Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Arthur B. McKinney

Parts of this are from a previous post I published some time ago. I’m revisiting this African American home owner, to add more information.

I had given up on Mrs. Annie Newsome (or Annie Newsone in the 1940 census) who was listed as the head of household and married. She appears in the 1930 census with a different possible birth year. So I gave up on her and decided to look at a professional man who might have more information about him.

Dr. Arthur B. McKinney abducted from Freedmen's HospitalDr. Arthur B. McKinney abducted from Freedmen’s Hospital Sat, May 15, 1926 – Page 2 · The Pittsburgh Courier (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comSo I chose Dr. Arthur B. McKinney of 1519 1st St NW from the 1940 census. From the little clip above, Dr. McKinney was involved in some odd little caper in 1926 where his brothers abducted him from Freedmen’s Hospital and took him to his mother’s house at 1515 1st St NW. A Della A. McKinney, widow, is listed as a home owner in the 1930 census at that address.

In the 1920 Census, Arthur B. McKinney was a 31 year old doctor living with his mother Della at 1515 1st St. NW. Looking at Ancestry’s family tree, his full name was Arthur Bancroft McKinney. He married Ethel J. Thornton in December of 1920. They apparently had no children. But the family tree fails to note his siblings as Samuel A. and Della McKinney had 5 sons, 2 daughters, a daughter-in-law, and a grandson living with them in 1900 at 63 P St NW.

Doing a quick search for Dr. McKinney, he sort of disappears towards the mid 20th Century. I found a 1942 draft card, when he was 52 years old, listing his wife Ethel T. McKinney, who in the census as a secretary. Dual income family! The last record is from a 1948 city directory listing he and his wife at 1519 First Street NW. By the 1954 city directory, Dr. McKinney is gone and only Mrs. Ethel T. McKinney remains, and her job description changed from secretary to Administrative Assistant for the District Board of Education. This is where I would call up the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, for more information.

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In 1922 Dr. McKinney added his wife to the deed of 1519 1st St NW or Square 615 lot 0233. That or transferred it completely to her because in 1928 she took out a mortgage, in her name only, of $5K from the Oriental Building Association. Later that year she paid off a debt in Dr. McKinney’s name. The mortgage was paid off in 1948. In 1955 she took out another loan for $3,500 also with the Oriental Building Association. In 1972 she sold the property to George Basiliko.

Arthur’s name also appears on lot 231, which was his mother’s house at 1515 1st St NW. I’m unclear as to what the transaction between Dr. & Mrs. Arthur McKinney and his father Samuel A. McKinney was. It appears that the doctor and his wife are selling the property to the father in 1922. By 1933 Samuel A. McKinney had died and a whole host of McKinneys (Arthur, Ethel, Guilford S., Lewis B., Blanche E., James E., Walter V., Evelyn G. McKinney and Bessie T. Austin) transfer the property to a Albert F. Adams. Adams then signs a quit claim deed and transfers the property back to Dr. & Mrs. Arthur McKinney. In 1934 the McKinney’s had over due taxes of 217.24 and the property was sold in a tax lien sale. In 1919 Dr. McKinney had borrowed money from the Oriental Building Association. That loan was cancelled in 1935 with the new owner, Robert L. Spivey paying it off. Spivey also got Ethel McKinney to sign away her interest in the property.

The newspaper article from the Pittsburgh Courier is, int-ter-rest-ing. Not really sure what the heck that’s all about.

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