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Covell, Merritt L.

Born: 1808-01-30 Madison County, New York

Died: 1849-09-17 Washington, D.C.

One of the first settlers in what would become Bloomington, Illinois, Covell opened Gridley and Covell dry goods store with Asahel Gridley. Covell purchased the shop's stock on long trips to Philadelphia and sold his share of the enterprise to John Allen in 1835. A general in the Illinois State Militia and a leader in McLean County Democratic politics, Covell formed a company of mounted volunteers from Bloomington during the Black Hawk War, serving as captain of the regiment during its participation in "Stillman's Run." Upon returning home, Covell accepted the appointment of postmaster for the village of Bloomington, which post he held from 1832-35, as well as the clerkship for the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court , where he worked from 1832 until his departure from Illinois in 1845. Covell represented McLean County in the Illinois Senate in 1840-41 and again in 1844-45, serving as secretary of the Senate during both of his terms. At the time of Covell's death, he was a clerk in the General Land Office in Washington, DC.

Covell married Catherine S. Stapp in 1833 with whom he had two children.

Ezra M. Prince & John H. Burnham, eds., History of McLean County (Chicago: Munsell, 1908), 821; The History of McLean County (Chicago: Wm. Le Baron, Jr., 1877), 196, 218-219, 222, 225, 267, 317, 320, 322, 325, 328, 347, 463; E. Duis, The Good Old Times in McLean County (Bloomington: Bloomington-Normal Genealogical Society, 1969), 13, 41, 103-104, 171, 202, 221, 224, 263, 311, 530, 693; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Fayette County, 30 June 1833, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 26 September 1849, 3:1; 10 October 1849, 2:2.