Property Owners of Truxton Circle- The Brungers

I’ve jumped around and I think I have all the multi-lot owners and the surnames that appear several times. Now we come to William C. and Annie C. Brunger, owners of lot 844 on Square 551, 210 R Street NW.

Since the Ancestry search (available via the awesome DC Public Library) gave me the right info straight out of the gate, I’ll start there first. Ancestry has these family tree things and the Brungers show up in the Reynolds-Smith family tree. The English born carpenter (later foreman), William Charles Brunger (1865- 1928) was married to Annie Caroline Wright (1865-1926), and they had 3 children (Berton William Brunger was born 1889 in DC – died in 1970 in FL; Lillian R Brunger – Leonberger 1893–1967 – also in FL; and Charles A Brunger 1894–1921). In his will he left his daughter Lillian (aka Mrs. F.J. Leonberger) 11 Kennedy Street NE. Berton was bequeathed 210 R St NW, in Truxton Circle. His son Charles was already dead and apparently childless, so nothing for him.

The 1900 Census has the Brunger family living on Sq. 551, but not at 210 R St NW. They are at 1637 3rd St NW in 1910 and 1920. I have discovered they are not on the TruxtonCircle.org Excel sheet for 1900. According to a city directory he lived at 11 Kennedy Street NE in 1926.

Image not found Continue reading Property Owners of Truxton Circle- The Brungers

Property Owners of Truxton Circle- Ernst Hauser

Image not foundOkay, now that figured out the deeds and trusts and other property document stuff let’s dive in with Ernst Hauser, owner of lots C, D, & E. In 1939, the survivors of Ernest/Ernst Hauser sold the lots to E.M. Aiken Inc.

The lots C-E appear to be what is now Mt. Sinai’s rear parking lot. On the Baist map shown here, the addresses appear to be 233-237 Q Street NW.


The deed has helpful information. The first person mentioned is William E. Hauser (aka William Hauser) and we are told he’s single. After Ernest F. Hauser (who is married to Lottie E. Hauser) we get another single guy Harry Louis Hauser. Then we learn Ernest Hauser is dead. And Sophia E. Hauser, a life tenant, died March 26, 1935.

Continue reading Property Owners of Truxton Circle- Ernst Hauser

Property Owners of Truxton Circle- George S. Duncan

It’s amazing how many George S. Duncans were in the world. And when I thought this Duncan was a reverend, there are a couple of Rev. George S. Duncans of Scottish decent. Thankfully the land records gave away his middle name and named his wife so that helped narrow things down.

George Stewart Duncan (3/2/1860-1946) and his wife Florence W. Duncan (1872-1949) owned several lots on Square 551. They owned Lot 16, which appears to include Lots 838 to 843, and Lots 30, 31, 32 and 840. They lived at 2900 7th St NE, not in Truxton Circle. His main profession was that of a minister and later he became an instructor at American University in Tenleytown. If I have the right Rev. George S. Duncan he is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery.

I’ve gone through an abnormal name change, so it could be karma should some future historian try to follow me. George S. seems to also be a George L. Duncan, as he has the same birthday. He’s gone through more than one wife as he is married to both a Florence and a Georgie Dennison both of New York state. Georgie was about 6-7 years older than George, and Florence was a younger model by 12 years. And they all lived on 7th Street NE.

Lot 32 went through an address change. According to Document #1936027307 it used to be 1619 3rd Street NW, and became 1633 3rd Street NW. It seems when the Duncans bought the property in 1924 it was 1619. By the time they do something (I am unsure how to interpret these documents) in 1936 with Mrs. John R. Hall (Martha K. Perry Hall) the address had changed to 1633 3rd St NW. With Square 511 having a different layout after the 1970s, this hints to trying to tie lots with addresses, difficult.  It appears that they sell it (all the lots) in 1941.

Landowner list of Sq 551I guess the reason why I am confused by the property documents are how they line up, or don’t, with the census records. So in 1930 the previously mentioned John and Martha Hall lived at 1633 3rd St NW and were listed as owners. But in the 1933-1934 Real Property Assessment (click on the image to see a larger sized item) has Rev. Duncan as the assessed party or owner. The documents between the white Duncans and the African American Halls range from 1924 to 1941. What was going on? I have no idea.

Property Owners of Truxton Circle- The Rosenthals of PA

In my previous posts, I looked at the surnames that appeared more than once on the above snippet of an image from the 1933-1934 property assessment for Square 551. The first post was for the Bundys, particularly James Bundy, a notable African American attorney. Next were the Russian immigrant Levitovs. I was pretty excited to find photographs of Max and Rose. But the next family, the Rosenthals were a little bit more of a challenge.

Normally, I assume the owners are local. I know that it isn’t a given, and in the case of the line Wilhelm & Gunther Rosenthal, owners of SSL:551-0843, they were not in DC. Thankfully, the records from the Recorder of Deeds points us to Berks County, Pennsylvania.

There were 3 documents for the Rosenthals, Document #1937000812, #1941037098, and #1942003233. They state that Minna L. Rosenthal was acting on behalf Sarah J. Rosenthal. I wasn’t sure what was Minna’s relationship to Gunther, Wilhelm or Sarah. Other Rosenthals mentioned in the documents were Elise, and Elise L.D. (sometimes D.L. in other docs). No mention of Wilhelm.

Those documents relate to lots 66,67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72 and 75, parts of old Lot 17. These probably were 208 to 214 R St NW. In 1900 a widowed landlady Amanda Rosenthal owned and lived at 214 R St NW. Amanda was born in Pennsylvania, but I wouldn’t have assumed to look for family there. Continue reading Property Owners of Truxton Circle- The Rosenthals of PA

Property Owners of Truxton Circle- The Robinsons

Corner of R and Florida Ave NW, circa 1919/1921

For the Robinsons, you need to have read my post on the Levitovs because according to the Recorder of Deeds records, this is tied up in the Lot 19 mess.  Washington Robinson, is listed as the owner of Lot 848, but as we discovered with the Levitovs, Lots 846 to 855 are part of old Lot 19.

The thing with land records is that they don’t provide a lot of demographic information. I have no idea how old the people are. I can guess at ethnicity by names. So trying to tie people in with what I can find on Ancestry can be tricky. But sometimes the land records clue you in to other data points. With Washington Robinson, his wife Susie (nee Turner) is mentioned in some of the documents. And a rarity, the documents mentioned the address of their property, 144 R St NW. Continue reading Property Owners of Truxton Circle- The Robinsons

Property Owners of Truxton Circle- – The Levitovs

So last time we looked at the Bundys, the African Americans who owned parts of Sq. 551 in Truxton Circle. So now I turn to the Levitovs, whose name appears on the image I was looking at several times.

Image not found
Source: Library of Congress- https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3851bm.gct00135a/?sp=41

Max & Rose Levitov appear twice (551-0846, 551-0855). Max Levitov (551-0854)appears once by himself.

The thing about Square 551, which is bounded by 1st, Q, 3rd, R and Florida Ave is that the houses that were once there, no longer exist. It is now Florida Avenue Park, the Northwest Co-op (not public housing), and the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church. The other thing about S. 551 is that it was a commercial block. There was a dairy over on 1st Street and the block had warehouses and whatnot. So keep that in mind as we look at the Levitovs.

Having had worked at the US Holocaust Museum and having Jewish friends, the names Max & Rose Levitov just jump out at me as being Jewish. And the 1930 Census came through. Max was a Russian whom immigrated to America in 1909 and spoke Hebrew. Continue reading Property Owners of Truxton Circle- – The Levitovs

Property Owners of Truxton- Addendum to the Bundys

Okay, James F. Bundy from my previous post was on the DC School Board. So the Bundy School and the Bundy playground was named after him.

I found an obituary for him from the Evening Star on the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America site. In December 14, 1914 he died at the age of 50 at Freedmens Hospital. One of his pallbearers was Judge Robert H. Terrell.

Although he was born in Virginia, he spent most of his life in Washington, DC. He did leave for Oberlin College in Ohio, but returned to attend Howard.

Not sure what his belief system was. He was listed as a trustee for the Baha’i Assembly of Washington. But he was a member of the Second Baptist Church in his obit.

In addition to have been on the DC School Board (1901-1907), he was the secretary of the Howard University Law faculty. He was an alumni graduating from Howard Law school in 1886. When I looked for him, I would find his name attached to public notices regarding wills and probate.

Somewhere in a university library is his biography, “James F. Bundy, 1862-1914” by Charles Murdah Thomas. His papers are at the Historical Society of Washington, DC.

Property owners of Truxton Circle– The Bundys

Just out of curiosity I’m going to revisit an image I used regarding an African American female homeowner. But she created a mental roadblock and I lost my rhythm.

Landowner list of Sq 551

This image is part of the 1933-34 property tax assessment page for part of Sq. 551, which is between R, 3rd, Q, 1st and Florida. Continue reading Property owners of Truxton Circle– The Bundys

Doomed History

There is a saying, that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And then there is another saying, “This time it’s different.” Both can be true.

111-LC-52730
Shaw destruction appeared in minute 13 of the original 19 minute clip. This is only 10 mins.

In 1968 Shaw, and some other areas, experienced an uprising, a riot, a civil disturbance, or whatever you choose to call it. Buildings were burnt out, stores were looted, windows were broken and it took 30 years for the neighborhood to come back.

I am concerned about the neighborhood and what may happen after Election Day. I’ve been predicting presidential elections correctly since I was 10. Y’all ain’t gonna like the results, so I’m taking Desctructo-kid and hanging out with friends in the boonies of Maryland for a while. I could be wrong. If so, it’s a little vacation. [UPDATE 11/9/20. It looks like my prediction streak hit a snag. Well as long as the people are happy, so be it.]

Our block fared okay in 1968. It should be okay. However in 1968 businesses on the corner of New Jersey and Rhode Island were damaged.

Most of the damage Shaw experienced in 1968 were along her commercial corridors along 14th, 9th, and 7th Streets. Black businesses were hit as well as white and Asian businesses and property.

Southeast on 7th and M Street, 1969

The destruction brought neither justice or peace. It did hasten building public and affordable housing because it also made neighborhood property cheaper. The thing with urban renewal is that the government buying the property gets to value to the property. And in minority areas, the government doesn’t pay top dollar.

Yes, this time it is different. Shaw isn’t a slum. But this time there are struggling businesses on the edge, as there was in 1968. COVID-19 has made it a sad Darwinist contest of survival of the fittest businesses. I just hope we never see the days of burned out husks of buildings and rows of empty storefronts again.

 

Black Homeowners of Truxton Circle- The Garretts of 1408 3rd St NW

I’m gong to try a different angle since I am still discombobulated about someone who lied to the Census. This time I just decided to look at my big old Truxton Circle 1880-1940 database and pick one. Since the online records for the Recorder of Deeds starts in 1921, I figured starting with the 1920 Census was safe.

I picked John W. Garrett of 1408 3rd Street NW (SSL:W0553-0810) who was listed as a mulatto (African American)  Engineer and head of household. In 1920, Mr. Garrett was a 70 year old West Virginia native living with his 2 daughters Beatrice E. Garrett and Armetia M. Johnson and 7 year old granddaughter Marjorie Johnson. By the 1930 Census Mr. Garrett had died, Armeta/Armetia was listed as the head and her 1920 sister was now her partner? (head tilt) Both Beatrice and Armeta were dressmakers, probably self employed dressmakers. They could have been in business with each other. In 1940 the inhabitants of 1408 3rd are listed as renters, including Beatrice Jarrott, which sounds awfully like Beatrice Garrett. They could be the same person, but the ages don’t line up. She could have lied about her age, adding on 10 years in the 1940 census.

The Recorder of Deeds has Beatrice Garrett showing up in May 1951. I am not 100% sure how to read deeds and other property documents, so it appears to me that she and Marjorie Ellen Rand sold the property to Violet M. Barbour. Could Marjorie Rand be the same Garrett granddaughter listed in the 1920 census?