Sarah C. Nichols

Name: Sarah Catherine Coovert Nichols
Born: May 1848 / Cass County, Indiana
Died: 19 December 1914 / Yamhill County, Oregon
Parents: Abram Coovert & Martha Ann Odell Coovert
Spouse: Rev. William D. Nichols
Married: 31 July 1864 / Yamhill County, Oregon
Arrived in Ore.: 26 September 1851
  • Minnie M. Nichols ( b. 1874 )
  • George Abraham Nichols ( b. 1886 )

Sarah Catherine Coovert Nichols was born in May, 1848, to parents Abram and Martha Coovert. Sarah was the second of seven Coovert children, and one of four who survived to adulthood.

At the age of three, Sarah crossed the plains with her family as part of the Odell wagon train, arriving in Oregon in September 1851. Sarah was the granddaughter of John and Sarah Odell, founders of the Odell Pioneer Cemetery.

Sarah married the Reverend William D. Nichols on July 31, 1864. She was 16 years old when they wed, and he was about 34. From 1868-1870 the couple were living in Lebanon, Oregon, where William and Sarah were teachers at the noted primary and secondary Methodist-run school, Santiam Academy. William was the head of the Santiam Academy from 1868-1869, a school that, by 1873, boasted 150 students and a large library of 400 books. (A History of Oregon Methodism, p. 161).

Sarah and William welcomed a daughter, Minnie M., in 1874. Their son, George Abraham, was born in 1886.

In 1891, William travelled to Liberia, Africa as a missionary. During his stay in Liberia, he became ill and travelled to the Canary Islands to convalesce. When he began to feel well again, he decided to return to Liberia to continue his work. Unfortunately, he died suddenly on the voyage, and was buried at sea on February 4, 1893.

Statesman Journal, 14 April 1893


Sarah died on the 19th of December, 1914. She was 66 years old. She was interred at the Odell Pioneer Cemetery, along with her parents, many of her siblings, and extended family.  Sarah’s grave is unmarked. If you have any information about the whereabouts of Sarah’s headstone, please contact us.

Do you have any information about Sarah C. Nichols? Or, do you love researching and would be willing to donate your time to the Odell Pioneer Cemetery Research Project? If so, please contact:
Reference: Pratt, Anna D. S., “History of the First Methodist Church of Lebanon, and of its associate, Santiam Academy”, Yesterday and Today In the First Methodist Church, 1850-1950, Lebanon, Oregon,1950, pp. 7-13.; Yarnes, Thomas David, A History of Oregon Methodism, Parthenon Press for the Oregon Methodist Conference Historical Society, 1957. pp.159-164; 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, & 1910 United States Federal Census; Oregon, County Marriage Records, 1851-1975 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016; Oregon State Library, Oregon Death Indexes, 1903-1970: Oregon Death Index M-Z, Year Range: 1903-1920; Early Oregonians Index, 1800-1860;; U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.