Sometime in 2013, during a meeting of Dover Historical Society Board of Directors, the conversation turned to discussing notable people of Dover, Ohio, both past and present. It was suggested that the Board work to identify such people and honor them in some way. Rather than use the "Hall of Fame" title for this proposed group of people, the Board decided on the name "Hall of Distinction". The word "distinction" more closely resembled the idea that the Board had in mind. A defining statement was created:
"The Dover Historical Society will recognize individuals from the community of Dover whose lifework represents outstanding achievement in their chosen field and who, through the conduct of their life, made significant contributions to the benefit of all."
As the discussion continued, the idea was refined. There would be no formal application needed for the Hall. The Board would meet as a whole and discuss any and all names brought forth. The general public was invited to suggest names as well. Everyone would use the standing statement of purpose as a guide. People born and raised in Dover, as well as those who moved to Dover, and even those who moved away after living in Dover, were considered. There would be no set limit on the size of the class each year.
The induction ceremony would be held during the Dover Historical Society's annual meeting. The Inaugural Class of 2014 consisted of seven individuals that would help set the high standards that they were aiming for in the following years. For the first two years, the induction ceremony was held in the Carriage House, on the grounds of the Reeves Mansion. However, the event was then moved to the
Tuscarawas County Senior Center to accommodate the growing attendance.
The list of honorees illustrates the scope of the Board's intentions. Those honored come from many different areas of human endeavor. Honorees' contributions in their chosen fields have made the city of Dover a better city, and/or they have helped and inspired people everywhere.
Rear Admiral Herald Stout
Ernest "Mooney" Warther
Class of 2015
Frank "Doc" Kelker
Agnes Reeves Greer
Class of 2016
Herman "Bup" Rearick
Samuel Reeves, Jr.
Doris and Floyd Kimble
Class of 2017
Charles and Virginia Deeds
Robert "Fizz" Miller
The Carlson Family - John and Ruth and sons William and Peter
Class of 2018
Samuel Reeves, Sr.
Class of 2019
Capt. Harry Merwin Yockey, Jr. (USN, Ret)
Eugene (Cheese) Hanhart
Citizen Of the Year: Jim Gill
Class of 2022
Citizen of the Year: Hunter Armstrong