1957 Church Survey: Mount Carmel Baptist- Churches not in Shaw

Mt. Carmel Baptist Church was part of the 1957 Church Survey for a urban renewal area that got broken into other parts, such as Downtown and Shaw. To learn more about the 1957 Church Survey read my previous posts, The Uniqueness of the 1957 Church Survey and Church Survey Northwest Urban Renewal Area October 1957. I am publishing this because I have a Black Home Owner of Truxton Circle coming up and he attended this church.

Quick rundown. It was and still is an African American church. It was a fairly large church with over 3,000 members able to support a full time minister, assistant minister, sexton, assistant sexton and social worker.

CS 6 Mt Carmel Baptist by Mm Inshaw

 

Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Benjamin Holland – 206 N St NW

In 1920 ’twas a man, a Black man, who operated in the business of chickens and owned a house on N St NW. His name. Benjamin Franklin Holland. Just say that name five times fast, sounds like a mantra.

Around 1917, he sold chicken at the market at O and N, right where the Giant Supermarket sits right now. He sold those chickees at stall #15, and I imagine that is where the previously frozen chicken sits in a chiller may have been.

photo of property

Sadly, his story is not a long one. We meet the poultry man in the 1920 census, living with his wife, Cecelia Valeria (formerly Jackson), their son Benjamin, and an aunt, Julia I. Davis. By the 1930 census, he’s dead and Cecelia V. Holland is a widow. At the age of 53, she was living with her 14 year old son Benjamin and roomer from the British West Indies, William A. Thomas.

Once again there is something in the land records that confuses me. There are the usual releases and trusts, the paying and borrowing from investors through trustees. It would help to know when exactly Ben Holland died because there is a 1929 deed with just his name, Cecelia is missing, selling the property to a Peter P. Richardson. Without Cecelia’s name on the deed, something looked off. February 17, 1930 Lottie and Peter Richardson transfer the property to Ester L. Jackson, who transfers it to Cecelia on the 19th. Also on 2/19/1930, Cecelia was advanced $2,100 from the Washington Permanent Building Association. In 1949 she borrowed again from teh Washington Permanent Building Association, for $2,500 and changed her name from Cecelia V. Holland to Cecelia V. Tildon. In 1952 Cecelia Tildon sold the property to the Seventh Realty Corp out of Delaware.

1957 Church Survey: Miles Memorial CME- Rando church outside of Shaw

The address, 1110 3rd St NW where this church sat doesn’t exist anymore. Miles Memorial Church CME, currently sits at 501 N St NW, in Shaw. To learn more about the 1957 Church Survey read my previous posts, The Uniqueness of the 1957 Church Survey and Church Survey Northwest Urban Renewal Area October 1957.

The former location of this church appears to be some spot behind the Bible Way church…. a church also in the 1957 Church Survey, but I hadn’t gotten to it.

The pastor, Rev. Raymond L. Calhoun, lived at 210 N St NW, in that spot where Truxton Circle and Mt. Vernon Square are the same. I wonder if he’ll show up in my studies.

Then like now, it was a Black American church. Most of the other information was kind of vague. So I’m just going to post it.

CS 25 Miles Memorial CME by Mm Inshaw

Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Chas A. Booker- 202 N St NW

In 1920 city Post Office clerk Chas A. Booker lived at 202 N St NW with his wife Mary C. and their young daughter Gladys. Chas is another way of saying Charles.

Charles Alexander Booker was born October 1, 1878 in Jetersville, VA to Churchill Booker and Lucy Alice Johnson. In 1902, he married Mary C. Scott in Amelia, VA.

The Bookers lived in Bloomingdale prior to Truxton Circle in 1910. They lived at 1942 3rd St NW. They appeared to be the primary renters and had the Morton family (four adults and two children) were lodgers at that address.

photo of property

It appears Charles Booker lived at 202 N St NW for a long time. He was at the address in 1913 and 1954 city directories. For the 1941 World War II draft card he was on N St living as a 63 year old retired government employee.

The earliest record from the Recorder of Deeds online records starting in 1921, is a trust from August 1937. In 1937 the Bookers borrowed one thousand dollars via the Washington Loan and Trust Company. The next set of documents are two deeds on November 19, 1940, moving the property from and to Charles Booker as Mary C. Booker died September 2, 1939. These kinds of deed pairs are confusing to me, but it appears the purpose of this was to remove Mary’s name from the property. In 1947 the 1937 debt was paid and the document for that release has daughter Gladys B. Walker as a co-owner. The end of the Booker family’s ownership came in June 1964 when the executor of Charles A. Booker’s will, James E. Walker, Gladys’ husband, sold the property to George Basiliko. G.B. Basiliko turned around and transferred the property to Ms. Kay Monte who turned around and transferred the property back to Basiliko the next month. Basiliko held on to the property until 1974.

1957 Church Survey: St. Aloysious Catholic Church- Churches not in Shaw

St. Aloysious Roman Catholic Church is outside of the bounds of Shaw, but not too far. This church was part of the 1957 Church Survey for a urban renewal area that got broken into other parts, such as Downtown and Shaw. To learn more about the 1957 Church Survey read my previous posts, The Uniqueness of the 1957 Church Survey and Church Survey Northwest Urban Renewal Area October 1957.

photo of property

It appears that the church itself is no longer operating and the parish has merged with Holy Redeemer Catholic Church. The school, Gonzaga (Mr. Tony Lewis’ alma mater) appears to be for exclusive use for the school. Looking at the 1957 survey, it looks like times changed and tables turned, because then, the church ran the school, not the other way around.

The church ran an elementary school, a girl’s high school and a boy’s high school. We can see where the boy’s school went, I wonder what happened to the elementary school and the girl’s school. The church was a racially mixed church with 15-20% of the parishioners being Black. Half of the parish lived in the NW urban renewal area, while the next largest group lived in other parts of DC. The range of types of occupations seem evenly split.

CS 29 St Aloysious Catholic by Mm Inshaw

 

 

Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Albert A. Poole – 214 N St NW

This should be a quick one, as Albert A. Poole died in 1934 around about the age of 53 (born 9/9/1881). But his family held on to the property up into the 1970s.

Hello, if you are new to my blog, I regularly take the names of Black home owners from the 1920 census and write about them.

Prior to living at 214 N St NW Albert Ambrose Poole lived at 412 U St NW in LeDroit Park according to the 1909 to 1911 city directories. He worked as an elevator operator and a messenger. In the 1910 census Poole was living with his wife’s, Estella Poole, brother, Ferdinand A. Bradley, a hotel bellman who owned the home. The 1914 city directory has him on N St so we can guess that was the time he purchased the Mt. Vernon Sq/Truxton Circle home.

He lived at 214 N St NW with his wife since 1900, Estella, also mentioned as Stella and their children Albert Bradley Poole and Ruth Louise (later Ruth Carson and Ruth Hall). The online land records start in 1921/1922 the earliest we have for the Pooles is a 1929 trust with the Washington Loan and Trust Company, borrowing $19,000, possibly (I could be misreading it).
photo of property
There is plenty of borrowing and repayment, with the Washington Loan and Trust Company, with the Equitable Co-Operative Building Association, and the Perpetual Building Association. I’m going to focus on the deeds since I want to zoom to the end of the Poole family’s ownership of the property.

The first deeds are from January 1931 and are those odd deeds where the owners transfer the property to a party who immediately transfers the property back to the previous owners. The next deed is from 1939 where the deaths of Albert A. and Stella are mentioned, transferring the property to the adult children Ruth and Albert B.. Albert A. died February 14, 1934 and Stella departed this world January 8, 1939. The 1939 deed also includes Albert B.’s wife Minnie Taylor Poole. That same day, in another deed, Ruth Hall transfers the property to her brother and sister-in-law, who become the legal owners of 214 N St NW.

In the 1940 census Albert B. was listed as the owner. He lived there with wife Minnie, who worked as a maid, his unemployed sister in law Mary Wynn, Mary’s 8 year old daughter (?) Patricia, and two unrelated lodgers working as maids. His 1940 job was that of a messenger for a private company. In his WWII draft card his employer was the Diplomat Cab Company on Georgia Ave.

The next deed after the 1939 transfer comes in 1975. Minnie Taylor Poole or Minnie M. Poole died in 1968. The executors of her will appear to be Barbara G. Williams and Barbara’s husband Russell B. Williams. They sell the property to Alrose Investments Inc. on September 23, 1975.

George Basiliko Keeps Showing Up in My Truxton Circle Property Searches Pt 2

When we last left I was looking at an Evening Star article in 1959 about George B. Basiliko’s plans to rehabilitate several Truxton Circle homes. The thing that caught my eye was that these homes were the subject of a post-Home Rule later rehabilitation project that was to take place in the Marion Barry years.

I decided to expand my research to the Washington Post and the Post calls Basiliko a slum lord. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to 1959 and what the Evening Star said.

The October 3, 1959 article, Basiliko, with the help of of the Perpetual Building Association was supposed to rehabilitate 125 units. Several of those units in Truxton Circle. His target areas were specifically the 100 block of O St NW, the 100-200 blocks of Q and Bates Streets NW, the 200 block of P St and outside of the TC but in Shaw the 400 block of Warner. Despite the press, he did Jack.

The more I got into the Washington Post and Evening Star, I don’t know if disgusted or overwhelmed would describe it. Because it opened up a Pandora’s box relating to greater Shaw’s slum history. He profited off it. His target renters were African Americans. When he was found guilty of 8,000 housing violations, Basiliko and the city hashed out a deal. The Redevelopment Land Agency (RLA) bought many of his Shaw properties. And as far as I could tell he avoided jail time.

The Truxton Circle houses he sold to RLA were 47 row houses on Bates Street, 8 on P St, 9 on Q, and 8 on 3rd. He also sold one house on French Street and 33 properties on the block bounded by 8th, 9th, S and T Streets, in Shaw. It appears the money RLA used came from HUD.

One of those P street houses was probably 229 P St NW. It was featured in an article about the 8,000 housing violations. There were holes in the ceiling and the walls. There was defective wiring, plumbing, rotted stairs and missing doorknobs.

The RLA paid Basiliko $1.1 million in 1970 for 106 Shaw properties. What RLA did or didn’t do, is another story for another time.

 

Black Homeowners of Truxton Circle: Edward Coleman 230 O St NW

At first I was busy looking for Edwin Coleman but thankfully the land records set me straight, his name was Edward. Sadly this post is not as rich as the previous post, and will be very basic.

Whatever was at 230 O Street NW, got torn down for Dunbar High School’s needs. From the 1920 census, Edward Coleman was a self-employed African American messenger. He lived at 230 with his wife Josephine, his brother Walter and a roomer, Walter Miles. In 1880 the Coleman brothers lived at 131 R St NW, with their father Jesse (listed as a begger, could be bagger) , their mother Laura, a servant, and their sister Henrietta. And in 1910, Edward, then a porter, and Josephine rented 1518 3rd St NW. All in Truxton Circle.

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Edward S. Coleman first appears in the land records, which start in 1921/1922, in a 1922 where he and Josephine E. Coleman borrow $2000 at 7% from the National Savings and Trust Company. a few days later there is a deed, which looks like it is acting as a release for a debt from 1919, managed by trustees. In 1925, the Colemans sell the property to the District of Columbia for $4000. They get a release from the National Savings and Trust and that is the end of their ownership on that block.

I did a name search for Josephine Coleman and it looks as if she and Edward moved to another part of Truxton Circle buying 1628 3rd St NW in 1925. On November 21, 1925 they bought the property from Marietta V. Scarborough. The deed history of that property is ‘interesting’. In 1924, Patrick J. Daly sells/transfers it to Thomas F. and Irene Harper. There is a trust indebiting the Harpers to Daly for the sum of $4000 for the delayed purchase of the property. In addition to a debt of $3000 delayed purchase money to Daly and a Thomas Walsh as trustees. In 1925, the Harpers transfer/sell the property to Christina A. Mack, who was another former O St resident, who agreed to pay the money owed to Daly and Walsh. Mack must have defaulted on $7,500 owed, because the property was auctioned to Ms. Scarborough, who sold it to the Colemans.

Something must have happened between 1925 and 1935 because Josephine’s name is removed from the 1628 3rd St NW property and replaced by Bertha Coleman. In a 1935 deed of trust Josephine E. Coleman is referred to as Edward Coleman’s former wife and Bertha as his current wife. But when I looked at earlier trusts, I see that Josephine died. Going by the land records, it looks like she died sometime between 1928 and 1930.

There is a fair amount of borrowing and other land records but I peaked into 1966. In 1966, Edward Coleman is dead and Bertha is a widow. Via a trustee named J. George Gately, Chester C. Lee is added to the deed. Who the flip is Chester C. Lee? Whoever he was, I’d probably have to search court records to locate him, because the next land record is from 1976. In that deed, Chester C. Lee is removed from the property, and his wife Marie C. Lee is the surviving sole owner. He also died but there is a line reading, “CHESTER C. LEE who was seized by operation of the law…” There’s a bit more to this rabbit hole but I’m stopping here.

George Basiliko Keeps Showing Up in My Truxton Circle Property Searches Pt 1

So I as I go through the Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle series, I keep running across the name George Basiliko in the transactions. Him and his wife Sophia. He has shown up with with Harry Brown, Arthur B. McKinney and John Robinson in real estate transactions.

So who was George Basile Basiliko? He was born in Washington, DC to Basil (Basile) Stergin Basiliko a Greek immigrant, and Calliope Papazoglis (Papasoglou) Basiliko a Greek-Turkish immigrant on January 14, 1917.

In 1929 it appears the family lived at 50 Randolph Place NW in Bloomingdale. The father Basil was a contractor with a business address at 600 E St NW. In 1930, Basil was a merchant and owner of a cigar business and the family lived at 54 P St NE in NE Truxton Circle (some times I acknowledge that part of the TC).

He graduated Langley Junior High in 1933. Married Sophia Cokenias, also a child of Greek immigrants, in June 1947.

At the age of 26, he and his brother Nick Basiliko were charged with operating a “disorderly house” in April 1943. The house in question being the Logan Hotel at 912 N St NW. He received his real estate license, using 912 N St NW as an office in July of 1943. The Basiliko brothers were cleared of charges in the disorderly house case in September of that year by a municipal judge and the Evening Star said the hotel was at 13th and Logan Circle. December 1943, the United States Attorney’s Office kept pursuing the case because the house raid involved 100 police officers. The Evening Star restated the location of the hotel at 13th and Logan Circle, and George’s address being on the 6200 block of 8th St NW. In a 1944 Evening Star article, the police raid was reported as being on September 1942 and only 70 police involved.

After that brush with the law, his appearances in the Evening Star were classified ads advertising commercial real estate and trust notes. At some time in the 1950s he moved his office to 1113 Eye (I) Street NW. But staying out of trouble didn’t last long.

The Basiliko name popped up again regarding an investigation and court case regarding Route 240 and the claim of defrauding the Maryland State Roads Commission in 1953. Several Basiliko family members were named, including George, and a man named Ben Du Pre, who was the main target. Looking at Basiliko v State, this thing dragged on through the late 1950s.

In the Home and Real Estate section (B section) of the October 3, 1959 issue of the Evening Star, there is an article about rehabilitating properties in Truxton Circle, particularly Bates Street, in an article, “Some Plain Words About City Decay” by Robert J. Lewis. The article noted how George Basiliko “bought a lot of rundown properties” and was in the process of rehabbing them with assistance of the Perpetual Building Association, another familiar name to the Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle series.

I want to dig into this article a bit more so I will do that in part 2, as it deals with so many TC homes.

Sources: Continue reading George Basiliko Keeps Showing Up in My Truxton Circle Property Searches Pt 1

1957 Church Survey: Third Baptist Church

I’m posting this church survey earlier than I had planned because of a Black Home Owners of TC post that I plan to put up and I wanted this to be available. This is the 1957 Church Survey for the Northwest Urban Renewal Area. It was probably the one spot for in depth information about individual churches, big and small, in Shaw, and a little bit outside of Shaw. This post is about the Third Baptist Church at 1546 5th St NW.

 

photo of property
This was the church of a previous Black Home Owner of Truxton Circle, Officer James S. Boswell who had long since died before this survey was done. But let’s take a look.

CS 19 Third Baptist by Mm Inshaw

Third Baptist was and still is an African American church. In 1957 it reported to have 600 members of which a majority lived in the NW Urban Renewal Area. However there was a mention that members were moving from NW and Georgetown to NE DC. They didn’t report any numbers for their occupational distribution, saying that there were many white collar workers and the majority were unskilled manual workers.