Emma Covell




Myrtle Porterville's death records 
July 27, 1883
Struck by lightning - Rev. E. Prindle and his son-in-law, H. M. Covell of Sanborn. They were lathing in a new house. (Probably not in Cooperstown)



Later story about wife...


More About Mrs. Emma Covell

Ann Arbor Argus, August 4, 1893

Old News: Old News, Ann Arbor Argus

More About Mrs. Emma Covell.

Our readers will remember the case of the well-dressed young woman who fell in front of the residence of Christian Mack a few; weeks ago, her strange actions and apparently contradictory stories. She was working her way to Dakota and according to the article in the Chicago Tribune, published below, has got as far as a hospital in Chicago.

While here she kept asking for Mrs. Julia Ricketts. This at the time was thought to be a blind, Mrs. Ricketts, who is a daughter of Daniel S. Millen, not now living in the city. The Argus editor recently met a sister of Mrs. Ricketts, who said that she knew Mrs. Covell and that she had been a very estimable lady, with whom Mrs. Ricketts boarded while in Dakota. That Mrs. Covell had had a great deal of trouble, her husband with whom she lived very happily being killed by lightning at the same time her father was killed. Afterwards she married some man in this county who is said to have maltreated her and then she went East to live with her mother. These facts gathered from a third party corroborate Mrs. Covell's strange story. The Chicago Tribune says:

Mrs. E. Covell is, or rather was when she was sound in health and body, a good looking woman, having the appearance of intelligence and refinement. Her attire was neat, modest and in good taste. Three years ago her husband died, leaving her at the age of thirty to make her own way in the world. This she was able to do until misfortune overtook her.

Last spring she went to visit a sister at Newark. Early in May she started to return to her home in Sanborn, North Dakota. She was coming west on the Michigan Central. Some miles east of Jackson, Michigan, she went to the water cooler to get a drink. A sudden lurch of the car threw her violently to the floor. She felt a sharp pain in her back, and that was the last she knew for some time. When she regained consciousness she was unable to help herself. Every motion of the train caused her intense agony.

When Jackson was reached she was removed from the train and taken to the city hospital. There she was told she had sustained a severe injury of the spine. It might be weeks before she would be able to walk, or it might be months; perhaps she never would walk.

Week dragged after week and found no improvement in her condition. Mrs. Covell says the Michigan Central railroad company paid the expenses of keeping her at the hospital. However this may be, and whether he had a right or not, the overseer of the poor, a man named Hawley, went to the hospital Thursday and told Mrs. Covell he had come to send her to her home in Sanborn. It would not have required a particularly keen observer to see that the woman was in no condition to be moved. The president of the hospital is Dr. Williams. The hospital physician is Dr. Wright. How much or how little blame is to be laid at their door for permitting her to be moved cannot now be known.

At all events, Mrs. Covell was taken to the depot and placed on board a west-bound train. Then she was given a ticket which read to Chicago instead of Sanborn, North Dakota.

She protested, expostulated, and begged Overseer Hawley to give her a through ticket. But Overseer Hawley told her she would be sent on from Chicago and left her.

It is 210 miles from Jackson to Chicago; it seemed like 210,000 to poor Mrs. Covell, for every lurch of the car caused her agony. What she suffered cannot be imagined, much less described. At last Chicago was reached. Utterly exhausted, and too faint to move, Mrs. Covell was carried out of the car and into the station by the trainmen. The matron did all she could for her, but that was not much.

Mrs. Covell has a sister in Newark, N. J., but her circumstances are not such as to permit her to help the cripple. Her mother-in-law, Mrs. Mary E. Prindle, lives on a farm near Sanborn, North Dakota. She, too, is in humble circumstances, but she is still willing to give Mrs. Covell a home and care. But this is all she can do. Prairie fires last spring destroyed granaries and outhouses, so the family cannot raise the money to pay Mrs. Covell's passage. So when the Jackson authorities learned this they determined to get rid of her somehow or another, lest she might become a burden on the county.

Although the horses were driven at a walk down the smooth pavement of Michigan avenue, the ride to St. Luke's hospital caused her intense pain. She was exhausted and suffering greatly when placed in bed. Late last night the hospital authorities reported that her condition had not improved.