Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: James R. Clark

Hey, another waiter from 1920.

photo of propertyJames R. Clark was listed in the 1920 census as a widower waiter living at and owning 238 P St NW. But according to land records he didn’t get the property in his name until 1922. The land records are a little confusing.

There a deed from 1922 transferring Sq. 533 lot 0102 from other tenants at that address to Mr. Clark. Document #192206230090 dated June 23, 1922, transferred the property from Alberta Cunningham, Harry F, Dorothy, Marie and Robert C. Kendrick, Blanche and John J. Lynch to Clark. Alberta and her husband Warren Cunningham were also at 238 P St NW in the 1920 Census as renters. Mr. Clark’s roommate was Robert Kendrick.

The land records only go as far back as 1920-1921. There is proof that James Clark lived in the neighborhood before 1920. His 1917/1918 World War I draft registration had him living at 238 P St NW with his wife Mary M. Clark and working at the Harrington Hotel.  The 1914 and 1915 city directories have him at the same address, as a waiter. Prior to that in 1910, he was at 415 U St NW.

His ownership seemed short lived. Later that year in December of 1922, Clark sold the property to William T. Overhall. In the 1930 census, William T. Overhall is listed as the African American owner of 238 P St NW. And like James R. Clark, he too was a waiter.