failed; however, close friends helped her transcribe her writings. In fact, many of her editors did not know she was going blind. She passed away in 1940 at the age of 85. She is interred at Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, Dayton, Ohio, Section 20, Lot 2012. Conover was inducted into the Dayton Walk of Fame in 2007.  Charlotte Reeve Conover


  • Concerning the Forefathers: Being A Memoir, with personal narrative and letters of two pioneers Col. Robert Patterson and Col. John Johnston (1903)
  • The Patterson Log Cabin (1906)
  • Some Dayton Saints and Prophets (1907)
  • A History of the Beck Family (1907)
  • David Gebhart, Alpha 1827 - Omega 1907: A Memory and an Appreciation On Being Eighty and Other Digressions (1909)
  • Recollections of Sixty Years By John Johnston, Indian Agent for the US Government (with John Johnston) (1915)
  • The Story of Dayton (1917)
  • Memoirs of the Miami Valley (1919)
  • Dayton: An Intimate History (1932)
  • Dayton and Montgomery County (1932)
  • Builders in New Fields (1939)
  • Harvest of Years: Four sprightly essays (1948)

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