Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 642] a lady who has passed through many varied circumstances of life, is the widow of the late Hiram Cover, and a woman whose personality and agreeable traits are known to a large circle of friends and well-wishers about her home in Edenburg, Mahoning township, this county.

Hiram Cover, the beloved husband of the subject of our sketch, was in his lifetime a man of influence and tried uprightness. He was a son of Jacob and Lydia Cover, and belonged to a family which had much to do with shaping the earlier history of this section.

Jacob Cover was by occupation a farmer. He settled in Mahoning township in 1841, where he bought a farm of 118 acres, and on this place he remained until 1865. In addition to this property he owned a farm in Pulaski township, one in Slippery Rock township, and still another in Douglas Co., Kansas, which farms he usually rented. In 1865 he removed to Poland, Ohio, where he spent the remainder of his active life. Besides being an extensive land-owner, he was a heavy dealer in and shipper of sheep, cattle, horses, etc. His wife, the mother of Hiram, was a Miss Lydia Robb. His decease occurred Jan. 8, 1882, when he was aged seventy-seven years; his wife passed away May 15, 1891, aged eighty-five years.

Hiram Cover was born in Mahoning township in 1836. He settled on a farm of his father's, which was called the Welsh place, and there spent his life, engaged in general farming. Becoming owner of the place, he inaugurated and brought to perfection many great improvements. He had a high ideal of what a well-kept farm should be, and his farm came very near being a model of excellence. The house was enlarged and tastefully remodeled, outer buildings reconstructed, fine orchards set out, waste land reclaimed and brought under cultivation, and a hundred and one other things done, which required constant effort but which all tended to rendering the estate more productive, and to increasing its value. A coal bank was found on the place and opened, and the whole place managed with a view of developing each latent resource to the best advantage. In business matters Hiram Cover was in every instance a man to be relied on. He was strict and careful in his accounts, insisting on his rights, and according to others what was justly their own. He was above all things a just man, and broad and fair in all his dealings. As a result of such characteristics success came to him, and at the same time the high respect and esteem of all who knew him. His sudden death, which came to him through blood poisoning from what seemed a very trifling hurt to his arm, was deeply deplored by all the community. He was taken to his heavenly home April 4, 1895, after a very brief illness. He was in political matters affiliated with the Republican party, and in church affairs was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mrs. Cover, our subject, was a daughter of good and respectable parents, Peter and Sarah (Cox) Shoaff. Her paternal great-grandparents were Peter and Catherine (Mink) Shoaff, who came into Ohio from a point near Baltimore, Md. Peter Shoaff, the elder, was a miller by occupation and lived to be seventy-five years old. He was twice married, and the children by his first wife were: Jacob; William; Katie; Peggie; Annie; and Elizabeth.

Jacob Shoaff, our subject's grandfather, was a miller and farmer of Shenango township. His wife was Catherine Cameron, by whom he had six childrenóBetsey, Peter, Thomas, Jacob, Annie, and James. Of these children Peter was the father of Mrs. Cover. He came into the world in December, 1807, on a farm in Mahoning township. During the years of his early manhood he worked at shoemaking, but in 1834 he bought the William Cox farm of seventy-five acres in Union township; on this place, which is improved with many new buildings, he now resides at a hale and hearty old age. He wedded Sarah Cox, daughter of William Cox, and to them a family of eight children were given, as follows: Elzedda; Hester Ann; William S.; James S.; Revilla; Samuel C.; Leander; and Warren L. The kind of a constitution which the Shoaff family possess is vividly shown, when it is stated that Mr. Shoaff, at the age of ninety years, can hitch up his horse, drive to the city and transact business; this is generally a weekly occurrence, for he is undeterred except by disagreeable weather. His faithful wife was taken from him when she was eighty-seven years of age.

Mrs. Cover was wedded to her husband when both were in the first flush of young manhood and womanhood. All through his thrifty life she stood faithfully by his side, and was all that a true wife should be. His hardships were hers, and when prosperity came she accepted it as a good woman ought to. Five children blessed their home, of whom four are alive and fulfilling well their allotted destinies. They are by name: Bion Willis; Leon O.; Isa May; and Zella Grace. Bion Willis, the eldest of the family, was joined in marriage with Elizabeth Smith, and resides in Edenburg; their family consists of: Bessie; Fare; Ruby; and Guy. Leon O. married and resides on the adjoining farm. Isa May became the wife of Mr. G. Matthews and has a family of four children. Zella Grace is at home, and is the comforter and caretaker of her beloved mother. Mrs. Cover is now in a period of life that permits her to look backward over the long road she has traveled. Time and experience have been her teachers, and she is in a position to give the best of counsel to a rising generation. She is of a very kindly disposition, and her gentle ways come from a heart full of genuine regard for all those whose privilege it is to belong to her wide circle of friends and acquaintances.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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