Ah, the perils of hitting “Publish.” I had no sooner completed last night’s post–and was in the process of patting myself on the back for wrapping the thing up so quickly and neatly–than I suddenly realized I had not checked a few reference books I have to make sure there was no additional information on the Couch Cabinet Factory. I began to check, one volume after another, and was finding nothing. On the verge of being relieved, I picked up the final book, Commemorative Biographical Record of the Counties of Huron and Lorain, Ohio (1894). And sure enough, there was an entry for George L. Couch.
In the main, the biography does not contradict any of the information I presented in the previous entry, with one small exception. See if you can figure out what that is.
“GEORGE L. COUCH, mayor of Wellington, and a well-known furniture dealer, is a native of that town, born September 4, 1850. A. G. Couch, father of the subject, was born in December, 1819, in Berkshire county, Mass., and in 1843 came west to Lorain county, Ohio, settling in Wellington, where he established the present business owned by his son George L.; and until recent years he was interested in the extensive furniture factory. He was married to Miss Mary E. Durkee, who was born in Pittsfield, Mass., in 1824…The subject of this sketch received his education in the public schools of his native township, and in early boyhood commenced to learn the trade of cabinet maker in his father’s shop, which he now successfully operates. Some twenty years ago he became a partner with his father in the business, and eight years later bought out the entire business…” (pg. 803).
The sketch continues on with a bit more detail on G. L. Couch’s political career and personal life, but the sentences I have quoted are all that pertain to the cabinet factory.
Did you catch the discrepancy? According to this chronology, A. G. Couch emigrated from Massachusetts to Ohio in 1843. That actually bears out Henes’ assertion that Couch began business in Wellington around the same time that Edward S. Tripp opened his carriage works, which happened in the mid-1840s. But the house that bears Couch’s name on South Main Street has been dated to the 1830s. So if the above biography is accurate, either the house is misdated or A. G. Couch purchased it, rather than built it himself.
UPDATE: In 1893, on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the settling of the town, The Wellington Enterprise noted: “A. G. Couch is now the oldest man that has been in continuous business in Wellington. He opened the furniture business here in 1842” (1-4-1893, pg. 5).