The first settlements in the town of Coventry was made in 1785 by SIMON JONES who came form Coventry, Connecticut, and located on the old Chenango road near the center of the town on 100 acres now owned and occupied by Ray PARKER. Jones died there childless, January 12, 1817, aged 67. WILLIAM GOODSELL and ANDREW CLARK settled near Mr. Jones, on the same road the following year, the latter on land which now forms part of Ray Parker's farm. They remained but a short time and but little is known of them. BENJAMIN JONES, cousin of Simon Jones, came in from the same place in 1788, and settled on the same road, one and one-half miles south east of Coventry village, on the farm known as the Thomas TIFFT farm. He took up 250 acres of land and kept there that year the first inn in the town, in a frame building which was in use till about 1850, when it was moved across the road for a horse barn. He kept the hotel but a few years, being principally engaged in farming. He was for some years, the agent for the sale of land in this locality. He removed about 1833, with a portion of his family to Wellsville where two of his children resided a number of years: ZENAS H., a lawyer and CLARISSA, wife of William GIFFORD. Two of his sons remained here; BENJAMIN JOHN LEWIS and LAMAN P. The latter carried on a boot and shoe business in Coventry for about 40 years. The former settled about two miles east of Coventry on the farm now owned by Edgar PEARSALL. He subsequently moved to Susquehanna where he died June 22, 1858, aged 52 years. SYLVA M., his wife, died February 16, 1875, aged 63 years. He was the father of C. F. JONES, deceased, of Church Hollow, well known in Harpursville and vicinity. BENJAMIN JONES, SR., joined the Revolutionary army at the age of 18 years, and served until the close of the war. During his residence here, in 1806, he represented this county in the Assembly and during his legislative term was instrumental in securing the formation of the town of which he was one of the first officers and in giving it the name of his native place in Connecticut. He was the first member of the legislature from this town, and was one of the first assessors of the town of Bainbridge in 1791. The first postoffice was kept in his house and was removed to Coventryville on the establishment of the hotel there. This town has been represented to the State Legislature by seven different men, viz., Benjamin JONES, William CHURCH, Rufus CHANDLER, Romeo WARREN, William KALES, Charles PEARSALL, and Edgar PEARSALL.
BURRIGE MILES came from New Haven, Connecticut, in 1789 and took up 200 acres comprising the whole of the site of Coventryville, where he settled. Having kept a hotel in New Haven, Connecticut, his native place he erected a frame house in which he kept hotel. In 1811 he built the present hotel in Coventryville, which he kept until his death, September 12, 1848, aged 83 years. He married in New Haven, ELIZABETH, sister of Ozias YALE of Cheshire, Connecticut. She died September 15, 1832, aged 68 years. His children were BETSEY, who married Augustus MARTIN; LUMAN, who kept hotel in Coventry a good many years, and BURRIGE, who lived in Coventryville, and died, July 23, 1829, aged 24 years. The children were all born in Coventry, and Luman who was born in a hotel, kept one nearly all his life. When Miles came into town, ROYAL WILKINS had squatted on the creek, one-fourth mile south of Coventryville, and had made a small clearing and built a shanty; but he moved soon after to Afton where he settled and raised a family. His location here was near where Frank PEARSALL now lives.
OZIAS YALE and WILLIAM STORK made settlements in 1792, and DEACON RICHARDS about the same time. YALE came from Cheshire, Connecticut, and settled one-half mile north of Coventryville, where T. M. WILLIAMS now lives, and where he died, May 26, 1853, aged 86 years. He was a farmer and held the office of justice several years. He was twice married. HANNAH, his first wife died, December 23, 1810, aged 55 years, and AGNES A., his second wife, March 8, 1875, aged 88 years. Two sons, THOMAS, who lived at Nineveh for a good many years, and ROBERT, who lived in Norwich, EVALINE, wife of Nathaniel SMITH and HANNAH, wife of Seth BECKWITH, were daughters of his. The deaths of his daughter, HANNAH and son H-----, both children by his first wife, the former October 3, 1796, at the age of 3 years. And the latter July 9, 1800, at the age of 6 years were among the earliest in the town; and the birth of the former, must have been among the first, if not the first in the town. WILLIAM, son of Moses ALLIS, born in 1794, is credited with being the first white child born in the town.
Deacon WILLIAM STORK was also from Cheshire, Conn. He took up one hundred acres in the east part of the town, where he and his wife died, the former December 3, 1822, aged 52, and the latter, REBECCA PARKER, March 17, 1832, aged 59. He was a carpenter and joiner, and carried on that business in connection with farming. He had eight children, only four lived to grow up; two were born in Connecticut but died in infancy, as also did the other two who died young. The four who lived to maturity were JULIA, who was born in Coventry September 16, 1799, married Don. C. PARKER of Cazenovia, where they settled afterwards, removing to Greene when he died November 2, 1862; ANNA, who died a maiden lady on the homestead in Coventry; LAURISTON, who married PHEUBY, daughter of William CLARK, of Cazenovia, where they settled and where he died; and WILLIAM L., a lawyer who lived in Cazenovia.
DEACON RICHARDS settled on the old Chenango road; also HARDEN BENNETT about 1792-5. ROGER EDGERTON settled about four miles south of Coventry, where Charles SEYMOUR now lives, and was killed there by falling down stairs. He came as early as 1790, in which year a son of his died, his death being the first in the town. One son, HIAL, kept a store in Nineveh, his son FRANKLIN followed him in the store. Several great grandchildren are living.
PHILO YATES settled in the town in 1794, when 19 years old, and built his house in 1800, he dug the first grave in the cemetery at Coventryville for WILLIAM BUTTON, it is in the north east corner of the yard. MOSES ALLIS came in as early as 1795, and ZENUS HUTCHINSON and LEVI PARKER about that year. ALLIS was a shoemaker and settled three miles south of Coventry on the farm now owned by Ex-Sheriff BEARDSLEY. He resided there until well advanced in years, when he went to Ohio, where he died. None of his children are living here. His son WILLIAM who is generally supposed to have been the first child born in the town removed to Ohio in 1830 and died there. HUTCHINSON came from Coventry, Connecticut, where he was born September 17, 1782, and settled on the first farm west of Coventry, which is now owned and occupied by Charles HOYT. He afterwards removed to the village and died there November 31, 1869. He held the office of justice of the peace thirty years, and was town clerk and school teacher for a good many years. He married ELECTA TRUMBULL, who was born March 3 ,1794, and whose father was an early settler in that town where she died February 18, 1870. He had two children, both daughters, CALLISTA, who married Chauncey S. WILLIAMS, now living in Coventry; and SOPHIA, who died at the age of 17. PARKER came from Cheshire, Conn., and settled on the site of the Congregational parsonage in Coventryville village. He afterwards removed to the west part of the town, to the place where Mr. PEARSON now lives, and died there April 9, 1846, aged 79 years. PHEBE, his wife, died October 9, 1859, aged 89. His children were: ELDAD, who settled at Coventryville, where he died June 4, 1820, aged 26; LEVI, who married and settled where Burton JONES now lives, and died there October 5, 1864, aged 68, and POLLY G., his wife, October 5, 1854, aged 59. AARON, who was a Baptist minister, lived to an advanced age; LUMAN, who settled at Coventryville; LAURA, who married Meritt STODDARD and after his death, October 12, 1820, married Ahira BARDEN and lived in Tioga county; PHEBE, who married A. G. DODGE and lived in Triangle, Broome county, and LUCINDA, who died young and unmarried. JAMES S. Parker, at one time a merchant in Coventry, Mrs. Daniel BEECHER of Coventry, MERITT S. Parker, at one time a merchant in Greene, and MARY, wife of Dr. M. B. SPENCER of Guilford, are the grandchildren.
RECORD WILBER came in from Vermont as early as 1798, and settled about a mile south of Coventry on the north part of the farm now owned by Edward H. PORTER and son, and died there January 29, 1862, at the advanced age of 99 years. NAOMI, his wife died January 21, 1842, aged 76. They had no children.
End Chapter 1 pages 5-8
Captain JOTHAN PARKER came in as early as 1795, probably that year, and settled one mile south of Coventryville, on the place now owned by Edgar PEARSALL. He built in that locality in 1795 the first grist mill in the town. He kept also in an addition to the south part of his house the first store in the town. HILAND, his son, afterwards kept store there in company with Benjamin JONES. Captain Parker also kept a tavern. He died there after a short but active business life, July 19, 1815, aged 62. His wife, SARAH, survived him many years and died November 13, 1848, at the advanced age of 90 years. His children were: HILAND JOTHAN, JR., who died in February, 1830, aged 42; LUMAN, who died October 5, 1801, aged 20; EMMA and the WIDOW LOVELAND. The grist mill built by Captain Parker was located on a small creek one-fourth of a mile south of Coventryville near the residence of Frank PEARSALL. A portion of the foundation may yet be seen. It was operated as a grist mill till about 1845, when William WARNER converted it into a carpenter shop which was burned about 1876.
SIMEON PARKER settled at an early day one and one-half miles north of Coventryville where his grandson, PETER H. Parker, now lives and where he and his wife died, the former February 7, 1824, aged 48, and the latter, July 30, 1835, aged 60 years. He married POLLY SPRAGUE, and their marriage was the first one contracted in the town. Their children were, LUCIUS, HIRAM, SIMEON, JOEL, HENRY, MERITT, POLLY, BETSEY, SALLY, LOUISA, and NANCY, none now living.
A man named STIMPSON* settled in the northeast corner of the town, on the farm owned and occupied for a good many years by Draper EASTON, in 1800. He lived and died there. He had six children: JASON, who married BETSEY JOHNSON, SIMEON, ROSWELL, who married a sister of Jason's wife; NANCY, who married Ira BARTHOLOMEW; Betsey and another daughter, who married the father of William GILBERT; all of whom are now dead.
[*This was taken verbatim from "History of Chenango County" by James SMITH with the exception of surname spelling which was STIMSON and a comma was left out after Simeon's name.]
DEACON JOHN STODDARD who was born July 1, 1763, came from Watertown, Conn., his native place, in 1801 and settled on the farm at Coventryville which was owned and occupied by his grandson, WILLIAM A. STODDARD, where he died, February 24, 1821. He came in with his family, consisting of his wife, SARAH, daughter of Nathan WOODWARD, of Watertown, Conn., and six children, CURTIS, MERITT, POLLY, JOHN, SARAH and ELIJAH WOODWARD. Three were born after they came here, ABIGAIL, WELLS and ABIRAM, not one of the nine is living. He took up 250 acres of land, nearly 100 acres of which is occupied by his grandsons and great-grandsons. His wife died January 1, 1849, aged 83. The Stoddards have been a prominent, influential and highly respected family. CURTIS married HEPSEY, daughter of Samuel MARTIN, from Watertown, Conn., who came in with Mr. Stoddard in 1800 and prospected the lands they took up and accompanied him in his settlements the following year. Mr. MARTIN died here January 17, 1840, aged 76, and Phebe, his wife, March 22, 1841, aged 76 years. Curtis Stoddard settled on 50 acres of his father's farm, where he raised a family of eight children. After the death of his wife he removed to Little St. Joseph, Ohio, where he died in 1843. MERITT Stoddard married LAURA, daughter of Levi PARKER, and settled in the west part of the town, where he died October 12, 1820, aged 32 years. POLLY Stoddard married Sylvester STEVENS of Camden, Oneida county, and removed with him to that county where he died. After his death she returned to Coventry and subsequently married Daniel BENEDICT. She died here in 1876. JOHN Stoddard, who became a deacon, married MERAB, daughter of Oliver PARKER, an early settler in the town, where he died March 29, 1856, aged 85 years; and ABIGAIL, his wife, January 10, 1861, aged 89 years. JOHN settled on the homestead and died there January 20, 1865, aged 60 years. His wife died there March 20, 1857, aged 60 years. He was a justice of the peace for 20 years. SARAH Stoddard married Deacon William Albert MARTIN, a resident of Coventry, where they both lived and died. He died March 26, 1846, aged 53 years. ELIJAH WOODWARD Stoddard, who was born in 1797 and died in 1837, was graduated at Hamilton College in 1823, studied theology in Philadelphia and was licensed to preach in June 1826. He married ALTHEA COYE of Cooperstown and in 1826 was settled as pastor at Lisle. He subsequently preached in Windsor, in each place six years, and removed to Little St. Joseph, Ohio, where he died. ABIGAIL, married Miles DOOLITTLE, a resident of Coventry, who built in 1815 the first and only carding mill in the town. It stood on a small stream which was early known as Great brook, about a mile south of Coventryville. Abigail died August 30, 1830. WELLS Stoddard married EUNICE, daughter of Eliakim BENEDICT, and settled in Coventry. They removed in 1833, to Marion, Iowa, where he died in 1853. ABIRAM married LAVINA SMITH of Derby, Conn., where he practiced medicine and where he died in 1839. Four of JOHN, JR's, children: HENRY, JOHN, ALBERT and LEWIS, and one of CURTIS's daughters, HEPSEY, wife of Joseph JOHNSON, the last named is still living at this date 1912.
Deacon PHILO MINOR, came from Woodbury, Conn., in 1802, a single man and made a clearing of two acres about a mile east of Coventryville, on the place now occupied by C. BURLISON. He returned to Connecticut the following fall and married POLLY STILLSON, and in the winter brought his wife on an ox sled. About 1850 he removed to the place once occupied by Lewis STODDARD and subsequently to Afton, where he died November 16, 1864, aged 83 years. His wife died February 6, 1848, aged 64 years. He had nine children: GEORGE, born in 1803, CLARK and ESTHER, widow of Seneca REED of Coventry; MARY, wife of Sylvester CORNELL, and Sarah A., widow of Calvin FRANKLIN, who died September 8, 1861, in Norwich.
At one time Mrs. Philo Minor left her home to go to a place near Brackett Pond to arrange for some weaving. She went on horseback as there was then no roads except log roads. Taking the wrong road she got lost and remained in the woods all night. It was dark and raining and when she could no longer see, she perched herself on a leaning tree as high as she could and hold the horse. She placed the saddle over her head as a protection against the falling rain and so passed the night with the wolves howling around her, but she kept them at bay by beating the stirrups together, thus making music which they apparently did not like.
JOHN MINOR came in about the same time and he and his wife, ANNA G. BEARDSLEY, died here, the former, February 9, 1854, aged 84 and the latter March 4, 1852, aged 79. Their daughter, ELIZABETH D., married John FOOT, a native of Coeymans, N. Y., who was a tanner and shoemaker and settled in Coventry where he held several military and town offices, and was a deacon of the Congregational church. They had two children, LYDIA ANN, who married Henry Milton KETCHUM and removed to Minnesota, and JANE AMANDA.
JOHN MANDEVILLE and Elisha WARREN came in from Massachusetts, the former from Granby, in 1805. MANDEVILLE settled in the south part of the town four miles south of Coventry on 50 acres, which now forms part of Charles MARTIN's farm, and died there about 1819. He was the first supervisor in the town of Coventry. He had eight children: ASENITH, who married Chauncey BREWER; SOPHIA, who married Lemuel JENNINGS; JOHN, WILLIAM C., JAMES, HORACE, HOMER an MALACTHON S. Two grandsons, ASHAHEL and HARRY, lived in the town on land afterwards acquired by him. WARREN settled in the east part of the town one and one-half miles southeast of Coventryville, on the place now owned by the estate of Clark L. HORTON, where he died January 13, 1806, aged 41 years. LOIS, his wife, survived him many years. She died March 20, 1848, aged 80. He had three sons and one daughter: WOODWARD, who was born in Watertown, Conn., January 17, 1791, who was an architect and carpenter and died September 7, 1855, aged 64 years; ELISHA, LYDIA, who married Hial BENEDICT; and ROMEO, the latter who represented this country in the State Assembly in 1856 and resided in Coventry till his death.
Settlements were made in 1806 by JABEZ MANWARRING, HENRY CHANDLER and PARDON BEECHER. JABEZ MANWARRING came from New London, Conn., and settled first three miles south west of Coventry on the farm once owned by John BEALS. In 1812, he removed to the farm lying next north and resided there till his death, April 23, 1861, aged 80. In 1808 he married SALLY HOPKINS from Waterbury, Conn., who died October 21, 1863, aged 79 years. They had ten children: CHARLES B., who later resided at Nanticoke, Broome county; HENRY and EDWARD S., at Windsor, Broome county; LUCIUS, at Coventry; WILLIAM in Grandville, Mich.; SAMUEL and ALBERT in State Center, Iowa; GEORGE who died in Clinton county, Iowa, about 1864; SALLY MARIA, who married Albert PRETT [PRATT] of Afton and subsequently David BLAKELEY of Wisconsin, where she died, were children of theirs.
Deacon HENRY CHANDLER came from Brattleboro, Vt. He stopped about six months in Bainbridge, and removed thence to this town. He settled at Coventryville and had had charge of the grist mill which was then in operation a little south of that village. He built a log house into which he moved his family and after about a year bought a farm of nearly fifty acres about one and one-half miles south of Coventryville, known as the SANFORD place. He afterwards removed to the farm known as the Benedict FOOT farm in the north part of the town. He went to live with his children in Bainbridge in the latter part of his life and died there July 21, 1826, aged 72 years. PENELOPE, his wife, died March 25, 1841, aged 72 years. His children were: NELLY, who married Hardin BURNETT; SOPHIA, who married Phineas BENNETT; NABBY, who married Calvin NILES; MICHAEL, HENRY, SELAH, RUFUS, DAVID, LOCKWOOD and LOIS, who married William WILSON. RUFUS resided in Coventry.
PARSON BEECHER removed from the parish in Salem, Conn., now Naugatuck, and like many others of the early settlers, fearing miasmatic disease and reputed sickness of the low lands and river courses, sought out an elevated location between the Chenango and Susquehanna river. He took up 100 acres of wilderness land one miles west of Coventry on what is known as the Guy WYLIE farm, and there raised up a family to usefulness, honesty and sobriety. He continued his residence there till his death, August 10, 1843, aged 60. His house is said to have been the first framed house on that part of the Livingston tract lying in Coventry and the first on the Catskill and Ithaca turnpike, between Bainbridge and Greene, a distance of sixteen miles. There town meetings and elections were regularly held, as well as stated preaching every fourth Sabbath. In January, 1808, he married a lady of his native town, who died in 1875 at the advanced age of 91 years, with mind unimpaired. He brought her to a log cabin in his forest home. The farm was retained in the hands of the family till about 1858, when JULIUS Beecher, who succeeded his father in the occupancy sold it and removed to Wellsville, Allegany county, and died there. Parson Beecher's other children were: SARAH, who married a son of Curtis STODDARD and after his death, Amos YALE, and lived on the Amos Yale place in Guilford where her husband died, February 17, 1857, aged 40; DANIEL, who was twice married, his second wife, BETSEY PARKER, they lived in Coventry; ANNETTE, who married Russel M. SMITH and died in Coventry, in the spring of 1877; HARRIS H. and HARRY, twins, the former a physician of Norwich who wrote a history of the 114th Regiment, N. Y. S. V., and the latter of whom married the widow PHEBE ANN RICE and lived in Norwich; HECTOR, who married NAOMI LEONARD of Oxford, with whom he lived until her death, then he went to Norwich and lived with his daughter until his death September 2, 1912, aged 86 years. ELBRIDGE, who married and removed to Ohio and died there; JANE, who married John B. HOYT, and lived it Pittston, Pa.; JULIUS, married ELIZABETH PAYNE and after her death, SARAH ANN STEWART, and lived in Wellsville.
LEWIS WARREN, son of Nathaniel Warren, came in from Watertown, Conn., 1808-9, and settled about three miles south west of Coventry on the farm where Ira FAIRCHILD did live. He returned to Connecticut about 1811 and remained there till 1822. He married SUSA, daughter of Harvey JUDD. They both lived and died in Coventry at a good old age, she being 94 years old. Their children were: SALLY, who married Callitus FRISBIE; EDWARD, who married Sally JUDD for his first wife and Harriett UNDERWOOD for his second; TRUMAN, who married HARRIET WHEELER; GEORGE and POLLY never married; HARVEY died when 16 years old.
HARVEY JUDD removed from Watertown, Conn., to Delhi, Delaware county in 1809, and the following year to Coventry, working farms on shares till 1822 when he and his son, HARVEY P., bought the farm long known as the Judd farm, about one mile south west of Coventry, now owned by William KELLEY. He died September 27, 1857, aged 94 his wife, SARAH CASTLE, in 1845, aged 80, and his son, HARVEY P., died December 27, 1869, aged 64. His children were: ERI, who married and lived in Watertown, Conn.; SUSA, who married Lewis WARREN, who moved here in 1822; NOAH, who married NANCY PEARTREE and lived on one half of the lot owned by Harvey and removed to Greene where he and his wife both died; and HARVEY, as has been said, lived and died in Coventry.
FRANCES KALES came from Albany in 1811 and settled on land in the south line of the town, lately owned by Charles CLIFFORD. Kales and his wife both were of Irish descent and both died there, the former in April, 1852, the latter in February, 1847. JOHN and WILLIAM, their sons, both lived and died in Coventry. William was a member of the Assembly in 1858.
DAVID HUNGERFORD emigrated from Watertown, Conn., his native place in 1812 and settled about three miles west of Coventry, where his son Chauncey has lived most of the time since his birth in 1830. He was a blacksmith as well as a farmer. He continued to reside there until his death, January 12, 1860, aged 80 years. His wife, ANNA Y. BECKWITH, a native of Vermont, died in 1883, at the ripe age of 100 years, 4 months and some days with mental facilities but little impaired. He married in Watertown and his children were: MARIA, who married Moses HATCH and lived and died in Kettleville; SUSAN, who married Harvey P. JUDD, lived and died in Coventry; RACHEL, wife of John GOBLES, lived and died in Fulton City, Ill.; LAVINNA, who married Joseph SNELL and died in Kettleville March 5, 1849. All the above named children were born in Connecticut. Those born in Coventry, were: SALLY, a maiden lady living with her brother on the homestead; ANNA, widow of Towsend BARNUM, lived in Hastings, Minn.; LAURA, wife of Ralph BEARD, who lived in Coventry; DAVID, who married MARTHA ANN CASTLE, lived in Kansas; and CHAUNCEY, who lived on the homestead. They are all dead at this date unless it is David.
Most of the early settlers in the locality of Coventryville and on the road extending north into the south part of Oxford were from Cheshire, Conn., from which fact the little hamlet in the southern part of the town derives its name and the road in question is known as Cheshire street.
End Chapter II pages 8-13