On the Street Where You Live

Picture this: your name is Eleanor Everette, and you live in LaGrange, North Carolina in 1940. Somebody asks you where you live and you reply, “On Death Row.” Are you making a macabre joke, or simply stating a fact?

Oddly enough, you are simply stating a fact. You and your neightbors (Kizzie Purvis, Onslow Kornegay, and Harrison Kinsey—to name three of them) live on Death Row Street in La Grange, North Carolina.

Lethal injection table (MS.gov photo)
Lethal injection table (MS.gov photo)

A simple Internet search does not reveal how this street got its unusual name, but that would certainly be an interesting story. Somehow, as the person who named the street weighed their choices (let’s assume they also considered Pleasant Street, Wisteria Lane, and Whispering Pines Drive), Death Row Street not only popped into their head—it seemed like a dandy choice!

If you’d like to take a figurative stroll down Death Row Street, you can do it using the 1940 federal population census. Just do this search (case doesn’t matter):

SEARCH—KEYWORD: death row (Exact)

How can researchers access the federal population census? You may use Heritage Quest Online from home with a valid SLPL library card and PIN, or at Central Library or any of our branches.

You may use Ancestry Library Edition at Central Library or any of our branches.

Here’s a list of SLPL reference databases.

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