Biography of John L. Cover
Cambria County, PA Biographies

John L. Cover is well known as the capable assistant postmaster at Johnstown, Pa. He was born in this city, Jan. 23, 1883, and is a son of Benjamin Franklin and Elizabeth M. (Pringle) Cover.

The Cover family, originally and still occasionally given as Coover, has been closely associated with the history and growth of Cambria County through at least four generations of its representatives and with the history of the State of Pennsylvania for more than 225 years. The American ancestor of the family settled where is now Germantown in Philadelphia during the latter part of the seventeenth century. He came from Germany and was of that nationality, but of his antecedents or even of the family life in Europe little is now known.

Gideon Cover was a grandson of the ancestor. The early years of his life were spent at Germantown, and from that place he subsequently removed to Cumberland County, where his son, Adam Cover, was born May 28, 1781. Adam Cover married on Dec. 11, 1807, Mary Magdalen Beeshoar, born in Lebanon County, Pa., March 14, 1789, of German and English descent, and soon afterwards settled in the southern part of the state at Harrisburg. He purchased the Breniser House, which later was burned, upon which Mr. Cover turned to other pursuits and for a time carried on a butcher business. In 1810 he moved in the vicinity of Johnstown, and into Johnstown in 1813, and purchased from Christian Good a tract of land on the hill just outside of the town, which locality to the present day has been known as Cover Hill. In acquiring this land a purchase money mortgage was given to Mr. Good, and that instrument, dated May 14, 1814, satisfied and discharged of record, is now a treasured relic in possession of the family. He dealt extensively in real estate and took a prominent part in the development and building up of the municipality. He died Nov. 17, 1856, and his wife died Sept. 23, 1867. They were the parents of 12 children, as follows: Alexander, Sarah, Caroline, Samuel, William, Amos, Mary, Daniel, Jacob, Elizabeth, Lucinda, and one child died in infancy. Alexander Cover was the father of Benjamin Franklin Cover, the father of the subject of this sketch. Alexander Cover was born June 6, 1809; married Sarah Horner, daughter of Christian Horner.

Benjamin Franklin Cover was born in 1840. In early life he learned the carpenter's trade and followed that business practically all his life. He enlisted for service in the Civil war and served in Company D, Fifth Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, under Capt. Webster Lowman, until that company was mustered out, June 30, 1865. He returned to Johnstown and was employed in the bakery and confectionery store of Jacob Fend, one of the early business men of Johnstown. Later Mr. Cover engaged in the contracting business, in which he was active until his death, which occurred Feb. 22, 1895. His wife died in 1915, and they are both buried in Grand View Cemetery, Johnstown. Mr. Cover was a Republican, a member of the United Brethren Church and Emery Fisher Post, G. A. R. To Mr. and Mrs. Cover six children were born: Martin Elsworth, deceased; Benjamin A., a contractor, lives in Johnstown; Sadie Elizabeth, married William M. Moore, a postal clerk, lives in Johnstown; Augusta Dell, and Myrtle A., both deceased; and John L., the subject of this sketch.

John L. Cover attended the public schools of Johnstown and also the Johnstown High School, after which he entered the employ of the Cambria Steel Company. In 1903 he entered the Johntsown postoffice as clerk, working up through the various grades of the office until in 1907 he was in the postmaster's department. On June 1, 1922, he was appointed assistant postmaster.

On Nov. 2, 1907, Mr. Cover was married to Miss Mabelle M. Woodward, a daughter of H. E. and Mellie (Murdock) Woodward. Mr. Woodward is deceased and his wife resides in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Mr. Cover is a Republican, a member of the Methodist Church, and belongs to the Knights of Pythias, Lions Club and Sons of Veterans. He is among the leading and representative citizens of Johnstown.

History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania
By: John E. Gable
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis, 1926

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