Dover beginnings pre-date the Civil War and statehood. Two brothers, John and Alfred Sage, drove one of the first wagons who traversed the "Lane Trail" which was established by abolitionists, John Brown and James Lane, bringing free-staters from the north into Kansas. The year was 1856, two years after the Kansas-Nebraska Bill was passed that would change the area from Indian territory into statehood. The Sage's were English people, and their clan followed upon arrival in Mission Valley. The Sages joined the Kansas militia, fought in the Civil War, and founded the town of Dover in 1870, named for the white cliffs of Dover in England. They became prominent businessmen establishing a post office, inn, stagecoach layover station, general store, mill and bank. Dover once hosted two of the largest cheese factories in the state of Kansas.