Point of Rocks: History and Background of the Town of Grover
The following information was submitted by Deb Duggan, Town Clerk for Grover
Grover, Colorado began in the late 1800’s as a post office located a half mile north of present day Grover, which serviced several ranches around the area.
At this time the plains were still occupied by small bands of Sioux Indians. One such group was reported to have attacked the Iliff Cattle Company Ranch, located near the Pawnee Buttes in 1873, killing two men, and leaving one to walk 70 miles to the nearest town, being present day Eaton or Greeley. It is said he died due to the poison from the many cactus needles he accumulated on his long walk.
Originally the area was named Point of Rocks. By the late 1880’s the town received its present day name. It was named for the maiden name of the home owner of the house in which the post office was located, Dolly Grover, later Mrs. Neil Donovan. The Donovan family homesteaded the area in 1883. Dolly Donovan was reported to be the first white woman to live in the area, though there had been several white men in the area starting in the 1860’s, who trailed cattle from Texas to the Union Pacific Railroad.
In 1887 the Burlington Railroad from Cheyenne to Sterling went through. The town grew from a post office held in a small ranch house in 1887 to a depot, which at the time, was the hub of activity for the town, two hotels, a bank, a mercantile store and a lumber yard by 1889.
The Town of Grover was plotted on November 10, 1888 following a railroad survey. Chatoga Avenue had by that time, already been established as the main street running through town.
Grover can boast its history, as the site of the earliest established post office along the Burlington Railroad Line, which has since that time, operated without any closures. The railroad line ran from 1887 to 1973. The Grover Depot still stands in its original location, and is now the Grover Depot Museum.
Grover, in 1929 had a female mayor and town board. At that time it was reported that Mayor Elizabeth Lower and several of her “feminine cohorts” were fed up with the antics of a pool hall proprietor, whom condoned bootlegging and gambling, a prospect which to the women of the day, presented a serious safety issue to the community, and especially to the children of the area. This unique town board also significantly reduced the civic debt of the town, which to that point, no male board could accomplish.
Grover has a long history dating back to the 1860’s with the Texas cattle drives, and is the only town with a still operating school on the railroad line connecting Sterling, CO to Cheyenne, WY. Since 1923 the Earl Anderson Memorial Rodeo has been held annually in Grover, and is one of the smallest officially sanctioned events of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association and is fondly referred to as the “Biggest Little Rodeo in the West.”