Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church sat at 1308 Vermont Ave NW in Logan Circle. In 1957 it was one of the two predominately African American Lutheran churches in the city. It’s current address is 1306 Vermont Ave NW.
I’ve been holding on to this file out of respect for the ‘crank’ in the file. The crank was Rita Raymond, also known as Carolyn Phillips, aka Mary Dorn, aka Carolyn Mullen. I’m going to guess she’s dead by now. In 1948 she was arrested and released to the custody of her father. The next year, 1949 she was charged with petit larceny, so I’ll assume she was an adult. It’s 2021, she should be dead by now.
At one point in time Rita lived at 1514 5th St NW and going by the name Mrs. Carolyn Phillips. She wrote a letter in 1963 from this address complaining about other people, including a woman who lived in her building. It seems that in 1963, this house (now worth over a million) was a rooming house.
The 1957 survey was a look at churches in what was the Northwest Urban Renewal area. This area’s boundaries were roughly, starting at the southern border I and 15th Street to NY Ave to Mt. Vernon Square, to Massachusetts Ave, 2nd St NE, Florida Ave, then 15th St NW to the west.
There was another survey in 1970. It wasn’t as rich as the 1957 survey. Churches in Shaw: A Report of the Survey of Churches in the Shaw Urban Renewal Area of Washington, D.C., 1970 , seen below, does not look at each and every individual church. The churches are all lopped together in one report.
Not sure what the deal was as I only have the two letters. Both letters are from H. Jeffrey. It looks like he changed his business name, or at least used different letterhead in February and May of 1923 when writing to the Rent Commission of the District of Columbia. In February it was H. Jeffrey And Company, an import, government surplus, chemical, drugs and oils business. In May he was apparently running a paper box company with the Columbia Specialty Paper Box Company.
Today’s entry is Mt. Airy Baptist Church currently at 1100 North Capitol Street NW, was in 1957 at 17 L St NW… which is kinda where the building sits. It’s not in Shaw, it’s over in the NoMa area.
It still is, and was then, an African American church. It was a large church with about 1,300 members. They had a large under 18 population and the majority of the members were white collar workers. About 40% of the members lived in the Northwest survey area, whereas the 60% majority lived in other parts of the District.
Around about the early part of the year I go pecking about looking for the speech Rev. Martin Luther King Jr gave in Shaw. And I can never find it when I look.
Today I was looking for a 1957 Church survey for a church that was at 1520 3rd St NW. But I can’t find that, but when I was looking for it, guess what I found? Yes, the King speech.
It seems it was part of a newsletter published by MICCO (Model Inner City Community Organization) run by Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy from 812 S St NW, which is New Bethel Baptist Church. As you can see from the above flier, Dr. King had an event in Shaw on March 12, 1967 and the newsletter was published the next day.
Once again, this is a church that no longer exists, on lots that no longer exist. St. Paul the Apostle sat at 15th and V Streets NW. It’s campus was on Square 203, lots 800, 801, 802, 803, 806, 807, & 808. The only one of those lots that still exists is 806.
Maybe in the future I will look into when the diocese decided to close or rename it, as St. Augustine sits there now.
St. Augustine is a primarily African American Church. St. Paul was a majority White church, though there is mention that Blacks attended mass in the 1957 church survey.
St. Paul the Apostle’s 1957 demographic information leaves much to be desired. The membership was around 1200 but what were their occupations? Eh, mainly the government. What was the age range? Eh, middle aged? What the heck is 1957 middle aged? It changes depending on how long people live. The geographic info is based on parish boundaries, which most people these days ignore (myself included). The boundary for St. Paul the Apostle was 20th St NW (a bit of Dupont/ Adams Morgan), Girard St NW, 7th St NW, and Q St NW.
Here’s a quick story of Thomas Lawlor. In November 1882 Ofc. Thomas Lawlor, an Irish immigrant, who lived on 4th St NW in Truxton Circle, was at work and fell ill. Then he went home, and died.
Thomas Lawlor lived at 1618 4th St NW with his wife Ellen, and their two children Daniel and Mary in 1880.
The 1880 census didn’t ask if people were owners or renters. I only discovered that Lawlor owned the property because I was searching for the newspaper announcement that he had died. In addition to finding his funeral arrangements, I found a mention of a real estate transfer.
For some reason Thomas Lawlor, the resident of 1618 4th St NW in 1880, sold/ transferred the property (0509E-0053) to James Lawlor in 1878. I don’t know if James is a relative.
It seems to be a very Irish thing, of that time, to have something at the home of the deceased. It appears they departed from 1618 and made their way to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. I wonder if the German George Glorius and his family, one block over, joined the procession? The Glorius family also attended Immaculate, which from personal experience, is a 15 minute brisk walk away from 1618.
There is very little of interest in his personnel file (see https://catalog.archives.gov/id/145835884). He seemed to have wandered into a grocery on North Capitol, where he wasn’t supposed to be, and was written up for it.
There were several cops in Truxton Circle. The two I can think of also died in Truxton Circle. Somewhere I had a list of men who listed themselves as policemen in the various census. Once things open back up I can go down the list and review their personnel files, as I have here for James Boswell.
As you can see from this short bio, a Carl E. Mueller complained about Ofc. Boswell. These complaints and the brouhaha all about it appears in the personnel file. Below is part of his personnel file. I don’t think it is his whole file. And in it are letters from the a bunch of the people involved, including a handwritten letter from Ofc. Boswell. There is a racial element and the N-word is mentioned. I vaguely think it was Boswell who throws the N-word in, as he recalled his version of the conflict.