1930 Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Robert B. Davis- 1608 1st St NW

Robert Bernard Davis was born in Amherst County, VA to George and Emeline Davis in either 1873 or 1869. He married Nannie Virginia King in that same county on May 23, 1900. They lived in Amherst Co. with their growing family (8 children) until at some point when they moved to DC and wound up at 1608 1st St NW in 1930.

The 1930 census is where we first encounter the Davis family. Robert Davis was an African American hotel janitor. Previously in Amherst he was a laborer in the coal industry. By 1930 he was 58 years old, his wife, Nannie was 54. They lived with their 3 adult children, 2 minor children and eight lodgers. Their adult sons, 29 year old John J. and 24 year old King Davis worked as cooks at a cafe. Their 18 year old daughter, Geneva, 16 year old son Robert and 14 year old George King were unemployed. Also in the house was Robert’s brother Nashville King who worked as a laborer for the railroad.

In June of 1926 Robert Davis obtained 1608 First Street NW (0551/0201) from Emma Johnson. He and Nannie borrowed $4500 from Hane & Hill; $3000 from Crittenden & Hill; $1349.26 from trustees King & Smith within a few days of becoming owners of 1608.

Robert cleared three debts from previous owners in 1926.

They didn’t stay long. There is a trustee’s deed from September 1935 for the $4500 debt. The property was auctioned and the Rohrback family ( at least 6 named individuals) were the new owners. They transferred (sold?) it in 1936 to Etta B. and Isaiah Liseby.

Looking at the 1940 census the Davis family had moved to and were owners of 1524 Washington Place NE. It’s over where the Rhode Island DMV is, over there by the world’s worst Home Depot. By then Nannie had died (2/18/1931) and Robert B. was living with his son Robert, daughter in law and grandson.

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