D.A.N. Grover was born in Kentucky and had lived in Kansas for ten years when he was elected to the First Legislature at 26 years of age. His father, the Reverend Joel Grover, was a Methodist Church, South, missionary serving at a number of posts. The last was as missionary to the Kickapoos north of Fort Leavenworth from 1851 to 1854, where the Reverend Mr. Grover died at age 64. [Barry, Annals, 1204] Both D.A.N. Grover and his younger brother, Charles, read law, probably across the river in Missouri.
Grover was a member of the "Bolting Convention" in September 1853 that chose Thomas Johnson as its candidate for Congressional Delegate, thus firmly placing himself in the Atchison camp. [Morgan, Wyandotte County, Chapter 13] In June 1854, he was a member of the Salt Creek Squatters Association, claiming 300 members in the future Leavenworth county, and on it's resolutions committee. The squatters resolved:
"(1)That we are in favor of bona fide squatter sovereignty... (8)That we recognize the institution of slavery as already existing in the territory, and recommend to slaveholders to introduce their property as fast as possible. (9) That we afford protection to no Abolitionists as settlers of Kansas territory. (10) That a 'Vigilance Committee' of thirteen be appointed by the chairman to decide upon all disputes in relation to claims, and to protect the rightful party; and for that purpose shall have power to call together the entire 'Squatter's Association....'"
General Order Number 11
by George Caleb Bingham
Western Missouri 1863
Those not taking a Union loyalty oath were forced from their farms.
Grover was elected to the Vigilance Committee of the squatters as Registrar of Claims. [Barry, Annals, 1226] Of course, very few squatters were actually living on the land. Most were still in Missouri. The Indian treaties had only recently been signed and no surveys had been made. Most squatters simply laid out a "foundation" of logs on the ground with the name of the claimant written in pencil on the blaze of a tree. [Wakefield, Squatter Courts in Kansas, 71] Grover was one of the Salt Creek squatters Territorial Governor Reeder addressed in his November 1855 letter clearly stating Reeder's contrary position on the requirements for real Kansas residency. On November 6, 1854 Grover spoke at a meeting in Liberty, Missouri that called upon Missourians to organize for the Kansas elections in the Spring. David Atchison was the principal speaker at that Liberty meeting, urging Clay Countians to mount up and ride to Kansas. [Craik, Southern Interest, 380] Grover's activist position is clear from his appointment by Governor Shannon as an officer in the notorious "Kickapoo Rangers" regiment of the Kansas Militia in 1856 [KHC 3:303] Later, Grover was on the committee calling for organization of the Law and Order Party. [Cutler, History, Ch.23]
Governor Shannon appointed Grover as Notary Public for Leavenworth County [KHC 4: 715] but on October 23, 1858, Governor Denver appointed Samuel Leighton to the job, "in place of D.A.N. Grover, removed to Kansas City, Missouri." [KHC 5:515] In Kansas City, Missouri, Grover had a long and distinguished career. He was one of the first five lawyers practicing in the town, all of whom stayed and continued on through the border war, the civil war and their aftermath. [Brown, Frontier Community, 200] Grover was on the Kansas City Council in 1861 and again in 1874. He was elected City Recorder in 1871 and City Comptroller in 1875 and 1876. [Union Historical Company, Jackson County, 415ff.]