I see this address in the 1920 census and my first thought that even though the head may be African American, I doubt he’s the home owner. This is because the ‘A’ in the 20A O St NW, tells me this is a 2 flat property. And in this area of Truxton Circle it is possible this property belonged to the Washington Sanitary Improvement Company (WSIC).
And what happens when I check the DC Recorder of Deeds on line records? Sam Smith is no where to be found. Like another post that was sort of a dead end, we have a person reporting they are a home owner to a WSIC property. The earliest record for this lot (Sq 617 lot 180) start with WSIC selling on June 16, 1950.
Who was Sam Smith? Do I want to even bother? With a last name of Smith, I wouldn’t be doing myself any favors. But here goes. Samuel Smith (no middle name) was born February 17, 1885 somewhere in Georgia. He was married to a woman named Minnie, also born in Georgia. Around 1917/1918 he lived with his wife at 20A O St NW with Minnie L. Smith and was working for PEPCO (Potomac Electric Power Company). They were still at 20A O St NW for the 1940 census. His name was too common for me to try to find him elsewhere.