Perry D. Cover is one of Riverside’s early settlers, and has been associated with her various industries for the past fifteen years. He is a native of Richland County, Ohio, dating his birth in 1843. His parents were Daniel Cover, a native of Frederick County, Maryland, and Lydia Cover, nee Stevenson. Mr. Cover was reared to agricultural pursuits on his father’s farm until 1862. He then volunteered in the service of his country and enlisted as a private soldier in Company D, Eighty-seventh Ohio Volunteers. His regiment was sent East, and after some time in camp at Baltimore, was placed on duty at Harper’s Ferry. During Lee’s invasion of Maryland, in 1862, he was on duty at various forts on the Potomac River. At the surrender of the Union forces at Harper’s Ferry, his regiment was so unfortunate as to be included in the surrendered troops. He was then paroled, and in October 1862, his term of service having expired, was discharged the service.
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The next year he decided to seek the Pacific Coast, and he came overland with a drove of horses belonging to Samuel Crine. Upon his arrival in California he located in San Francisco, where he stopped for nearly a year. He then went to the mining districts of Nevada and Montana, and was for about four years engaged in mining and other enterprises. In Montana, he was with his brother, Thomas W. Cover, at Alder’s Gulch. He was one of the pioneers of Bozeman, and was engaged in building the first house ever erected at that place. In 1868 Mr. Cover settled at Fort Scott, Kansas, and for the next four years he was engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1872 he established himself in Chicago, and was there engaged in the grocery business until 1874. At that time the health of his wife became so impaired that a complete change of climate was necessary, and he decided to make his home in Southern California, and in the spring of that year he came to Riverside. Upon his arrival here he purchased a twenty-acre tract of wild, uncultivated land on Jurupa Avenue, two miles south of Riverside and entered into horticultural pursuits. Mr. Cover was a successful horticulturist and built up the orange groves upon his land. In 1882 he sold ten acres of his tract, and in 1886 sold the balance and established his residence on the corner of Orange and Eighth streets. In 1885 he entered into the drug business on Main Street in partnership with J. D. Sebrell, under the name of Sebrell & Cover. He was in that business until April 1889, when Mr. Sebrell purchased his interest. He was also engaged in real-estate dealing and other enterprises.
He was one of the incorporators and the president of the Eighth Street Improvement Company, and was at the head of that company during the time the magnificent Arlington Hotel, one of the company’s improvements, was erected. He was a member of the well known firm of Stewart, Chamberlain & Cover, and was an incorporator and president of the Mound City Land and Water Company. This company purchased 500 acres of land and founded Mound City, perfecting a fine irrigation system by piping water from Bear valley, built a $30,000 hotel, etc. Mr. Cover is quite largely interested in improving lands, planting orange groves, etc., at Mound City. He has a firm faith in the future wealth of the city of his creation. He is also the owner of valuable business property in Riverside, and never fails in his support of Riverside enterprises. His support of churches and schools is well known. He is a member of the Methodist Church, and was for many years a school trustee of the Arlington district.
In politics he is a Republican, and has been called upon many times to serve as a delegate in county conventions. Of the fraternal societies, he is a member of Riverside Lodge, No. 282, I. O. O. F. Mr. Cover has been twice married: His first marriage was in 1869, when he wedded Miss Mary E. Fowler, a native of Indiana, the daughter of Colonel A. Fowler, a well-known citizen of that State, and a veteran of the Mexican and civil wars. She died in 1877. In 1882 he married Miss Julia E. Fowler, a sister of his deceased wife. Mr. Cover is the father of two children, viz.: Charles A. and Grace E.