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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JOHN A. COOVER. Cumberland county, Pa., is noted for the beauty and fertility of its farms, the land lying along the Cumberland river having attracted industrious, home-making men in the pioneer days, men who toiled to garner from their farms a rich return for their labors. In this case, as in many others, they “builded better than they knew,” and not only succeeded in enriching themselves, but left to their posterity very valuable inheritances of farms in this favored locality. Among the families notably identified with the history of the county is that of Coover, and a leading representative of the name to-day is John A. Coover, of Upper Allen township, son of Jacob H. Coover.

Jacob H. Coover after a long and industrious life died at the age of eighty-four years. He was one of the following family: William, living near Shepherdstown; David, who died at the age of seventy-nine years; Catherine, who died at the age of eighty-two years; Levi, who died at the age of seventy-three years; John B., who died at the age of seventy-three years; and Frances, who died at the age of forty-two years.

Children as follows were born to Jacob H. Coover and his wife, Rachel (Strock): (I) Emma married John J. Zacharius, a farmer in Upper Allen township, and they have children — Ida, Harvey, Walter, George, Edward, Alfred, Grace and Maggie. Of these Ida married Melvin Speakman, of New Cumberland, now living in Williamsport, engaged in an electrical business; two children have been born of this marriage, Catherine and Harvey. Harvey married Catherine Haferly, of Harrisburg, and now lives at Camp Hill, engaged in an agency business. Walter married Annie Koderer, is farming in Upper Allen township, and has two children, Emma and John. George is unmarried, and engaged in farming. Edward, unmarried, is a clerk in a bank. Alfred, also unmarried, lives in Maryland, where he is manager of a 1,500-acre farm for his uncle, Samuel Zacharius, of Philadelphia. Grace and Maggie are unmarried. (2) Frances E. married Adam Beelman, a contractor and builder living near Mansfield, Ohio, and died after bearing him these children — William, Geary, Mary and Ella, all of whom are married and live in Ohio. (3) Kate married Israel W. Miller, a farmer of Upper Allen township, and their children are Coover, Ruth, Theodore (deceased), Israel and Merwin, of whom Ruth married Edward Gross, a farmer of Lower Allen township, and has two children, Catherine and Israel. (4) Mary, unmarried, is living in Upper Allen township. (5) Clara married George W. Best, a farmer living near Carlisle. (6) John A. is the youngest of the children born to Jacob H. Coover.

John A. Coover was born near Shepherdstown March 29, 1854. After attending the Graham school, in Upper Allen township, he worked with his father on the latter’s farm until he was twenty-three years of age, and at that time began business for himself. In 1892 he bought his present fine place of ninety acres, formerly known as the Senseman farm, and has brought it into an excellent state of cultivation. He is a farmer thoroughly abreast of modern methods, and takes a pride in having one of the finest and most productive farms in the valley. His house is a model farmer’s residence, and often resounds to the merriment of guests, he and his wife being very hospitable.

On Dec. 7, 1877, Mr. Coover married Emma Landis, daughter of Jacob Landis, of Upper Allen, and one son, Clayton, was born to them. On Dec. 12, 1901, he married Carrie Shelly, daughter of Samuel Shelly, of Silver Spring township, and their one child is named John, after his grandfather.

In politics Mr. Coover is a Republican, and stanch in his support of party principles, although he has not identified himself prominently with local affairs, his time being fully occupied with his private business. Enterprising, thrifty, a good citizen, an excellent farmer, kind neighbor and model family man, Mr. Coover enjoys in unlimited degree the confidence and respect of his neighbors, and is undoubtedly as good a representative of a modern farmer as can be found within the confines of Cumberland county.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

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