Biography of Charles H. Covey

Charles H. Covey, a prominent extractor and builder of Grand Junction, who has been largely engaged in that business at various places and has erected a number of imposing and costly buildings, was born at Ottawa, Lesueur county, Minnesota, on July 5, 1857, and is the son of John H. and Anna E. (Wilson) Covey, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Ohio. They were among the pioneers of Lesueur county, Minnesota, where they married in 1855. The father built and for a number of years conducted a hotel at Ottawa in the early days, and later engaged in merchandising at Cleveland. In 1862 he removed his family to Hutchinson and they were there when the Indian massacre occurred, the home being burned soon after the family fled. Their neighbors all around them were killed, but they escaped without injury but with scarcely anything in the way of worldly possessions except the clothing they had on. In 1863 the father enlisted in the Union army as a member of Company I, Eleventh Minnesota Infantry, in which he served to the close of the Civil war. He is now living at Camp Supply, Oklahoma, and conducting a hotel. The mother died in northwestern Iowa in 1872. There were nine children in the family, four of whom are living.

Charles was the first born and passed his early life in Minnesota, being thirteen years old when the family moved to Iowa, and nineteen when the change to Kansas was made. He lived at Beloit, Kansas, five years, and in his various places of residence received a common-school education. At the age of fifteen he began to learn his trade as a carpenter, at which he worked until 1876, when he engaged in contract work, carrying it on five years in Hamilton county, Kansas, and in the Arkansas valley in eastern Colorado. During this time he had contracts amounting to three hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars, among them one for the erection of an opera house at Coolidge, Kansas, at a cost of forty-eight thousand dollars. In 1891 he was employed by the Santa Fe Railroad to build a round house at Denver, and from the time of its completion until 1895 he lived at Harper, Kansas, then came to Grand Junction, where he has since resided and carried on an extensive and profitable business in his chosen line, contracting and building, putting up residences and business blocks principally, his operations aggregating about thirty-five thousand dollars a year. In 1878 he was married to Miss Lucy Fowler, a native of Vinton, Iowa, by whom he had one child, his daughter Bessie, now the wife of F.H. Lescher, of Los Angeles, California. Mrs. Covey died in 1881 at Vinton, Iowa, and in 1883 he married a second wife, Miss Lizzie Bollway, a native of Illinois, the marriage taking place at Van Horn, Iowa. They have two children, Charles L., now twenty years old and a carpenter at Los Angeles, California, and Ruth, aged nine. In politics their father is a Republican and takes an active interest in the affairs of his party. He has served two terms as alderman at Grand Junction, and in a similar capacity at other places where he has resided. He was also county surveyor of Hamilton county, Kansas, two years, and was mayor of Coolidge, in that state, when he lived there. In fraternal relations he belongs to all branches of Odd Fellowship, the Modern Woodmen of America, the United Workmen, the Knights of the Golden Eagle and the Order of Washington. He and his wife are members of the Congregational church.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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