Snaps, no. 89: John H. Lassiter and Ora Lassiter Covington.

John H. Lassiter and granddaughter Ora Lassiter, probably not long before his death in 1915.


In the 1860 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Silas Lassiter, 38; wife Orpie, 34; children Sallie, 12, Mary, 11, James, 9, John, 7, Elizabeth, 5, Penina, 4, Hardy, 3, Silas, 1, and George, 2 months; and Delpha Simpson, 14.

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: James Lassiter, 19, and John Lassiter, 18, farm laborers.

On 17 December 1874, John Lassiter, 21, married Lizzie Lunsford, 21, in Johnston County, North Carolina.

In the 1880 census of Pikeville township, Wayne County, North Carolina: John Lassiter, 28, farm hand.

On 26 October 1886, J.H. Lassiter, 34, of Wilson County, son of Silas and Orphy Lassiter, married Isabella Gear, 21, of Wilson County, in Wilson. Carline Vick, Martie Brooks, and John Vick were witnesses, and Baptist minister E.H. Ward performed the ceremony.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: drayman John Lassiter, 50; wife Isabella, 33, wash woman; and children and grandchildren Ida, 17, Henry G., 9, Marcellus, 7, Hardy, 5, and Ora, 7 months.

On 8 January 1908, John H. Lassiter, 50, of Wilson, son of S. and O. Lassiter, married Pattie D. Hunder, 29, of Richmond, Virginia, in Wilson. Joseph S. Jackson, A.M.E. Zion minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Jim Watson, Harry Mercer and Rev. John Scarboro.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg Road, John H. Lassiter, 57, and children and grandchildren Marcellious, 18, Hardie, 16, and Oeta, 14, all odd jobs laborers.

John Lassiter died 15 June 1915 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 63 years old; was born in Wilson County to Silas Lassiter and Ophie Simpson; and was married. Henry Lassiter was informant.

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Lassiter Ora (c) dom h 512 Stantonsburg rd

On 5 May 1918, Albert Covington, 23, of Wilson, son of Noah and Sarah Covington of Harnett County, married Ora Lassiter, 19, of Wilson, daughter of Henry and Lizzie Lassiter, in Wilson.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 101 East Street, furniture store truck driver Albert Covington, 23; wife Ora, 20; son John, 4 months; roomer Will McNeal, 22, oil mill laborer; and brother-in-law Marcellus Lassiter, 24, tobacco company laborer.

In the 1928 Baltimore, Maryland, city directory: Covington Albert (Ora) chauf h 505 Robert

Detail of photo courtesy of Bernard Patterson.

707 East Green Street.

The seventy-first in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.


As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1913; 1 story; intact L-plan cottage with bracketed porch.”

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on East Green Street, Lucious Norfleet, 35, laborer; wife Mary, 30; and children James, 10, Josephine, 7, Ruth E., 5, and Jesse L., 4; and boarder Wiley Jones, 26, railroad laborer.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 636 East Green, Will Cuvington, 42, factory fireman; wife Mary, 41; stepchildren Josephine, 18, Ruth, 16, Jessie Lee Northfleet, 13; and adopted son James Northfleet, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 707 East Green, widow Mary Norflet, 40, laundress; daughter Ruth Gillchrist, 20, courthouse maid; and grandchildren Dorthy, 5, Mary L., 3, and Jene Gillchrist, 1.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 707 East Green, Bank Blow, 56, tobacco factory laborer; wife Mary, 50, laundress; and son James H., 7. [Mary Locus Covington Norfleet married Banks Blow in Wilson on 26 November 1933.]

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Blow Banks (c; Mary; 1) tob wkr h707 E Green

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2017.

Students at the colored orphanage.


For “School Session September 1929 to May 1929,” the Roster of Students for the Oxford Colored Orphanage listed six children from Wilson: Madell Moore; Julian and Joseph Covington; and Dempsey, Malachi and Kurfew Ward.




  • Madell Moore — in the 1930 census of Fishing Creek township, Granville County, Maedall Moore, 9, is listed as an inmate of the Oxford Colored Orphanage of North Carolina.
  • Julian Covington
  • Joseph Covington
  • Dempsey Ward — in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 703 Viola Street, house carpenter Jessie Ward, 36; wife Mary, 34; and children Mabel, 17, Gertrude, 12, Kerfus, 7, Malachi, 5, Dempsey, 3, Virginia, 2, and Sara, 1 month. In the 1930 census of Fishing Creek township, Granville County, Dempsey Ward, 14, farm laborer, is listed as an inmate of the Oxford Colored Orphanage of North Carolina. (Neither his brothers nor the Covingtons are listed.)
  • Malachi Ward — Malachi Ward died 14 February 1963 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 November 1919 in Wilson, N.C., to Jesse Ward and Mary Sherrod; he resided at 2819 North 11th Street, Philadelphia; and he worked as a barber. Kerfew Ward of Compton, California, was informant.
  • Kurfew Ward — Kurfew Melvin Ward was born 17 December 1912 in Wayne County, North Carolina. On 15 September 1937, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, issued a marriage license for Kurfew M. Ward, 24, and Elizabeth Brown, 19, both residents of Pittsburgh. Per their application, Wars was born 17 December 1912 to Jesse Ward and Mary Sheard, both dead; was from Wilson, N.C.; worked as a laborer; and lived at 621 Whittier. Brown resided at 107 Pugh and was the daughter of Earl Brown of Pittsburgh and Blanche Brown of Virginia. In the 1954 city directory of Compton, California: Kerfew M. Ward, plasterer, with Elizabeth J. Ward. Kurfew M. Ward died 4 July 1970 in Los Angeles, California.

Annual Reports of the Colored Orphanage Oxford, N.C. is available at