Perry Daniel Cover was the son of Daniel Cover and Lydia Stevenson. He was born in 1843. He was the brother of Mary Margaret Cover, who was the mother of Martha Ellen (Biddle) Snyder. Notably, he was the younger brother of Tom Cover, the subject of recent posts. Perry served in the Civil War. Specifically he was a Private in the 87th Ohio Infantry, Company B. He was taken prisoner on September 15, 1862 when the federal garrison at Harpers Ferry surrendered to Stonewall Jackson’s troops—–this was the biggest surrender of Federal forces during the Civil War as 12,000 federal troops surrendered.
The “Cover-Biddle Family History” indicates that following the Civil War that he crossed the continent westward on horseback, following a mule wagon train and finally reached San Francisco. He then went to Bozeman, Montana, where he hooked up with brother, Tom Cover and engaged in mining. While in Montana, he became a friend of the famous pioneer scout, Jim Bridger. Being a wandering soul, he then made his way to a number of different stops including Fort Benton in Montana, Kansas City, Fort Scott in Kansas, Chicago, South Bend and then to Riverside, California, where he hooked up not only with brother Tom but also his brother Josiah. He later moved to Long Beach and then to Los Angeles. The “Cover-Biddle Family History” indicates that he was a close friend of William McKinley, later U.S. President, before he left for the West. He died in 1924 and is buried in Evergreen Memorial Park and Mausoleum.
I found the following profile of Perry in “An Illustrated History of Southern California-San Bernadino Biographies”:
“Perry D. Cover is one of Riverside’s early settlers, and has been associated with her various industries for the past fifteen years. He is a native of Richland County, Ohio, dating his birth in 1843. His parents were Daniel Cover, a native of Frederick County, Maryland, and Lydia Cover, nee Stevenson. Mr. Cover was reared to agricultural pursuits on his father’s farm until 1862. He then volunteered in the service of his country and en listed as a private soldier in Company D, Eighty-seventh Ohio Volunteers. His regiment was sent East, and after some time in camp at Baltimore, was placed on duty at Harper’s Ferry. During Lee’s invasion of Maryland, in 1862, he was on duty at various forts on the Potomac River. At the surrender of the Union forces at Harper’s Ferry, his regiment was so unfortunate as to be included in the surrendered troops. He was then paroled, and in October 1862, his term of service having expired, was discharged the service. The next year he decided to seek the Pacific Coast, and he came overland with a drove of horses belonging to Samuel Crine. Upon his arrival in California he located in San Francisco, where he stopped for nearly a year. He then went to the mining districts of Nevada and Montana, and was for about four years engaged in mining and other enterprises. In Montana, he was with his brother, Thomas W. Cover, at Alder’s Gulch. He was one of the pioneers of Bozeman, and was engaged in building the first house ever erected at that place. In 1868 Mr. Cover settled at Fort Scott, Kansas, and for the next four years he was engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1872 he established himself in Chicago, and was there engaged in the grocery business until 1874. At that time the health of his wife became so impaired that a complete change of climate was necessary, and he decided to make his home in Southern California, and in the spring of that year he came to Riverside. Upon his arrival here he purchased a twenty-acre tract of wild, uncultivated land on Jurupa Avenue, two miles south of Riverside and entered into horticultural pursuits. Mr. Cover was a successful horticulturist and built up the orange groves upon his land. In 1882 he sold ten acres of his tract, and in 1886 sold the balance and established his residence on the corner of Orange and Eighth streets. In 1885 he entered into the drug business on Main Street in partnership with J. D. Sebrell, under the name of Sebrell & Cover. He was in that business until April 1889, when Mr. Sebrell purchased his interest. He was also engaged in real-estate dealing and other enterprises. He was one of the incorporators and the president of the Eighth Street Improvement Company, and was at the head of that company during the time the magnificent Arlington Hotel, one of the company’s improvements, was erected. He was a member of the well known firm of Stewart, Chamberlain & Cover, and was an incorporator and president of the Mound City Land and Water Company. This company purchased 500 acres of land and founded Mound City, perfecting a fine irrigation system by piping water from Bear valley, built a $30,000 hotel, etc. Mr. Cover is quite largely interested in improving lands, planting orange groves, etc., at Mound City. He has a firm faith in the future wealth of the city of his creation. He is also the owner of valuable business property in Riverside, and never fails in his support of Riverside enterprises. His support of churches and schools is well known. He is a member of the Methodist Church, and was for many years a school trustee of the Arlington district. In politics he is a Republican, and has been called upon many times to serve as a delegate in county conventions. Of the fraternal societies, he is a member of Riverside Lodge, No. 282, I. O. O. F. Mr. Cover has been twice married: His first marriage was in 1869, when he wedded Miss Mary E. Fowler, a native of Indiana, the daughter of Colonel A. Fowler, a well-known citizen of that State, and a veteran of the Mexican and civil wars. She died in 1877. In 1882 he married Miss Julia E. Fowler, a sister of his deceased wife. Mr. Cover is the father of two children, viz.: Charles A. and Grace E.”