Martha A. Coovert

Cause of death:Apoplexy (stroke)

Name: Martha Ann Odell Coovert
Born: 23 November 1822 / Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana
Died: 24 March 1903 / Dayton, Oregon
Parents: John Odell & Sarah Holman Odell
Spouse: Abram Coovert
Married: 02 January 1845 / Carroll County, Indiana
Arrived in Ore.: 26 September 1851
DLC: OC 978 / 241.02 acres

“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. They rest from their labors and their works do follow them.”

Martha Ann Odell Coovert was born in 1822, the eldest of the ten Odell children. At the age of three, her family moved from her birthplace in Wayne County, Indiana, to the wilderness of Carroll County, Indiana (near Delphi). They were among the first white families to settle in the area.

Martha was about 18 years old when she met farmer Abram Coovert.  They married in early January 1845 in Carroll County, Indiana.

In the spring of 1851, the Cooverts set forth, along with the Odell family, to find a new home in Oregon. They left Indiana with two wagons, six yoke of oxen and two horses. Six months later, in September 1851, they arrived in Oregon. The Cooverts settled on a 241 acre plot of land located 4 miles southeast of Dayton, Oregon.

Abram and Martha Coovert were prominent figures in early Dayton. Abram built a grist-mill on their land, which quickly became renowned for the high quality flour it produced. They sectioned off portions of their property to build a church and schoolhouse in 1878. Martha, having grown up in the Methodist Church, was a devout and life-long supporter of the church.

Martha and Abram had an a total of seven children, three of whom were born prior to the family’s move to Oregon: John Q., who died at the age of 4 and is buried in Indiana, Sarah Catherine, and Mary Ellen. Henrietta R., Wilbur Lee, Ida Elizabeth, and Ora M. were born on the family homestead in Dayton. Sadly, daughters Henrietta and Ora both died in 1863, only a few months apart.

Martha died in 1903, at the age of 81. She died of apoplexy (stroke). Her husband, Abram, died in 1907 at the age of 87. Martha, Abram, and five of their seven children are buried in the Odell Pioneer Cemetery.


Mrs. Martha A. Coovert was stricken with apoplexy at her home in Webfoot early Saturday morning and died Tuesday afternoon at 5:30, aged 80 years. She was born in Indiana and crossed the plains in 1851. Her husband and three daughters remain: Mrs. Katie Nichols, Mrs. J.A. Lambert, and Mrs. N.A. Harris. Mrs. Coovert’s funeral was held on Wednesday afternoon, Rev. R.E. Dunlap of Dayton officiating, and the internment took place at Odell Cemetery.

– Telephone Register, 28 March 1903

Statesman Journal, 29 Mar 1903, p.4

Tombstone inscription:

Pioneer of 1851

“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. They rest from their labors and their works do follow them.”

Photo: © Gods Art Photography

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Reference: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, & 1900 United States Federal Census;; Oregon Republican League; Indiana, Compiled Marriages, 1802-1850 [database on-line], Operations Inc, 1997; Index Collection: Pioneer Index, Oregon Historical Society, Portland, OR; Early Oregonians Index, Oregon Secretary of State; Indiana Marriage Index (1806-1861); Obituary: Genealogical Forum of Oregon, Odell Cemetery Biographies, p.39