Robert Dockery Covington was born 20 August 1815 in Rockingham, North Carolina. He married Elizabeth Thomas in 1838 or 1839 and they had four children. He was an early convert to the L.D.S. church and crossed the plains in 1847, arriving in the Salt Lake valley on 25 September 1847. His wife died on 7 December 1847. Robert married two other women, Malinda Allison and Nancy Roberts.
In 1857 Brigham Young called Covington to lead a second group of 28 families down to Washington, Utah, to establish the "Cotton Mission". He and his two wives left Salt Lake City on 6 April 1857 and, after a stop in Parowan, arrived in Washington on May 6, 1857. Covington was appointed Branch President of the Washington Branch (associated with the Harmony Ward) on 7 May 1857. On August 1, 1858, the Washington Branch was made the Washington Ward and Covington was made bishop and served until 1869. He was in the Territorial Legislature from 1858 to 1859. He was the Notary Public for Washington County in 1860. Covington died in Washington on June 2, 1902.
His house is one of the oldest surviving structures in southern Utah. The house was unusual in that it was built of stone by two brothers who did the stone work on Winsor Castle at Pipe Springs and on the Cotton Mill. The Covington home was added to the National Register of Historic Places (#1978002711) on 20 April 1978.
--Compiled by Jacob Lee Eagle Scout Project 2011
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