COVEY, Edwin A. & Simeon Levi
Biography of Edwin A. COVEY [Brother of Simeon Levi]
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 1257-1258
Edwin A. COVEY, a retired farmer residing in Belvidere [Boone County, IL], is one of the oldest native born citizens of this county. He was born in Boone Township on 29 May 1843. His grandfather, Theodore COVEY, was a native of NH, and the father, Stephen COVEY, was born in Chester, Rockingham County, NH, 05 Nov 1801. When young he accompanied his parents to VT, and in early manhood removed to St. Lawrence County, NY, becoming one of the pioneer settlers of that region. He engaged in cutting timber, which was burned, and from the ashes was estracted potash, or black salts, as it was called. He removed from there to Chautauqua County, settling near Mayville, where he engaged in the manufacture of shingles until 1839, when with his family, he came to Boone County and spent the winter in Belvidere. He then rented a farm east of the town for one year, after which he purchased a tract of land nar Poplar Grove. Upon it was a log house, and a few acres of land had been broken. He lived upon that farm until 1850, and afterwards bought and sold several farms. He was a resident of this county until his death, which occurred in Caledonia Township [Boone County, IL], 21 Aug 1885. His wife was in her maidenhood Miss Susan JENNER. She was born in Moriah, Essex County, NY, 04 Jul 1810, and is a daughter of Stephen and Betsy (MATHER) JENNER. She was called to her final rest in Aug 1882.
The first school which our subject attended was taught in a log house three miles from his home. At an early age he commenced to assist his father in the labors of the farm, and remained with his parents until their deaths. He commenced farming for himself at the time of his marriage, and the farm upon which the young couple began their domestic life continued to be their home until 1890, when they came to Belvidere and built the home they now occupy.
On 12 Sep 1862, Mr. COVEY married Elizabeth J. DIMOND, who was born in Brantford [Brant County], Ontario, Canada, and is a daughter of Richard and Sarah (LUXTON) DIMOND. The father was born in the parish of Rexford, Devonshire, England, where James DIMOND, the grandfather, spent his entire life. Richard learned the trade of a mason, which he followed in England until after his marriage to Miss LUXTON, who was born in the same locality as her husband, and was a daughter of Hugh and Mary LUXTON. After their marriage they emigrated to Prince Edward Island, and four years later became residents of Brantford, Province of Ontario, where Mr. DIMOND bought a tract of timber land, cleared a farm, and erected a good set of frame buildings. He there made his home until 1850, when with his family he came to Boone County and purchased a partially improved farm in Caledonia Township. His first home was a log cabin, but it was afterwards replaced by a stone residence. Mr. DIMOND did all the work of building the house himself, even quarried the stone and burned the lime. His death occurred at the old homestead, 27 Jul 1886. His wife passed away in 1863. They had a family of five children: Mary A., Thirza, Josiah, Stephen, and Elizabeth J.
Four children grace the union of Mr. and Mrs. COVEY: Fred, Frank R., Ira J., and Arthur A. [p 1258] Fred married Blanche WHEELER and has one child, Louis Stephen. The COVEY household is the abode of hospitality, and its members rank high in social circles. Mr. COVEY cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, and has since been a stanch supporter of the Republican party. He has led a busy and useful life, and as a result of his industry, perseverance and good management, is now enabled to spend his declining days in retirement from labor, enjoying the fruits of his former toil.
Biography of Simeon Levi COVEY [Brother of Edwin A.]
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 312-315
Simeon Levi COVEY, a lumber dealer of Belvidere [Boone County, IL], has been prominently connected with the business interests of this city since 1863, and is recognized as a leader in business circles. He was born near Mayville, Chautauqua County, NY, 01 Feb 1834, and is a son of Stephen COVEY, a native of VT, who when a young man went to the Empire State [NY]. Settling in Chautauqua County, he purchased a tract of land near Mayville and engaged in the manufacture of shingles until 1839, when with his wife and four children he started for IL. After three weeks they arrived in Belvidere, which at that time was a mere hamlet, while the surrounding country was still in the possession of the Government and was but sparsely settled. Mr. COVEY spent the winter in Belvidere and in the spring rented a farm, upon which he made his home until 1841, when he purchased a tract of land at Poplar Grove. A log house and a few acres of broken land constituted the improvements at the time. He there resided until 1850, when he sold and purchased on the west line of the same township, but again sold in 1853 and bought a farm in Boone Township, where he made his home for four years. Once again purchasing, he became the owner of a farm in Caledonia Township, upon which he made his home until his death, 21 Aug 1885. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Susan JENNER, was born in Moriah, Essex County [p 315] NY, 04 Jul 1810, and was a daughter of Stephen and Betsy (MATHER) JENNER. She died at her home in Caledonia Township in Aug 1882, leaving five children: Henry, S. L., Edwin, and Ellen. Alonzo died three weeks after the arrival of the family in Belvidere, at the age of three years.
Our subject was only five years old when he came to IL with his parents, yet he remembers distinctly many incidents of the journey and of pioneer life here. He acquired his education in a log schoolhouse, in one end of which was a huge fireplace, the flames roaring upward through an earth and stick chimney. The seats were made of slabs on wood pins, and on two sides of the room a log board was laid on wooden pins inserted into the logs and served as a writing desk for the larger scholars. Mr. COVEY remained with his parents until 14 years of age and then began to learn the blacksmith's trade, serving an apprenticeship of four years, but as he did not like the occupation, he returned to the farm and at the time of his marriage purchased land of his father and engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1863.
It was in 1863 that Mr. COVEY and Miss Eliza WEBSTER were joined in wedlock. The lady was born in Hamburg [Erie or Greene County], NY, and was a daughter of William and Esther WEBSTER. She died in Jun 1873, leaving a son, George, who married Cecelia HASKIN, and they have a little daughter, Cecelia. In 1875 Mr. COVEY married Elizabeth PORTER, a native of Garden Prairie, Boone County, IL, and a daughter of Thomas PORTER. They have one daughter, Lottie.
In 1863 Mr. COVEY left the farm, came to Belvidere and embarked in the lumber business, which he carried on for three years, and then engaged in buying and shipping stock until 1881. His next venture was in the grocery trade, which he carried on for three years, when he sold out to resume the lumber business, which he has continued up to the present time. He is an enterprising and industrious man, and as a result his business career has been a successful one. In politics he has been a lifelong Republican, and has served two years as Deputy Sheriff, and for three terms was the efficient Sheriff of the county. At the present time he is a member of the School Board. He has been alike true to every public duty and every private trust and has won the confidence and esteem of the entire community.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.