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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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SAMUEL R. COOVER, general merchant and postmaster at Shepherdstown, is one of the substantial citizens of his section of Cumberland county, and comes of one of the oldest families in the locality. He is of German descent, his great-grandfather, Jacob Kover, as the name was then spelled, having come from Germany in an early day. He first located in Lancaster county, Pa., coming thence to Cumberland county, where he settled along the Yellow Breeches creek. He died in this county.

George Kover, son of Jacob, and the grandfather of Samuel R., was a prosperous farmer in Monroe township, Cumberland county, where he owned a large tract of land. He lived to the age of seventy-five years, dying many years ago, when Samuel R. Coover was in his infancy, and he was buried in Keller’s graveyard, north of Mechanicsburg, where his father’s remains were also interred. George Kover married Miss Annie Landis, by whom he had the following children: Elizabeth became the wife of John Brandt, of this county, and died at the advanced age of ninety-five years. John, who was a farmer of Monroe township, reached the age of almost eighty-eight years. Ann, Mrs. Hinney, died when about seventy years old. Sarah died unmarried in 1904, when almost 106 years old. Susan, who became the wife of John Beelman, of this county, died when ninety-six years old. Mary married Jacob Krout, of this county, and died in Mechanicsburg when sixty-six years old. George, father of Samuel R., was almost eighty-eight when he passed away. William, a farmer of Cumberland county, died at the comparatively early age of forty-six.

George Coover, father of Samuel R., was born on the old homestead farm in Monroe township in 1808, grew to manhood there, and received his education in the subscription schools which were in vogue at that day. He learned the trade of carpenter, and, removing to New Kingstown, this county, conducted a cabinet and carpenter business there for some years, being successful and prosperous. While residing at that point he had a strong desire to see the West, and in company with some of his friends made the trip to Ohio, which was then the borderland. They traveled on horseback. Mr. Coover made a second trip, having some idea of locating there, but he changed his mind after seeing more of the country. On leaving New Kingstown he moved to Trindle Spring, this county, where he engaged in the hotel business for four years, and thence went to Roxbury, purchasing a small farm which he worked and lived upon till his retirement from active life. He then moved to Mechanicsburg, where the last few years of his long and useful life were spent, and where he passed away in September, 1894. Mr. Coover was a man of domestic tastes, preferring his home life to any social or other pleasures, but he was nevertheless well known and respected wherever he made his home, and he was always regarded as a reliable and substantial man by all with whom he had dealings.

George Coover married Miss Catharine Reeser, who was born in Monroe township about 1802, daughter of Jacob Reeser, and died about 1875. They had a family of five children, viz.: Sarah, widow of Robert Hood, now residing in Mechanicsburg; Mary, wife of Isaac Enck, of South Middleton township, this county; Elmira, wife of William Gross, of Monroe township; George, a carpenter and builder, who makes his home in York, Pa.; and Samuel R., the youngest, whose name introduces these lines.

Samuel R. Coover was born March 3, 1845, in Silver Spring township, Cumberland county, and received his education in the schools of Monroe township. When fifteen years old he began to the learn the trade of shoemaker at Roxbury, over in Franklin county, continuing same until eighteen years of age, when, on June 15, 1863, he enlisted in his country’s service, joining Company D, 20th P. V. I., for six months. He was discharged at Harrisburg Jan. 6, 1864, with the rank of sergeant, and on the 18th of the following July, re-enlisted, this time for one hundred days, entering his new command as corporal. He was discharged at Monocacy Junction, Md., because he wanted to re-enlist for a year, in the 195th Regiment, Company B, as a musician. He was finally mustered out at Summit Point, Va., June 21, 1865. Mr. Coover participated in many light skirmishes during his service.

At the close of his army experience Mr. Coover returned to Cumberland county, locating at Shepherdstown, where he has ever since had his home. He opened up business at a shoemaker, and was thus engaged until about 1892, since which time he has conducted a general mercantile establishment, carrying a nice, clean stock which is appreciated by the townspeople and his customers in the surrounding country. In 1871 he was appointed postmaster of Shepherdstown, an incumbency he has filled continuously to the present day, and he has been a member of the school board of his district for three successive terms. This evidence of confidence on the part of his fellow citizens is well deserved, for he has always done his utmost to advance the interests of his community and to discharge faithfully the duties which have come to him. In his business life, as a public ofiicial, in all his relations with his fellowmen, he is upholding the traditions of the race from which he springs, recognizing the obligations which intelligent society imposes regarding man’s duty to his associates. He is a member of the United Brethren Church, in whose work he has taken an active part, and which he still serves as trustee and Sunday-school superintendent. His political support is given to the men and measures of the Republican party. Socially, he holds relations with Col. Zinn Post, No. 415, G. A. R., of Mechanicsburg, and with Lodge No. 331, O. U. A. M.

Mr. Coover was twice married, his first union, which took place in 1868, being to Miss Mary Emma Worst, who passed away Feb. 16, 1882, the mother of five children, viz.: Charlie, Arthur and Ada, all three deceased; Emma M., wife of Irvin Nailor, a feed merchant of Harrisburg, who resides, however, in Shepherdstown (they have one child, Evaline); and Samuel R., Jr., who is remitting clerk for Whitman, Schwarz & Co., wholesale grocers of Harrisburg. In 1891 Mr. Coover married Miss Lida Krall, of Cumberland county, who died in February, 1900. Mr. Coover’s home and store property adjoin, and he has one of the finest pieces of improved real estate in the village, the place showing both taste and care in its arrangement.

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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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