1930 Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: John T. Wilson- 114 Florida Ave NW

In the 1930 census John T. Wilson is listed as the owner and head of household for 114 Florida Ave NW. It’s on square 551, which means it no longer exists. Run around at the Florida Avenue Park and you’ll probably be where his house was.

John Thomas Wilson was born May 17, 1886 in Durham, NC. He married Bessie M. Gaskins on September 20, 1911. She was listed as his wife on the 1930 census. He worked for the US Department of Agriculture.

The Wilson purchased 114 Florida Avenue NW on October 15, 1926. Prior to moving to Truxton Circle, he and his wife were living with in-laws, the Gaskins, at 4335 Polk St NE. In order to purchase 144 FL Ave NW, he was indebted to Clarence Deveile and Royal Mundy, trustees who had previously owned the property a few months prior, for $3,900.

I am learning, but I won’t pretend I know all that is going on with the land records. But back in 1922, a previous owner, the widow Maggie Lee owed $3,900 to trustees William A. Bowie and Clarence M. Deveile. She borrowed from Deveile and a new partner, again in 1924 for $350 and $1268. Maggie Lee sold it to Royal G. Mundy in March 1926. Royal G. and his wife Emma Mundy was borrowed from Deveile and another partner for $250. In May 1926, the Mundys transferred the property to Clarence M. Deveile.

After the Wilsons bought 114 Florida Avenue, debts from previous owners started clearing. The Mundys’ debts were cleared in December 1926, as was Maggie Lee’s. In January 1927 a debt from a owner prior to Maggie Lee, Samuel and Jennie Rappoport who borrowed in 1919, was cleared. February 1927, for September 1922 and October 1924 debts by Maggie Lee was cleared.  So a year after she sold it, all of her debts were cleared.

The Wilsons paid off the October 1926 debt on February 3, 1927. February 4, 1927 they do this weird thing I’ve noticed in other land records. Usually it is done to add someone or remove someone from the previous deed. What’s going on here? Beats me. Whatever it was, Deveile borrowed $4,250 from Equitable Life Insurance.

The same day (Feb 4, 1927) the Wilsons have the property transferred back to them and they borrowed $4500 from Mundy and Deveile.

Ten days later there are more documents regarding the release of debts from 1916 and a Maggie Lee 1920 debt.

January 7, 1928 the Wilsons borrowed $600 from trustees Deveile and Mundy.  Same date the next year (1/7/1929) the Wilsons borrowed $616 from Deveile and James L. Nielle.

September 11, 1929 it appeared that the Wilsons sold their home to R. Lawrence Plummer. The next document is a 1930 Trustees Deed, which pops up when a property has been foreclosed and auctioned. The auction was announced in the Washington Herald on June 23rd. The property was transferred to the widow Emma Gilmore by DeVeile & Mundy. The final nail was a 1932 Code Deed that transferred the property from the Wilsons to Gilmore, however it was only signed by Gilmore and the notary.

Despite all that, the Wilsons were still at 114 Florida Ave NW during World War II, after they lost legal possession. Checking the 1940 census, John claimed that he owned the property. They were still there for the 1950 census, but the 1950 census does not have ownership information. Sadly that info is lost to time.

John T. Wilson died  January 1965. Bessie died in 1980.