Property Owners of Truxton Circle- Michael J. McInerney

Image not foundSo in our last entry regarding the Brungers there was the issue of Sq. 551 Lot 17, which was also lots 844 and 845. Sometimes, I imagine that I will make a corresponding spreadsheet of addresses by also linking them to their SSL (square and lot) numbers, but then I have to deal with this problem of lot numbers changing. It happens now too with condos. The owner I’m looking at today is Michael Joseph McInerney Sr., owner of lot 845, which appears to be 208 R St NW. And for those of you just joining in this series, this house no longer exists.

Another issue I keep coming across are landowning dead people. The source that I am using is the Washington City General Assessment 1933-1934 for a section of Square 551. So these were the names the city went after to pay property taxes. And like my aunt in SE who’s been dead for about 10 years, she’s still paying property taxes. Well, her estate is, but her name is still on the property, just like Michael McInerney in 1934, who died in 1925.

Once again some one else put in the work of the general sketch up of who Michael McInerney was, so credit to the Peters-Brooks Family Tree on Ancestry.com.  Michael Joseph McInerney (1860–1925) was born in Ireland in 1860. He arrived in the USA in 1882. He married Catherine/Kate V Roche (1866–1929), a DC born Irish-American in 1891. Then they had a butt-load of kids. John J McInerney (March 1892–);  Mary K McInerney (May 1893–1970); Martin M McInerney (6/22/1894–1982);  Catherine V McInerney (March 1897–1991); Margaret McInerney (Dec 1899–); Elizabeth M McInerney (1903–1994); Michael Joseph McInerney Jr (6/30/1905–); and Maurice Francis McInerney (8/25/1907–8/10/2001). Meaning Kate McInerney was pregnant from 1891 to 1907, with a short break in 1900-1902.

Since Mr. McInerney immigrated after the 1880 census, we won’t see him or his family until the 1900 census. From 1900 to 1910 he was a salon keeper living at 1226 7th St NW. By 1920 the family had moved and Prohibition probably put him out of work as he was unemployed and living at 1201 N St NW. He’s in Shaw but not in the TC. And it is times like this I wished I had followed up with setting up an archive for Immaculate Conception Catholic Church because I would bet money this large Irish family would have attended. Another, less fleshed out McInerney Family tree has a obit for Maurice’s eventual wife, Evelyn M. Freeze (1916-2014). She had a funeral mass at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. So odds are the family was Catholic.

Michael and his wife died before the 1930 census. The big gang of single adult McInerney children were living at 2719 Connecticut Ave NW in the 1930s and 40s. Why would the family had left Shaw? No reason to stick around after the death of their parents. The saloon business was gone. They were a household of several income producing adults (self-employed and US Government employees) why not move to a more upscale part of town?

Okay let’s go to land records and get confused. In 1934 Matthew E. Donohue sold lot 845 to A.C and Ruth B. Houghton. Who 20 years later in 1954 sold it to Clare S. Conner. So I searched again under the McInerney name. The earliest document is from 1926 and it is a loan between Union Trust Company of the District of Columbia and Catherine V. McInerney for Lot 17. The wife of Micheal Sr., not the daughter. In October 1933, the kids sell Lot 17 (really 845) to Matthew E. Donohue. But the McInerneys are not done. That loan taken out in 1926 is satisfied in 1954 when Clare S. Conner becomes the owner.

So we’ve established that the McInerney’s did not live at 208 R St NW or SSL: 0551-0017/ 0845. Who did? If the McInerney’s owned it in 1920, renter Joseph Sabbs, his wife, children and brother lived there. Mr. Sabbs was an African American paper seller born in 1872. The renters in 1930 are the Jennings and Maly families, ten African American people in total. The head, Mr. Leslie Jennings was a ship yard laborer, and the lodger head, Thomas Maly was a general laborer. By 1940 the rental is still crowded, but with only 7 people making up 2 or so Black households.

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