Charlotte Reeve Conover – Dayton Historian

“Mrs. Conover was Dayton’s outstanding historian. Her manifold writings about Dayton and its people have place on bookshelves far and wide…” —Dayton Daily News, September 1940.

Charlotte was born to Doctor John Charles and Emma Reeve in 1855. She was given a stellar education from the start, even traveling to Geneva, Switzerland after completing high school. Marrying Frank Conover and raising 4 children did not stop Charlotte from traveling, studying, or writing.

In 1900, her first book, Some Dayton Saints and Prophets, was published. After that her writing didn’t stop. Charlotte also contributed writing to Ladies Home Journal, Atlantic Monthly, and Harper’s. She also became a French scholar, specializing in lectures about Molière.


In her older years, Charlotte’s eyesight started declining, and in 1935, at 80 years old, completely blind, she was finally convinced to write an article about life at 80. She wrote of the joy of life at 80, and of having the wisdom to listen to the younger generations.

IntrosThe introductions to Conover’s books, The Story of Dayton and, Dayton, Ohio: An Intimate History.

Although we haven’t learned much about her through Google searches and books, only the brief biographies from newspaper articles, we feel we have learned a lot about Charlotte Reeve Conover through her writing. Charlotte really felt a passion and a connection to the Dayton area, writing to express the overall feeling of the time period, as well as the events.

“She lived bravely, not easily, her pioneer mind always ahead of her time – an outstanding example of brilliant American womanhood.” —Dayton Daily News, September 1940.

20140321_141842Conover’s grave in Woodland Cemetery.

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