Italia Street

Italia Isabella Cook (1844-1923) was living in Clinton, IA when she first came to Covina with her daughters Frances and Alice. The year was 1886, and they were visiting Italia’s father Edwin R. Richmond (1818-1889), a shopkeeper who had already been here for four years – but as Edwin’s second wife Harriet died that very November, he may have asked Italia to tend to her ailing stepmother. Regardless, the visit turned into a permanent residency, so Italia’s husband, pharmacist Benjamin Franklin Cook (1837-1904), joined them here in 1887. Their eldest daughter Mary was then in college and didn’t make it to Covina until around 1909, after her own husband died. Italia Richmond was born in upstate New York; she married B.F. Cook in 1866 and they lived in Milwaukee before their Iowa sojourn. Italia Street was named in 1901 on the Richmond tract, owned by the Cooks on land that Italia had inherited from her father. (There was some kerfuffle over his estate, as Edwin had married his third wife Amanda mere months before his death.) Perhaps Italia Cook’s greatest contribution to Covina was cofounding the historic Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and serving as its organist.