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George William Webster Dove was the son of John Dove, who co-founded the Smith & Dove Mfg. Co. Dove attended Phillips Academy and the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard. When the Civil War began, he helped organize a local regiment. He enlisted in the Navy where he was a Third Assistant Engineer on the U.S.S. Richmond. After the war ended, he returned home to help run the family business.

Dove was involved in the finances of several Boston trading firms. In 1889, one of these firms (the Pacific Guano Company) failed due in part to purported fraud by J.M. Glidden, who was likely Dove's brother-in-law. This scandal prompted Dove to retire, but his removal from the business world was far from relaxing. During the summer of 1894, he went on an expedition to Greenland, which went so awry that a ship was lost and the entire group had to return to Massachusetts on a fishing schooner. Dove and his wife, Susan C. Glidden, had four children. He died in Andover at the age of 73.