1920 Asians of Truxton Circle

I was thinking of doing Asian Home Owners of Truxton Circle, but none of the six Asian residents were home owners in the 1920 census, which is where I’m pulling my data for the Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle.

So let’s look at the residents, all men.

Tom Kee, b. 1851, China. Tom Kee lived at 1412 North Capitol St NW working as a laundryman. Almost all of the men in this post will be in the laundry and clothing cleaning business. He only shows up in this one census. I hunted him down in the 1919 city directory and found him via an address search. He was at 1422 North Cap. but that looks like a typo as it was between 1410 and 1414. I could not locate him under the Kees but found him under Tom, making me wonder if Tom is his surname. I switched the names around, but did not come up with any plausible leads.

Lee Bock Wing, b. 1873, California. Lee Bock Wing lived at 400 R St NW. Like Kee Tom, he too was in the laundry business. Interesting thing, in the 1940 census Lee Bock Wing shows up at 1412 North Capitol, Kee Tom’s 1920 home. Wing won’t show up as Chinese in the 1940 census because that field is unclear and Ancestry indexed him as White.

C.A. Suzuki, b. 1870. Pffft. I’m not going to find this guy. He was a roomer at 222 Florida Ave NW, the home of Wilson Lavender, an African American home repair man. Suzuki was the Lavender family’s only roomer. Suzuki being Japanese, was a manager, according to the census. In the 1919 city directory there were two Suzukis. One, CS Suzuki, was a butler, the other S Suzuki, was the manager of ladies furnishings. In the 1925 city directory there are three Suzukis, but I’m not sure if any of them are the same person who lived on Florida Avenue.

The Chen Brothers, Charlie b.1895 and John b. 1885- The Chen (maybe Chin) brothers lived at 1632 1st St NW, which no longer exists. Like many Chinese immigrants in DC, they were involved in the laundry business. In the 1920 census it was unclear if Charlie was the owner of the home. Checking the Recorder of Deeds, he was not. The search for Charlie was unfruitful. The search for John was confusing. The 1930 census lead me to two different Chens. One being Sam Chen who had the same estimated birthyear as John. Sam also lived at 1632 1st St NW. Is John Sam? Is Sam John? Moving on.

Frank Sing, b. 1870- He is listed as being White in the 1920 census. He and his parents were reportedly born in China, so I’m taking a leap and guessing he was Chinese. Mr. Sing lived at 1237 1st St NW as a roomer.  His landlord was an African American man, Herbert Johnson, who was also renting. Frank was one of two roomers. Today, he would probably considered a roommate.  Ancestry hints that his name could also be Frank Gury. It doesn’t matter, I can’t find him past the 1920 census. He was 50, and it’s 1920, so he could have died.

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