Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Annie Brown- 69 N St NW

When we meet Annie Brown, owner of 69 N St NW, in the 1920 census, she is already a widow of the late Thomas Brown who died on December 27, 1917. She was a laundress, a common working class profession of Black women at that time.

photo of property

She did not remain a widow for long. In 1921 she married a much older Benjamin H. Harris, aka BH Harris. Annie was born around 1872 and BH around 1855.

In the 1920 census Annie lived alone. In the 1930 census she lived at 69 N St NW with her 75 year old husband BH, their 16 year old niece, Susie Vessels, and two roomers. She was still working as a laundress and he was a watchman for the post office. By 1931, both Annie and BH are dead.

Looking at the land records that go back to 1921, in July 1925 Annie Brown had a trust (borrowing money) with the Perpetual Building Association for $2,300. This is followed by a release in July 1925 of an August 1915 debt. She had another release from August 1925 which released a June 1913 debt and the document mentioned death of Thomas Brown. She has another trust (borrowing) from July 1929 with her new name of Annie Brown Harris. She borrowed $396.00 from trustees at 6%;  In a June 1930 trust Annie Brown Harris and BH Harris borrow $306.00 at 6%. We can surmise that she and BH have died by June 1931.

The June 1931 document had  Maria Hill, Molly L. Johnson, Ida King, Lucy J. King, Bessie Vessels, the wife of, William  L. Vessels in control of the property. This list of people were all of King & Queen County, VA  but at that time her property hadn’t cleared probate. They borrowed or took out a bond, I’m not sure, $3250 from the New York Title and Mortgage company. That same month they borrowed $1250 from trustees from the Percy H. Russell Co, Inc. In  October 1931 the heirs pay off (release) her May 1930, April 1929 and July 1925 debts. In June 1932, they sell to Inez J. and James C. Powell.

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