Robert D. Covington



(early pioneer and church leader in Washington, Utah)


Robert Dockery Covington was born August 20, 1815 in Rockingham, Richmond County, North Carolina.

He married Elizabeth Ann Thomas, daughter of John Pledger & Sarah Thomas of Marlboro, South Carolina, on February 20, 1839 in Noxubee, Mississippi and they had four children. Robert & Elizabeth were sealed in December 28, 1856 with Nancy Roberts acting as proxy.

Robert & Elizabeth were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on February 3, 1843 by Benjamin Clapp in Noxube County, Mississippi. They received their endowments in the Nauvoo Temple on January 20, 1846.

The Covingtons spent 1846 at Winter Quarters and then crossed the plains in 1847, in Edward Hunter's Company under Captain Daniel Thomas, arriving in Salt Lake City on September 25, 1847.

After Elizabeth's death, Robert married a widow Melinda Allison Kelly, on September 26, 1848 in Washington, Utah. Melinda was the daughter of Isaac & Jane Hunt Allison from Crawford, Kentucky. Robert & Melinda were sealed in December 28, 1856.

Robert went on a mission to the Southern States in the fall of 1849 and returned in the spring of 1856.

Robert married a plural wife, Nancy Roberts from Hyde, Stockport, England, on December 28, 1856 in the Salt Lake Temple.

Robert was called by Brigham Young in 1857 to lead the second group of 28 families down to Washington, Utah, to establish the "Cotton Mission". He had experience with directing slaves on his family's cotton plantations, so he was well familiar with the raising of cotton. With his two wives, they left Salt Lake City on April 6, 1857 and, after a stop in Parawan, arrived in Washington on May 6, 1857.

Covington was appointed Branch President of the Washington Branch (associated with the Harmony Ward) on May 7, 1857. On August 1, 1858, the Washington Branch was made the Washington Ward. Covington was named as the Biship and was ordained to that office on August 1, 1858 by Amasa Lyman and George A. Smith. Harrison Pierce was chosen as First Counselor and John R. Ragean as Second Counselor. Covington served in that capacity until 1869.

He was in the Territorial Legislature from 1858 to 1859.

Bishop Covington built a large two-story rock home just east of John D. Lee's home, completed in 1859 and is still standing. It is the oldest building still standing in all of Washington County. The home was used as a recreation center for the community dances, parties and other functions were held. Church meetings were held there also. Brigham Young stayed here many times while visiting the area. To get to the upstairs, one had to go outside and climb wooden stairs to the second story. There was no other way to get to the upstairs from the main floor. This was done so that people coming for a get together could not disturb the main floor family living quarters.

Robert was the Notary Public for Washington County in 1860.

Covington died in Washington on June 2, 1902 and was buried there two days later.


Robert's Parents and Siblings:
    Thomas B. Covington
    Jane Thomas Covington
        John Thomas Covington
        Robert Dockery Covington
        James Wall Covington
        William Covington
        Martha Ann Covington

        Thomas Thomas Covington Sr,
        Nancy Covington

(xx/xx/1790-8/24/1857)   (married xx/xx/1806)
(8/18/1813-9/7/1840)   (married Elizabeth X. Xxxxxxxx)
(8/20/1815-6/2/1902)   (married as shown below)
(12/27/1816-2/xx/1896)   (married Sarah Ann Terry and Sarah Vaughn )
(12/8/1818-8/24/1871)   (married Alexander Gay,
    John Warren Norton, and Benjamin Gibson)
(7/4/1820-8/24/1871)   (married Mary Jane Ellerbe and Julia Ellerbe)
(11/3/1822-xx/xx/1881)   (married William H. Covington)

First Wife and Children:
    Elizabeth Ann Thomas Covington  
        John Thomas Covington

        Emily Jane Covington
        Sarah Ann Covington
        Catherine Covington
        Robert Laborius Covington

(4/21/1820-12/7/1847)   (married 2/20/1839)
(8/7/1840-6/13/1908)   (married Johanna Lundblad,
    Elizabeth Atkins Adams, and Lydia May Carling)
(1/1/1842-3/4/1921)   (married Winslow Farr Jr.)
(8/1/1847-12/27/1928)   (married Rasmine Rasmussen)

Second Wife and Children:
    Malinda Allison Kelly Covington
        Mary Ellen Covington
        Alice Covington

(10/16/1815-11/18/1894)   (married 9/26/1848)
(12/30/1849-10/25/1881)   (married James Horton Thompson)
(xx/xx/~1854-xx/xx/1869)   (adopted Indian girl)

Third Wife and Children:
    Nancy Roberts Covington
        Pheobe Ann Covington
        Thomas Covington
        Nancy Melinda Covington
        James Isaac Covington

(2/19/1839-3/14/1864)   (married 12/28/1856)
(11/21/1857-11/13/1929)   (married John Ezra Pace)
(1/15/1860-10/4/1925)   (married Xxxxxxx X. Xxxxxxxx)


WCHS photos:
WCHS-01520   Wedding photo of John Riley Stewart Sr. & Ellen Covington
WCHS-01521   Photo of polygamists including John T. Covington in the Utah State Penitentiary
WCHS-01523   Photo of the Monument Plaza statue of Robert D. Covington
WCHS-04251   Photo of the Monument Plaza statue of Robert D. Covington


Robert D. Covington Annotated Bibliography (Primary Source List)
Robert D. Covington Annotated Bibliography (Secondary Source List)
Robert D. Covington Newspaper Documents (Primary Source List)
Robert D. Covington Timeline
Robert D. Covington Timeline (Bibliography)

History of Robert Dockery Covington
Copied by the Brigham Young University Library in 1954 from an original copy
    loaned by Mrs. Miriam C. Bradshaw of Orem.

Washington City "MONUMENT PLAZA"
See the Robert D. Covington biography on pp. 3-6.
Also see our Monument Plaza webpage.

Some Histories of Covington Family Members
    Covington, Robert Dockery - Facts
    Covington, Robert Dockery - History
    Covington, Robert Dockery - Short History

Robert & Elizabeth Family Group Records

FamilyCentral Entry for Robert & Elizabeth Covington
FamilyCentral Entry for Robert & Malinda Covington
FamilyCentral Entry for Robert & Nancy Covington

FamilySearch Entry for Robert Dockery Covington
FamilySearch Entry for Elizabeth Ann Thomas
FamilySearch Entry for Malinda Allison
FamilySearch Entry for Nancy Roberts

Find-A-Grave Entry for Robert Dockery Covington
Find-A-Grave Entry for Elizabeth Ann Thomas Covington
Find-A-Grave Entry for Malinda Allison Covington
Find-A-Grave Entry for Nancy Roberts Covington