Covey, John Van Epps (1821–1898)

By: Ed Wildman

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

John Van Epps Covey, Baptist minister and educator, was born in Fenner County, New York, on February 11, 1821. He graduated from Madison College (later Colgate) in 1845 and married Mrs. Louisa Renshaw Fastwood. He was ordained a Baptist minister in 1847. In 1856 the Coveys moved to Palestine, Texas, where Covey became the head of Franklin College, a Masonic school. Within a year they moved to Hallettsville, where he became the president of Alma Institute. From Hallettsville the next move was to DeWitt County, where, at Concrete, Covey established what was later known as Concrete College. He was its head from 1865 to 1881. For a time he taught in McMullen College and was active in raising funds. After the death of his wife in 1882 Covey returned to the ministry and preached in and around Cotulla, where he died on January 13, 1898.

Robert W. Shook, "Covey's College at Concrete," East Texas Historical Journal 6 (March 1968). Ed Wildman, Concrete College and Its Founder (M.A. thesis, Southwest Texas State Teachers College, 1944).
  • Religion
  • Baptist

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Ed Wildman, “Covey, John Van Epps,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 07, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994