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Grave of William Clark Quantrill.
Grave of William Clark Quantrill.

Grave of Quantrill's Head

Field review by the editors.

Dover, Ohio

Infamous Confederate raider William Clarke Quantrill grew up in Dover. Parts of him are buried here, including the skull from which a wax replica head was made, and kept in the refrigerator of the local historical society museum.

Captain Quantrill was either a terrorist or a freedom fighter against an occupying force, depending on your politics. He conducted a merciless guerrilla campaign behind Union Lines, from Kansas to Kentucky, in what was called, "The Border War." Quantrill's Raiders ambushed supply wagons, destroyed telegraph lines, raided farms, and killed plenty along the way. Quantrill survived the war, but not by much; he was shot by Union troops and died in a hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 6, 1865. The 27-year old was buried without fanfare.

In 1887 a newspaperman and Quantrill's boyhood friend, William W. Scott, dug up the grave at the prompting of Quantrill's mother, a Dover school teacher. He brought the bones back home. Or at least the skull. Experts believe most of Quantrill remains in Kentucky.

After Scott's death, his son gave the skull to a club formed by a group of Dover teenage boys, which later became the Zeta Chapter of the Alpha Pi fraternity. The skull was shellacked and named "Jake." In 1972 an aging alumnus of the fraternity donated it to the Dover Historical Society, which held onto it for 20 years. It was then buried in a plastic child's casket at the Quantrill family plot on October 30, 1992, beneath a marker donated by the Sons of the Confederacy in the 1980s. The casket was surrounded by concrete to prevent theft.

Also see: Replica Head of Confederate Raider Quantrill

Grave of Quantrill's Head

Fourth Street Cemetery

4th St., Dover, OH
From the replica head: Go back over the bridge, past the town square, then turn right on 4th St. The 4th St. Cemetery is on the left. The Quantrill family headstone, and Quantrill's flat marker, are on the far right, toward the back, near a paved alley.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Auman Museum of Radio and TVAuman Museum of Radio and TV, Dover, OH - < 1 mi.
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In the region:
Diner in a Gas Station, Massillon, OH - 19 mi.

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