Thomas Lewis Coventry, correspondence editor of the Utica Press, was born in Clinton county, New York,
December 10, 1866, and is a representative of one of the old families of this section of the state. His grandfather,
Robert Coventry, who was the youngest son by the first marriage of Dr. Alexander Coventry, was born in Deerfield,
February 17, 1807, and was educated in the Utica schools and the Fairfield Academy. Subsequently he engaged in
farming on the Coventry homestead on the Walker road and by purchase extended the boundaries of that place, which
he had inherited from his father and which he continued to make his home until his demise. He married Lydia Barnes,
a daughter of Aaron and Lucinda (Sherman) Barnes. Her father was one of the early settlers of Deerfield, coming
to this county from Berkshire county, Massachusetts. To Robert and Lydia Coventry were born two children: Robert,
whose birth occurred August 19, 1837; and Helen C., who was born November 26, 1842, and died January 11, 1863,
her remains being interred in Forest Hill cemetery.
Robert Coventry, Jr., was educated in the schools of Deerfield, in Utica Academy and Whitestown Seminary. Reared
to the occupation of farming, he continued to assist his father in the cultivation of the old homestead up to the
time of his marriage, when he purchased what was known as the Mitchell farm, near Clinton. He resided there for
three years, when he removed to La Salle county, Illinois, and invested in three hundred and forty acres of land,
becoming an extensive grain raiser of that locality and also raising large numbers of horses and feeding cattle
and hogs His agricultural and stock raising interests were carefully and systematically conducted and brought to
him substantial success. He resided in the middle west until 1882, when on account of his father's advanced age
he returned with his father to Deerfield and there permanently resided, having disposed of his Illinois property.
He now owns four hundred and eighty seven acres of land, divided into four farms, one of which is his birthplace.
He is a progressive agriculturist and an intelligent man, who is regarded as one of the valued citizens of the
On the 18th of November, 1863, Robert Coventry, Jr., was married to Miss Katherine Lewis, who was born in Deerfield,
February 24, 1844, and is a daughter of Rees and Jane (Jones) Lewis, both of whom were natives of north Wales but
became residents of Oneida county, New York, in early life. Rees Lewis was born January 15, 1815, and was the son
of Rees Lewis, Sr., who was employed as a canal foreman on the construction of the Erie canal. He afterward devoted
his life to fanning at Deerfield, as did Thomas Jones, the father of Jane (Jones) Lewis. Rees Lewis, Jr., learned
the wheelwright and wagon builder's trade and was the owner of a wagon shop in Deerfield for many years. He died
November 4, 1899, having for nine years survived his wife, who passed away in March, 1890, the remains of both
being interred in Forest Hill cemetery. They were survived by the following children: Rev. John H. Lewis, of Utica;
Mrs. Robert Coventry; Mrs. Joseph R. Garthside, of Pomona, California; and Mrs. Sanders L. Robbins, of Kansas City,
Missouri Mrs. Coventry was educated in Deerfield in the advanced schools of Utica and in the Utica Female Academy.
By her marriage she became the mother of two daughters and a son. Helen C., the elder daughter, born in Clinton,
New York, September 26, 1864, attended the Utica advanced schools, the Utica Academy and Houghton Seminary, and
died at home, January 13, 1904, her remains being laid to rest in Forest Hill cemetery. Lydia Jane, born May 13,
1869, in La Salle county, Illinois, was educated in the Utica advanced schools, the Utica Academy and Houghton
Seminary, and on the 27th of June, 1895, became the wife of Dr. Harry Wheeler Woodruff, of Joliet, Illinois, where
he is now enjoying a large practice. He was graduated from Rush Medical College of Chicago as honor man in a class
of two hundred.
Thomas Lewis Coventry, only son of Robert and Katherine (Lewis) Coventry, became a pupil in the public schools
of Illinois and following the return of the family to New York was graduated from the Utica. Advanced School in
1883. Further study brought him to his graduation from the Utica Academy with the class of 1887 and he won his
B. A. degree at Hamilton College in 1891. His college course completed, he engaged in newspaper work in Utica.
Later he engaged in the weekly newspaper business at Oxford, New York, and afterward at St. Johnsville, New York.
In 1897 he disposed of his paper in the latter place, since which time he has been engaged in newspaper work as
telegraph editor of the Rome Sentinel, and later as correspondence editor of the Utica Daily Press, which position
he now holds.
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Oneida County, NY
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