The Couch Family

Compiled with the help of Sam Couch and Judy Beadling Cooper

In 1830, Elizabeth Kerr Couch (1803-1874) married Simon Couch (his tombstone has not been located, but he is probably buried here with his wife and three of their 10 children). Elizabeth and Simon, a millwright, lived in Snowden Township, now Bethel Park/Upper St. Clair, on 366 acres of land named “Titlenure” that abutted the land of Henry Hultz. The land had been purchased by Simon’s great-grandfather, Nathaniel Couch, who came to the area around 1784. On his farm Nathaniel built “Couch’s Fort”-where area farmers gathered July 15, 1794 to protest federal taxes at the onset of the Whiskey Rebellion (the fort stood where the McDonald’s on Ft. Couch Road now stands). Nathaniel, who fought with the Virginia troops at Braddock’s defeat, resided at his fort with his wife, Abigail, until his death. He had several children including a daughter named, of all things, Free Love. Nathaniel’s grandson William (Simon’s father) served in the War of 1812. William’s wife name was Elizabeth Whitmore.

According to the 1841 tax roll, Simon was employed as a sawyer. Elizabeth and Simon had several children including Mary Silk (who died at age 19), LizzieJames T. (see below) and John. Their son Joseph was a mechanic and millwright and a Republican. In 1850, Joseph married Sarah Rankin; they lived in what is now Bridgeville with their 10 children-Harriett, Sarah G., Simon, Josephine, Harry F., Wesley, Charles Griffin, James, Joseph and one whose name has not been preserved. In 1861, Joseph enlisted in Co. H 62nd Pa. Volunteers, where he served three years. According to the 1880 census, Joseph was a carpenter, but had been unemployed for five month. There is a possibility that he was the owner of Couch’s Wagon Shop that was open in the late 1800s on Banksville Road across from what is now the Dormont Pool. Joseph served in Co. H 62nd Pa. Volunteers with his brother. Pennsylvania State Archives list Joseph as a lawyer who stood at six foot one inch tall and had red hair and blue eyes. While there is a stone for a Joseph Couch here, it has not been verified that it is this Joseph. Family records say he was buried in Hickory, PA with his wife.

Joseph’s brother James T. and wife Elizabeth Larimer owned land in the Mt. Lebanon/Scott Township area in the area of the present day Virginia Manor. His land abutted William Kennedy’s property. James T. served with his brother John during the Civil War in Co. H, 62nd Pennsylvania Infantry.

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