Though at present living a retired life in Dayton, Abram Coovert is known as one of the broad-minded and energetic developers of Yamhill county, and has been closely allied with its agricultural, milling, educational and religious affairs. An additional distinction is attached to Mr. Coovert, growing out of the fact that he and his wife, who died March 31, 1903, were undoubtedly the oldest married couple in this county, and one of the oldest in this part of the state. The parents of Mr. Coovert where farmers during their active lives, and lived for many years in Butler county, Ohio, where he was born April 24, 1819. As his mother died when he was ten years old, leaving six other children, he was bound out to a family to remain until his twenty-first year, at the expiration of which time he was to receive $100 and a suit of clothes. The consideration was fulfilled according to contract, the youth in the meantime developing thrifty and industrious traits of character.
Left to fashion his career as suited him best, Mr. Coovert went to Indiana in 1840, and for five years made himself useful to one of the wealthy and appreciative farmers of the Hoosier state. In 1845, he married Martha A. Odell, a native of Wayne county, Indiana, an thereafter he made his home in that state until 1851. He then prepared to seek a home in the far west, and with two wagons, six yokeof oxen and two horses, joined a train under command of Captain Elder, and spent six months on the way to Oregon, arriving at Wheatland October 4, 1851. That same year he bought squatter’s right to a farm which he now processes, located four miles southeast of Dayton, and which was originally three hundred and twenty acres in extent. Every improvement on the place is due to the energy and progressive spirit of the owner, who has kept abreast of the times and equipped his place with all known devices of the labor-saving and improving character. Much of this property has now passed into other hands, but Mr. Coovert still owns ninety acres of about the finest farmland in the state of Oregon. In 1857 he erected the first grist-mill in this vicinity, and for many years of this picturesque of old mill ground out flour and feed for the agriculturists for many miles around. Located as it was on the Dayton & Salem road, it was easy of access, and became a common meeting place in which to discuss the important happenings of the county.
An active politician during his years of greatest activity, Mr. Coovert has at times labored faithfully for the political advancement of his worthy friends, although he himself has never desired office of any kind. However, his active interest in educational matters resulted in his acceptance of a position on the school board, and he has also served as a road supervisor, thus filling two of the most important and far reaching offices in the community. Mrs. Coovert had been a member of the church ever since her fourteenth year, and he has been similarly connected for more than half a century, being still a trustee in the church. In 1899 Mr. Coovert left his farm to care of younger hands, and retired, making his home on the farm, and is now enjoying the rest from care and responsibility which he has so richly earned. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Coovert, named in the order of their birth, as follows: John Q., deceased; Sarah C., the widow of W.D. Nichols, of this neighborhood; Mary E., the wife of John Lambert, of Yamhill county; Wilbur L., deceased; Ida, wife of N. Harris, and who resides at home with her father; and Henrietta and Ora, both of whom are deceased.
"Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley", page 710
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