Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: George G. Harris- 1511 1st St NW

Currently, what is left of lot 230 on Square 615 is part of 85-89 P St NW’s backyard. So this is one of those addresses that no longer exist.

George G. Harris and his wife Roberta both of Virginia. He was born in Fairfax, she Prince William county. He was born in 1872 the son of a farmer Anthony Harris and Sarah Harris. She in 1874, the daughter of Manassas laborer, Charles, and housekeeper, Roberta Coleman.

In 1900 George was a school teacher, living with his parents and siblings in Centerville, VA. They were married in 1904 in Prince William, VA. At the time Roberta was a 30 year old widow with a son named Benjamin Chavers. By 1910 the family was at 32A O St NW as George worked for the Post Office. By the 1920 census, when they lived at 1511 1st St NW,  George’s stepson had taken on his surname as Benjamin Harris, a 27 year old young man working as a chauffeur. George was still working at the Post Office for both the 1920 and 1930 census. Roberta passed away December 27, 1933.

The online DC Recorder of Deeds records go back to 1921, and the earliest record for 1511 1st St NW is a 1924 release for a March 1919 debt to trustees with Washington Loan and Trust Co. This is followed by a 1924 trust (loan) with trustees, with names I’ve seen several times, Henry H. Bergmann and Chapin Brown, with the Oriental Building Association. It looks like the Harris borrowed $2400. There are several more trusts and releases between 1924 and 1935.

In 1937 there are two deeds. It looks like the purpose of the two deeds were to acknowledge the death of Roberta Harris and to add George’s new wife Beulah E. Harris (formerly the widow Beulah E. Jetter) to the deed. They married December 31, 1936. But  by 1940 she was living a few blocks away at 1719 2nd St NW with the Adams family (in-laws).

Not sure what was going on with this 2nd marriage. There is no mention of Beulah in the releases George paid off in 1947. But these were trusts that were signed before the marriage.

The Harris name last appears in 1970. Supposedly they sell the property to the District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency. I say supposedly because the document isn’t there. The correct one is not the one shown, but the metadata says they sold it to RLA. Beulah could have signed the document as she didn’t die until 1984.

 

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