Covington was originally founded as the Town of Wharton on July 4, 1813 by John Wharton Collins. He laid the town out in its unique pattern of squares within squares (ox lots), which were accessed by alleyways. Collins named the town’s center the Division of St. John. It is this unique design which was largely responsible for placement of the Division of St. John on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. The town was formally incorporated in 1816 by the state legislature and renamed Covington. John Wharton Collins is buried in Covington Cemetery No. 1, facing City Hall at the corner of N. Columbia and Kirkland Street.