1920 to 1930- White to Black- 1703 New Jersey Avenue NW

photo of property

The odd side of the 1700 block of New Jersey Ave NW went from 100% white in 1920 to 100% Black in 1930.  I was wondering why, but after doing two of these, it seems obvious. I’m going to fast forward to the answer, people move on, and it appears that around 1920-1921 this row of houses were sold to African American families. By the time the 1930 census enumerators came around Black families had been there for years.

In 1920 renter Harry Somersett Aubinoe (Aulinae in the census) (1882-1968) was a 37 year old auto repairman. He lived at 1703 NJ Ave with his wife Hattie E. (nee Randall) (1890-1959), their two children Randall S. (1909-1969) and Mae/May Estelle (later Fajardo)(1916-1994), Hattie’s sister Ethel O. Poole,  their brother-in-law Charles Dewey Poole (1897-1964) and nephew Charles (1918-1997).  Harry and Charles were both automobile repairmen, and sister in law Ethel was a telephone operator.

In 1910, Ethel and Hattie were teenagers living with their parents in a very crowded house at 1829 6th St. Harry, lived there too, as he was married to the 19 year old Hattie at the time and working as a metal worker. Son Randall was just a wee babe. I cannot locate Charles Poole in 1910.

In 1930 the Aubinoes were at 905 Buchanan St NW, still renting. The Pooles were difficult to locate for this year. Harry was still working with automobile repair and 20 year old Randall was a US government messenger. Later for his WWII registration in the 1940s, he worked for the US Department of Agriculture and the family was living at 1446 V St SE. Fifty-nine year old Harry had to register and was listed as working for the Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 102.

According to the 1930 census the owner of 1703 NJ Ave NW was a widowed African American school teacher Amelia J. Green (Greene in the census). The earliest document they have is a 1926 loan document for Amelia Green and Grace V. Carroll. When the house is sold in 1953, Amelia Green Magowan is the surviving tenant and Grace V. Taylor had died, but no date was given (September 29, 1935).  Grace Taylor was Amelia’s daughter on the 1930 census.

There’s very little information about Mrs. Green, her daughter and son in law Herbert Taylor. In the 1940 census Mrs. Green is mistakenly listed as living at 1705 NJ Av NW with 3 lodgers. Looking in the newspaper was no help either as there was a young lady, also named Amelia Green of Seat Pleasant, MD who was part of an organized thieving ring. However, I found an Amelia Magowan, who lead me to a Noah W. Magowan (1869-1945), who died in 1945 at 1703 New Jersey Avenue. For most of the time Noah was married to a woman named Mary, it’s unclear when Amelia came into his life.

There was an Amelia Magowan (d. 1961) at 1703 NJ Ave NW in the 1950 census.

In conclusion, the white renters remained renters, but renting elsewhere. The African American home owners, Mrs. Green-Magowan and Mrs. Green-Taylor, owned and resided at 1703 NJ Ave NW from roughly 1920/1923 to 1953, a good thirty years.

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