Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Tena Jones- 219 Q St NW

In the 1920 census Tena Jones, an African American widow is listed as the owner of 219 Q St NW. She’s recorded as having a boarder, the 65 year old Hester Shelton.

However, looking at the land records it appears Hester Shelton was the actual owner.

From Plate 38219 Q St NW, is one of those messy ones. The property no longer exists as the Northwest Cooperative sits there. Square 551 lot 8 is one of those properties where several other lots claim to be lot 8 too. Novella Gibson also owned what was part of old lot #8.


The first land record I can find in the Recorder of Deeds (1921-Present) is a trust (loan) from 1926 in Hester Shelton’s name. The next, a 1928 trust in Tena Jones’ name where the document says she is the sole heir of Hester Shelton. Hester died July 8, 1927. The Evening Star for July 10, 1927 revealed the relationship between Tena and Hester, they were sisters. Her funeral was at the Third Baptist Church.

There was another Shelton sister, Phyllis, who died December 13, 1927 and her address was listed as 219 Q St NW. Her funeral was held at Third Baptist Church.

Hester’s 1926 loan is paid or released in 1928. However the 1928 trust where Tena Jones borrowed $800 from trustees resulted in her losing the property. In 1931, there is a Trustees Deed. Tena Jones died May 8, 1929 at the age of 82 at Freedmen’s Hospital. Her, or her estate’s failure to pay the debt to the trustees resulted in the loss.

According to her death notice Tena Jones was survived by foster children Robert, Edward, Willie, and Dorothy Jones, Lillian Gibbs, and Ruby Plummer. Her funeral was at the Third Baptist Church.