Covington

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.

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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.

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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.

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  • 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 https://archive.org/details/reporttoboardofd19201944.