Elizabeth Robertson

Name: Elizabeth Fudge Coovert Robertson
Born: 19 December 1838 / Indiana
Died: 24 April 1913 / Dayton, Oregon
Parents: David Fudge & Catharine “Kate” Wehrly Fudge
  • Johnson E. Coovert
    • Married: 5 February 1857 / Preble County, Ohio
    • Died: 06 Jan 1878 / Dayton, Oregon
  • Sylvester Robertson
    • Married: 1880 / Dayton, Oregon 
Arrived in Ore.: 1872
  • William Jasper Coovert (1858 – 1928)
  • Martin Luther Coovert (1860 – 1925)
  • Mary Catherine Coovert Unruh (1862 – 1910)
  • Elmer Elsworth Coovert (1863 – 1916)

Elizabeth Fudge Coovert Robertson was born in Indiana on the 19th of December, 1838. She was the eldest daughter of David and Catharine Fudge, and was sister to Margaret Ann Fudge Coovert.

Elizabeth and husband Johnson emigrated to Oregon in 1872 with their four children, Jasper, Martin, Mary and Elmer, along with several other family members. Johnson died in 1878, and is buried in the Odell Pioneer Cemetery.

Elizabeth and Johnson’s youngest son Elmer went on to be a very prominent and well-respected attorney in first Astoria and then Portland. Elmer represented local millionaire Simon Benson (of Benson Bubbler fame) as he sought to protect Multnomah Falls from a lumber mill being built upon the site, which eventually lead to the Falls being designated as a public park. The complete story can be read here.

While records document Johnson and Elizabeth as having only four children, it is possible that they had a fifth child, Eva Coovert, in 1874. Eva would have been born 2 years after the family moved to Oregon. Sadly, she died 15 days after her birth, and is buried in the Odell Pioneer Cemetery. Previously Eva has been noted as being a child of Abram and Martha Coovert, but this seems unlikely because Abram and Martha were both in their early 50s at the time of Eva’s birth. As Elizabeth Coovert was only 36 in 1874, it seems more feasible that she may have been Eva’s mother. To further support the claim that Eva was in fact the child of Elizabeth and Johnson, the 1910 United States Federal Census lists Elizabeth as having bore 5 children, with 4 surviving at the time the census was taken in April of 1910 (daughter Mary died in June 1910, after the census was taken).

Johnson died in 1878 after a long illness. Elizabeth married Sylvester Robertson in 1880. Little is known about Sylvester. According to census records, he was born about 1850 in Illinois. He is also listed with the name “Vet” Robertson on at least one census record. Sylvester was about 12 years younger than Elizabeth. At the time of her death, the couple was listed as living in McMinnville, and Sylvester’s occupation was a retired farmer.

Elizabeth died on April 24, 1913, and is buried next to her first husband, Johnson Coovert, at the Odell Pioneer Cemetery.


Died — In this city, April 24, 1913, at her residence near the Baptist Church, Mrs. Elizabeth Robertson, aged 74 years, 4 months, and 5 days. The funeral was held at the Methodist Church, conducted by Rev. H.T. Atkinson, on Saturday, at 10:30 A.M. and burial was in the Odell Cemetery south of Dayton. Mrs. Robertson is survived by her husband and three sons: Jasper Coovert, a railroad man at Vancouver, B.C.; Mart Coovert, a jeweler of Vancouver, Washington; and Elmer Coovert, an attorney in Portland. Mrs. James Richardson of this city is a granddaughter and Attorney Unruh of Salem is a grandson.

– Telephone Register, April 25, 1913

Do you have any information about Elizabeth Fudge Coovert Robertson? Or, do you love researching and would be willing to donate your time to the Odell Pioneer Cemetery Research Project? If so, please contact: info@odellpioneercemetery.com.

Reference: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, & 1910 United States Federal Census | Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. | Oregon State Library; Oregon Death Index 1903-1920 Begin Hughes John; Reel Title: Oregon Death Index M-Z; Year Range: 1903-1920 | findagrave.com