Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Allen Colbert

No comment about my last post? Nada? Okay, let’s get back to boring old Black Home Owners or Mari searches Ancestry and the Recorder of Deeds and maybe some old Washington Post/Washington Star articles.

Today’s subject is Allen Colbert the contractor, not to be confused with his son, Allen A. Colbert, the driver. In 1920 he lived at 78 P St NW (Sq. 616 lot 51). The current house on that was built in 1929, according to its real estate listing, and this Colbert family does not appear in the 1930 Census for the area. Besides, the senior Allen Colbert was 60 years old in 1920, so for this time period it is too much to expect him to survive to 70. Looking at the land records, it appears that Allen and his wife Mary or Marrietta were both dead by 1924.

In a loan document from 1924, the Colbert children, Allen A., James E. Colbert and Mary Colbert Brown paid off the debt on the property to the Northern Liberty Building Association. The Colbert’s had another daughter, Julia, but she does not appear in this transaction. I’m not sure what happened in 1925, but Orwin E. Howe was tasked with auctioning off the property for no less than $2,300. I’m not sure if this was to pay off more debts or if the property was just being liquidated. Then there is nothing until 1956 after Orwin E. Howe dies (1854-1935) and according to his will the property is transferred the property to the Dr. O E Howe Home for Unfortunate Girls. *start humming Poor Unfortunate Souls from the Little Mermaid.

Prior to 1920, Allen and Mary Colbert may have lived over on Cook’s Court between 3rd, 1st, R/FL and Q Streets, NW. In that 1900 Census, their surname was transcribed as Calvert and they had two minor daughters living with them.  All the children in the 1920 Census hadn’t been born yet. In the 1909, under the name Colbert, Allen and Mary are at 1626 Cooksey Place NW. The similarities hint that this is the same family. In 1907, an Allen was at 118 Q St NW. Part of me is thinking the addresses probably moved around as much as he did.

Source: “Doctor’s Kin Gets $267,000 Estate: Provision made to Start Home for Girls.” 1935.The Washington Post (1923-1954), Dec 04, 15. https://search-proquest-com.dclibrary.idm.oclc.org/historical-newspapers/doctors-kin-gets-267-000-estate/docview/150595557/se-2?accountid=46320.

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