Lon W. Colvert was born 10 June 1875 to Harriet Nicholson and John W. Colvert. He possibly was their second child and certainly was the only one to reach adulthood. My grandmother emphatically stated that his middle name was Walter, but her sister Launie Mae thought “Walker” – after his grandfather – and that’s the name that appears on certain records. Lon’s paternal grandparents reared him, but he was extremely close to his mother as an adult.
Lon was probably in his late teens when he arrived in Statesville from his family’s farm in the northern reaches of Iredell County. He was an ambitious young man with an eye on the main chance and a penchant for the shady that followed him even into his respectable years. By time he was 30, he was well-established downtown as a first-class barber, and the local paper obliged him with recognition:
Lon and his first wife, Josephine Dalton, had three children, Mattie (1895), Golar Augusta (1897) and John Walker II (1898). Soon after Josephine’s death, he married Caroline M.M.F.V. McNeely and fathered three more daughters, Mary Louise (1906), Margaret Beulah (1908) and Launie Mae (1910).
In the mid-1920s, Lon’s business successes were short-circuited when his health began to fail. He passed away 23 October 1930, 83 years ago today.
Lon Walker Colvert Dies in Wallacetown.
Lon Walker Colvert, colored, 55 years old, died this morning at 1 o’clock at the home of his daughter, Gola Bradshaw, in Wallacetown. He was an old resident of Statesville, and for a number of years had a barbershop on South Center street, near the Southern station.
The funeral service will be Friday at 2:30, at Center Street A.M.E. Zion church, with interment in the local cemetery.
Surviving are his wife and six children; also one brother and one sister.
— Statesville Landmark, 23 Oct 1930.