1920 to 1930- White to Black- 1733 New Jersey Avenue

1700 Block NJ Ave NW, 1930. Brown= AfAm residents; White= No data

In this series of looking at the odd numbered side of the 1700 block of New Jersey Ave NW from 1920 to 1930, I decided to look at the other end of the block. The change from 1920 to 1930 for most of the block was from white renters to black home owners. My post The sell off of the 1700 block of New Jersey Ave NW pretty much explains the why.

At this point, I’m just seeing who lived there, where did they go, where did they live before, and who were the African American buyers who purchased the property and where did they live before.

1920 Renters

There were two white households living at 1733 New Jersey Ave NW in 1920. The Tidmeyers (actually Widmire), headed by 47 year old plasterer Charles, and the Millers headed by 30 year old driver John. Neither household had children in their households at the time.

I can’t give a history for the Millers because there was another John Miller in DC, living on Wisconsin Ave NW, married to a Florence. Their birthyears are around about the same time. But the John Miller at 1733 was married to Flossie and drove an ice cream wagon. I need to note his neighbor at 1731 also drove an ice cream wagon.

Ancestry confuses Charles F. Widmeyer who was also married to an Elizabeth with Charles A. Widmire married to Bessie (a variant of Elizabeth). The tip off was that Chas. F’s wife died in 1907. So I am not 100% sure I picking a Chuck based off my best guess.

Charles was born in Washington, DC around 1870 to German parents. He married Bessie around 1890. Bessie brought 3 sons (Eugene, John J. and Frank Convoy) into the marriage and together had daughter Helen. In 1900 and 1910 the family lived at 520 R St NW. 1920 was not a good year for Charles. In the Evening Star he brought a complaint to the Rent Commission in March 1920. It appears the commission made their decision late in the year after M. Chiswell sold the property. The new owners, the Whiteheads could up the rent to $40. Charles died March 18, 1949 at 1227 6th St NW, and was predeceased by his wife.

The Owners

1733 NJ Ave NW (Sq. 507, lot 26) based on a July 1926 release from a loan with W. Wallace Chiswell, Harry A. Kite, James A. and Coralie Whitehead purchased the property November 1, 1920.

James Arthur Whitehead was born November 8, 1890 in Hawkinsville, GA to America C. and Turner Whitehead. He married Coralie Wade from Florida and they had four children. He tried his hand at farming in Winter Park, FL during WWI. He was enlisted in the Navy as a Mess Attendant 3rd Class, ending as a ship’s cook 3rd class.

In 1920 the Whiteheads were roomers at 1434 Corcoran St. James was listed as mullato, Cora as Black. idk what is up with that. James was a hotel cook and Cora was at home caring for son James Jr.

In 1930, James was still a cook, but for a dining car. He and Cora had 3 children under the age of 7 and had 4 lodgers living with them. In 1940, when he was 48 year old rail road porter and the three children were teenagers. By 1950, it appears James retired and had their daughter Helen and son-in-law John M. Lyons living with them. The younger couple worked for the Federal government, she an insurance adjuster for the Veterans Administration and he in construction. It appears Helen failed to admit to this marriage in her 1957 marriage to Charles L. Miller.

The Whiteheads took out a loan with the Perpetual Building Association in 1926. Later they paid off their mortgage with W. Chiswell and Harry A. Kite in July 1926. They took out other loans during their residency. In 1963 the Whiteheads sold their home to Martin Oil Service, who no doubt were the ones who made the house no more and part of a gas station parking lot.

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