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COY, Isabella & William

Biography of Mrs. Isabell COY [widow of William]
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 795-796

Mrs. Isabell COY [Isabella, in the following biography of William COY] has for the long period of 46 years been a resident of Winnebago County [IL], and now resides on section 15, Guilford Township.  She was born in Buffalo Township, Union County, PA, and is descended from an old family of that State.  The great grandfather of Mrs. COY, Mr. ROYER, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.  Her grandparents, John Paul and Eva (ROYER) ZIEBACH, were natives of the Keystone State [PA], and there the father followed teaching throughout his entire life.  The father of Mrs. COY, Jacob ZIEBACH, was born in Berks County, PA, and on attaining his majority wedded Anna POLLOCK, who was born in Chester County, PA, and was a daughter of John and Isabella (ROLANCE) POLLOCK, also natives of PA, where they spent their entire lives.  The young couple began their domestic life upon a farm in Buffalo Township, Union County, where they continued to reside until called to the home beyond.  Their family numbered 11 children.

Mrs. COY spent the days of her girlhood in her native county [Union County, PA] and remained with her parents until 1846, when, with her married sister and her husband, she started from PA to IL, on 31 Aug 1846.  The entire journey was made in a spring wagon, and after four weeks of travel they reached Winnebago County [IL], which was then situated on the frontier.  On 11 Apr 1847 Isabell gave her hand in marriage to William COY, a native of England, born in Lincolnshire, and a son of Thomas and Mary COY, who were also natives of England, and there spent [p 796] their entire lives.  Mr. COY came to America in 1844, and at once made his way to Rockford, soon afterward purchasing the farm on which the family now reside.  The young couple located there immediately after their marriage.  It was a tract of wild land, but he transformed it into rich and fertile fields, and added greatly to its beauty and value by erecting good buildings, such as are found on a model farm, and planting fruit and ornamental trees.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. COY was born a family of four children, who were reared to habits of industry and are now occupying useful and responsible positions in society.  (1)   The eldest, Robert, is a graduate of the Chicago Medical College, and is now engaged in the practice of his profession in Rockford; (2)  Anna [Miss E. A. in biography below?] is an artist and resides in the same city [the biography below, written several years later, states the daughter who is an artist resides in NY City, not Rockford]; (3)  William manages the home farm for his mother; and (4)  Emma is successfully engaged in teaching in Rockford.  This family ranks high in social circles, and its members are well deserving of the high regard in which they are held.   William COY died 14 Dec 1885.  [Of the four living children, William is listed last in the following biography.]

Biography of William COY [Husband of Isabella COY, nee ZIEBACH]
Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago Co., IL, C. A. Church.   Chicago: Clarke, 1905, pp 422-425

William COY, now deceased, was one of the honored pioneer settlers of Winnebago County [IL], taking up his abode in this section of the state when the work of improvement seemed scarcely begun, and when there was little promise of rapid development in the future.   He arrived in 1844, and from that time until his death he was numbered among the leading and successful agriculturalists of Winnebago County.  He came from England, having been born in Lincolnshire in 1813.  He was therefore about [p 425] 31 years of age when he crossed the Atlantic to the new world.  He made his way direct to Winnebago County, and settled upon the farm that is now in possession of his widow, which had been entered from the govenment by a Mr. THOMAS.  With characteristic energy he began the development and improvement of this place, which was largely covered with timber, there being but ten acres of prepared land.  It was necessary therefore that he cut down the trees and grub out the stumps, and otherwise clear the fields before they were ready for cultivation.  He worked earnestly and persistently year after year, and as his financial resources increased, he made judicious investment in property until his landed interests aggregated 320 acres, of which 200 acres is still in possession of the family.

Mr. COY had been a resident of Winnebago County for about three years when, in 1847, he was united in marriage with Miss Isabella R. ZIEBACH, who had arrived here the previous year.  She was born in Union County [PA], Feb 1822, and when about 24 years of age came to Winnebago County, where her sister, Mrs. GROVES, was then living.  Mr. and Mrs. COY became the parents of six children, of whom four are living, two sons and two daughters:  (1)  R. E. [Robert], who is engaged in the practice of medicine in Rockford [Winnebago County], IL; (2)  Miss E. A. COY [Anna in the above biography?], who is an artist of NY city; (3)  Miss Emma COY, now the principal of the Hall school at Rockford; and (4)  W. E. [William], who resides upon the home farm, which he is now operating.

In his political views William COY was a Republican, and kept well informed on the issues of the day, although he never sought or desired public office.  He was a man of rather quiet and retiring disposition, and of domestic tastes, devoted to his family and his business.  He counted his greatest pleasure in providing for his wife and children, and his enterprise and untiring efforts as the years passed enabled him to acquire a comfortable competence.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.