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.

10/04/1939 TRUST Perpetual Building Association
01/08/1954 TRUST Perpetual Building Association
08/25/1954 TRUST
02/08/1955 TRUST
05/12/1955 TRUST Perpetual Building Association
05/12/1955 TRUST
05/10/1960 TRUST
05/26/1965 TRUST Perpetual Building Association
10/12/1965 TRUST
10/07/1966 TRUST
04/26/1967 TRUST Perpetual Building Association
06/27/1967 TRUST
09/13/1968 TRUST
04/25/1969 TRUST
11/04/1971 DEED
03/29/1972 TRUSTEES DEED Perpetual Building Association


I tried looking Frank Freeman up in the DC papers. Unfortunately, there was a Y. Frank Freeman in the world who was a Paramount Studios executive running around at the same time.

I was able to confirm his place and date of birth, April 19, 1892 in Goldsboro, NC. He was the son of Haywood and Dolly/Dollie Freeman. He had two sisters. He worked as a driver (taxi and chauffeur) for most of his life.  I could not find any mention of his death. He was married to a Harriet A. Freeman, but by the 1950 census they had separated. She appears on one property document. So I am left to assume he died with no family.