Today’s African American Truxton Circle resident from the 1920 Census who owned their home is a thirty-three year old express man named Ernest H. Saulter. He lived at 30 P St NW with his wife Ethel Willie. No children. No boarders. Just those two. The property no longer exists, and the Mundo Verde Public Charter School sits there. When it did exist, it sat across from the space between Langston and Slater schools. Prior to 30 P St NW, Ernest Howard Saulter lived at 433 Rhode Island Ave NW, and 309 I St NW, which also does not exist anymore.
A 1922 city directory shows Mr. Saulter’s business address as 30-32 P St NW. On his 1917 draft card, when he was on Rhode Island, he listed himself as being self-employed. When looking at the Recorder of Deed records the Saulters owned lots 21, 90, and 832. On the 1919 Baist map above, lot 21 and 832 are pretty much the same lot. In 1921 Clarence M. DeVeile (not Cruella DeVille) sold the property on lot 90 to the Saulters. DeVeile had bought the property a month earlier from Henrietta Finnegan. In order to purchase it, DeVeile borrowed $1250.00 from what looked to be the Washington Six Percent Permanent Building Association. In November of 1923, the Saulters sold lot 90 to the District of Columbia government.
Lot 21 is confusing. In the old map, it is the old number, it’s part of lot 832 and there is another lot 21 facing North Capitol Street. It’s very hard to tell what’s going on with that, so I will just look at the transactions involving the Saulters. It appears they bought the P St facing lot in 1923 from the estate of Jane Steward formerly Jane Scott. But then it appears that a month or so later they sell it to the DC government.
Looking at other Recorder of Deeds documents, Ernest owned property elsewhere too. In 1924 Ernest and Ethel purchased what could have been 609 Rhode Island Ave NW. There is a vacant lot in that space which is Sq. 442 lot 3. That same year they brought 147 Rhode Island Avenue NW (sq. 3108, lot 0003) which does still exist. The Saulters stop showing up in the Recorder of Deeds records after 1937 with a trustees deed between the Saulters and the Homeowner’s Loan Corporation. That same year the Homeowner’s Loan Corporation sell the 147 Rhode Island Ave NW to Marie H. Malvan and Mildred R. Schey for $4,750.
The last record of Ernest Saulter is in a World War II draft card. The card dates from around 1942. At that time Mr. Saulter is 56 years old. He is living at 805 O St NW, about where the Giant parking garage sits. The contact he has listed is a woman named Estelle Johnson, at the same address. This brings to question, where is Ethel? Mr. Saulter is listed as self-employed but having “defective eyes”.