WSIC-1950s sell off

I’m not sure where I’m going with this but I am looking at the end of the Washington Sanitary Improvement Company (WSIC). The end meaning when the company, or what the company turned into, exited from the history of Truxton Circle and sold off it’s properties.

I became aware of the sell off in a 1952 article in the February 13th Evening Star and a bunch of newspaper searches where their Truxton Circle properties were auctioned off in the early to mid-1950s. I shared one document in my post WSIC-1950 Big Old Property Transfer, where WSIC transferred their property to the Washington Loan and Trust Company. What I didn’t do is look at the next document (#1950024327) from the same day on June 16, 1950 transferred it from the Washington Loan and Trust Company to three fellows, Nathan Levin, James B. Evans, and Nathaniel J. Taube.

That same February 13, 1952 article mentions Levin, Evans and Taube (Tauber) buying some 850 properties from WSIC. In my next post I’ll look at one TC property sold to a regular person.

 

Comparative White DC Home Owner- Capitol Hill- Levi & Francis Wellons- 517 3rd St SE

Normally this blog looks at African American home owners in the Black Homeowners of Truxton Circle series.  But for comparisons’ sake we’ll look at white home owners during the same period, in the same mortgage “redlined” zone F1.

Earlier we looked at Bessie and Matthew Woods who owned 517 Third St SE up until 1943. Then followed the Garbers, and after them, now the Wellons.

photo of property

In may 1949 Levi and Francis Wellons bought 517 3rd St SE. They used a loan from the Metropolis Building Association for about $7,000 and a $5000 loan from trustees William H. Boaze and Bernard Kretsinger. And then they sold it in 1956 to Charles Walker and Walker’s wife and mother. No excitement here, they bought a house, got 2 loans and seven years later, sold it. The end.

Levi Thomas Wellons Jr, was born May 20, 1915 in Southampton, VA to Levi Wellons Sr and Sallie Mary Rose. In 1936 he married Frances Winter and they had several children. In 1940 Levi, Frances, their children Rose and Levi III, lived around the corner at 214 South Carolina Ave SE with his in-laws. In the 1950 census, it appears the house is in 3 units and the Leeds family is in Apt 1. The Wellons were still on S. Carolina Ave SE with a new son, William.

Hum, it appears I’ve made an assumption. I’ve assumed that the Wellons were resident owners. They were, sort of, and I don’t feel like hunting down proof that they lived in the house. They lived on the block. Close enough.

The Wellons had ownership, part or full, of the following lots on Sq. 0765: 21, 22, 75, 77, 801 and 802. A quick look at the land records and it appears they unloaded most of their property on this block in 1959.

They eventually moved to Maryland. I don’t know what happened to Mrs. Wellons but Levi remarried. He died in 2007 in Deale, MD.

Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Bennie & Edna Evans- 1602 4th St NW

Bennie L. and his wife Edna Evans owned 1602 4th St NW for a short period, from 1944 to 1950. They were there long enough to appear in the 1950 census living on 4th St. So this will be short.

photo of property

The Evans purchased the property May 4, 1944 from Nick and Helen Basiliko, the brother and sister-in-law of George Basiliko. The Basilikos show up frequently in the real property records. As a part of the purchase they were able to borrow $1,950 at 6% interest from trustees Herman Miller and J. Vernon Thomas. Six years later, they sold it on July 20, 1950 to Louis and Rena L. Rosenthal.

They were there in such short time it is hard to locate good information about who the Evans were. In the 1950 census, Bennie worked as a janitor for the railroad. Edna appears to have been a stay at home mom to their children Bessie Mae (16 years old) and Arvin (10 y.o.).

They had 2 roomers. Here I will note 1602 4th St NW has a basement unit with it’s own exterior entrance. I should also note their names are William and Lucille Robinson. There is a strong possibility that these may have been relatives. There is a record of Bennie Evans marrying Etta Robinson in Kershaw, SC in February 1934.

Bennie Leslie Evans was born September 28, 1904 in Camden, SC. At some point he moved over to 207 Randolph Pl NE. He retired with a Railroad pension and he died March 26, 1988.

History of the Negro Church- A Dull Report

So in prepping for February 2023, I have finally finished Shaw resident and father of Black History, Carter G. Woodson’s, History of the Negro Church. Good lord this book is boring. I’m just yawning at the thought of writing anything about it.

Sadly, this book is not as engaging as the Mis-Education of the Negro. But there are some useful parts, which unfortunately require getting through the tedious parts of the book to appreciate.

19-22-011-museum.jpgBishop Richard Allen By Dsdugan - Self-photographed, CC0, Link

One of the biggest things I got out of it was that African Americans were organizing and establishing and operating churches and preaching in America prior to the Civil War. Slavery and emancipation where major themes in the book. It is also Methodist heavy.

Thinking of this book makes me wonder if there is an alternative approach to Black history, which tends to be focused on the period of slavery. It is so much so, one may be left with the impression that African Americans didn’t do anything until they were emancipated, either by running North or with the Emancipation Proclamation.

There are gems, but you need to dig through a lot of dullness to get to them. When February rolls around, I’ll try not to bore anyone. Well, no more than I normally bore you.

Comparative White DC Home Owner- Capitol Hill- Clarence Garber- 517 3rd St SE

Normally this blog looks at African American home owners in the Black Homeowners of Truxton Circle series. As a way to see if what was going on for Black mortgagees was normal, or not, I am comparing them with white home owners.  I am looking at blocks that were over 90% white in 1950 but also in the same “red lined” zone, which was F1.

Earlier we looked at Bessie and Matthew Woods who owned 517 Third St SE up until 1943. There was a period when Clarence Garber owned 517 3rd St SE Bessie, after the death of Matthew from 1939-1943.

The co-ownership seemed a little unusual and I tried to find a connection between between Laura Bessie Mae Moffatt-Davis-Woods-O’Donnell (thrice married) and Clarence Anthony Garber or his wife Buelah Mae Armentrout Garber. The connections were scant. Bessie was from Loudon County VA, the Garbers from Stauton, VA. They do not appear to be related. Nor were they neighbors during the 1920 nor the 1930 census.

photo of property

Clarence A. Garber came to own the house in 1939. Let’s recap what happened from the Woods’ post:

In 1939 there were a series a deeds. Documents 1939037405 and 1939037406 transferred the property from Matthew and Bessie Woods to Bessie Woods and Clarence A. Garber, via Edward J. Berdaus. In 1943 the property was transferred to George A. Brennan and there was a note that Bessie’s name changed to Bessie O’Donnell. The next document, #1943027651, transferred the property from Brennan to Clarence A. and his wife Beulah M. Garber.

Upon the removal of Bessie’s name from the property and Clarence and Beulah Garber being the sole owners, they got a loan. The day they both became owners, October 28, 1943, they borrowed $3500 from the Washington Loan and Trust Company. Their ownership ended when they sold the property to Levi Thomas Wellons Jr and his wife Frances on May 6, 1949.

The Garbers show up in the 1940 census. In 1940 Clarence was a 31 year old carpenter living with his wife Beulah, a stay at home mom to their 2 sons, Robert and Fred. They also had two lodgers, Catherine Uhrig and Bessie M Woods, not yet O’Donnell. Bessie was part owner of the house in 1940. The house is large enough to be 2 units with an English basement below.

The Garbers had family in the neighborhood. Clarence’s father, Anthony Garber (also a carpenter) lived over at 122 5th St SE. During the 1930 census, the newlyweds Clarence and Beulah lived there with newborn Robert, along with sisters Ruth & Pauline.

After selling 517 to the Wellons, who will be covered in another post, the Garbers bought 3025 24th St NE a few days later on May 10, 1949. They owned it until 1956. Clarence died in 1988 in Huntingtown, MD. Beulah died in 2000 and is buried in Prince George’s County Maryland.

Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Frank Freeman- 1643 New Jersey Ave NW

 

photo of propertyThe problem with Frank Freeman is that the earliest record is from 1939. The other problem is he’s one of those owners who seemed to use their house like an ATM.

When I went to look at the Recorder of Deeds records, there was nothing prior to 1939 for lot 806. Looking at the 1933-34 General Assessment, the Murrays next door at 1645 NJ Ave NW, owned the property, which then was a vacant lot. The Kelsey Associates’ Historic Survey of Shaw East, which includes the odd side of New Jersey Ave NW, does not list 1643 NJ Av NW. There is a note in the July 24, 1954 Evening Star about owner Frank Freeman at 1643 New Jersey Av NW having a building built at 1210 Irving St NE. So there was something there.

Despite owning the property since 1939, if not before, he does not appear in the 1940 census. He shows up at 1643 NJ Av on his World War II draft card dated in April 1942 living in Apartment 2. 1643 New Jersey Ave NW is a multi-unit building, now they are condos.

Anyway, let’s get into the Recorder of Deeds records. Frank Freeman had about 13 loans between 1939 and 1972. Most of those loans were through the Perpetual Building Association, and various other individual trustees. Below I have listed the loans he took out. Continue reading Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Frank Freeman- 1643 New Jersey Ave NW

1957 Church Survey: Full Gospel Tabernacle

In 1957 there was as survey of churches in the Northwest Urban Renewal Area, which included Shaw, Downtown, and parts of NE DC. The NW Urban Renewal Area was shrunk down to the Shaw Urban Renewal Area and other Urban Renewal Areas. To learn more about the 1957 Church Survey read my previous post Church Survey Northwest Urban Renewal Area October 1957.

The Full Gospel Tabernacle Church used to sit at 915 Massachusetts Ave NW (Square 370, lots 801-802) in 1957. Currently there is a modern multi-family (mixed-use) residential building there now. Full Gospel Tabernacle is now located at 632 11th Street NE and their web presence seems eh*. Their daycare website appears to have stock photography, so I wonder.

Is 915 Massachusetts Ave NW in Shaw?

map of Shaw and CHWell according to the above map. Nope.

Let’s go to the survey:

CS 37 Full Gospel by Mm Inshaw

It, according to the 1957 survey was 100% Caucasian. Huh. Now I wonder if the 1957 and the 2022 Full Gospel Tabernacle Churches are the same, because the 2022 one appears to be predominately Black.

No matter. Let’s look at the 1957 church.

As noted, in the survey the congregation was white. A quick look at the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America site searching the term “Full Gospel” brought up some wedding announcements with white brides and ads for the church at 915 Mass Av NW with a photo of a white minister.

The church was 80% white collar, and 5% professional. So probably government workers with a few doctors and lawyers. All the other categories were 5%-3%. The church had been at the site since 1937. There may have been a Full Gospel Tabernacle in Alexandria around about the same time.  Go figure.

No surprise, only 1% of the congregants lived in the predominately Black NW Urban Renewal Area. Over half lived in other parts of NW DC and the rest out in the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia.

Lastly, a quick look at the DC Recorder of Deeds and it appears that the Full Gospel Assembly, along with trustees sold the property in 1965. So they didn’t last a decade after the survey.

*Yes, I haven’t updated the main Inshaw.com page in 10 years, so who am I to talk.

Comparative White DC Home Owner- Capitol Hill- Bessie and Matthew Woods- 517 3rd St SE

This blog has been exploring Black Homeowners of Truxton Circle. As a way to see if what was going on for Black mortgagees was normal, or not, I am comparing them with white home owners.  I am looking at blocks that were over 90% white in 1950 but also in the same “red lined” zone, which was F1.

This post is looking at the Woods’ ownership of 517 Third St SE. According to Redfin, it is currently a 3 bdrm, 3.5 bath 2,295 square foot home. There were several sets of resident home owners, but going with the records of the Recorder of Deeds, starting around 1920, we encounter Bessie and Matthew Woods.

photo of property

The first document that appears on the database is document #192608090147, an August 1926 trust, between Bessie and Matthew Woods and trustees George M. Emmerich and Raymond J. Vierbuchen with the American Building Association for $4,200. The next month in September 1926 the Woods paid off a loan with trustees Harry E. Gladman and Alfred H. Lawson. The 1926 loan was cleared in 1943.

In 1939 there were a series a deeds. Documents 1939037405 and 1939037406 transferred the property from Matthew and Bessie Woods to Bessie Woods and Clarence A. Garber, via Edward J. Berdaus. In 1943 the property was transferred to George A. Brennan and there was a note that Bessie’s name changed to Bessie O’Donnell. The next document, #1943027651, transferred the property from Brennan to Clarence A. and his wife Beulah M. Garber. We’ll look at the Garbers in a different post.

The Woods show up in the 1930 census at 517 Third Street SE. Matthew was the 43 year old head who worked as a machinist for the US Government. He lived with his 51 year old wife Bessie and  two roomers, David and Catherine Boyer. On August 1, 1939, Matthew died. That explains the deeds transferring the property that year.

Laura Bessie May Maffett, was born April 2, 1879 in Cameron, VA to Peter F. Maffett and Ellen Virginia Davis. She was married three times, no children, Matthew Woods was her second husband. She married Edward O’Donnell around 1942. She died May 1961 in Capital Hill.

WSIC-1950 Big Old Property Transfer

Around 1950 the Washington Sanitary Improvement Company, which owned several large blocks of property in Truxton Circle and parcels in other parts of Washington DC, sold off their holdings. The experiment of charitable capitalism had come to an end after half a century.

There are a whole lot of properties in this document. So I’m just going to leave this here and may expand on it later. As part of this WSIC series.

Washington Loan and WSIC-1950024326 by Mm Inshaw on Scribd