Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: John P Davis- 1623 4th St NW

I return to the street where I lived, 4th St in Truxton Circle and this tale opens the door to talking about getting old. The next name of an African American home owner the 1920 census gives us, is John P. Davis.

photo of property

Sadly, I could not find a lot of information about Mr. Davis. He’s in the 1910 and 1920 census, living on 4th St, but that’s pretty much it. Hunting about in the Evening Star, he held several positions in the Knights Templar, an organization (freemasons?), and was involved with other mens’ funerals. He seemed to be part of the Sir Knights of Gethsemane, subgroup of the Knights Templar. John P. Davis died December 8, 1926. He left behind Mary (nee Pierce). His funeral was at Galbraith AME church.

The land records tell the story of the state getting involved with Mary. Below is the first document on the Recorder of Deeds site for this property. The records on the site start around 1921, this document is from 1949, long after the death of John.

Public Notice of Indebitnes… by Mm Inshaw

This is the second time in this series I have seen the state step in and involve themselves regarding a widow’s property. It is the first time I have come across this kind of notice from the Board of Public Welfare.

So the above was the 1st record. So that hints that the Davis owned their property free and clear (no mortgage) and didn’t use the property to borrow money.

So the first document was from October 1949. Two months later, this was followed by an “Agreement.” In the Agreement Rachel Parker agreed to take on the care of Mary Davis for the house. Part of the agreement was that Mrs. Parker would move into the house with her husband and their 2 children. The is immediately followed with a deed transferring the property to Mrs. Parker. None of the paperwork reveals the relationship between Rachel Parker and Mary Davis.

The next year in May 1950 Davis and Parker agreed to borrow $4,500 from the People’s Life Insurance Company. Then they borrow $1,500 from an individual, in July 1950. Then another $1,100 in October 1950. This was followed by $600 in March 1951.

With all this borrowing, the bill comes due. So in July of 1951, Rachel Parker sold the property to Harry Moerman who immediately transferred the house to John Bolds. The property returned to Moerman in 1956 with a trustee’s deed.