1930 Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Gregory E. Woods- 132 Florida Ave NW- cul de sac

This is one of those situations where the person on the census says they are the owner but they aren’t THE owner. In this post, we’ll look at the actual owner and her relationship with the owner listed in the 1930 census.

According to the 1930 census Gregory E. Woods, a 26 year old African American postal worker, lived at 132 Florida Avenue NW (Square 551, lot 168) with his sister Elyse and several lodgers. He was listed as an owner. When I looked at the 1933 General Assessment, the Woods listed as an owner was Julia A. Woods.

I took a quick peek at the 1940 census. Gregory was still at 132 FL Ave NW, but listed as a renter. A little older, at 37, and married to a woman named Elizabeth. They had two daughters and a handful of lodgers. No one there was named Julia.

Then over to the Recorder of Deeds’ online documents, which would tell me if Julia A. Woods was a relative. Nope. She borrowed and repaid money alone. No one else was named. When a deed popped up in 1951, Julia Woods wasn’t named. It wasn’t clear what happened. Civil Action case #3299-50 is cited, but that could be anything.

Because Julia and Gregory have the same last name, I believe they are related. A Julia and a Gregory Woods share the same household in 1920 at 336 U (You) Street NW. She was the 46 year old wife of Rev. William D. Woods, then 51 years old, and mother of several children, of which Gregory was one.

Julia Ann Johnson Woods Hairston

Julia A. Woods, was born Julia Ann Johnson, daughter of Maltilda and Edward Johnson in the 1870s in Virginia. She married William D. Woods December 27, 1899 in Bedford, VA. They had three daughters and two sons. March 31, 1920 Rev. Woods died at his home at 336 U St NW. His funeral was at Florida Avenue Baptist Church. Julia married again November 3, 1927 to Edward Monroe Hairston, they divorced December 13, 1947 in Roanoke, VA.

In the 1940 census Mrs. Hairston lived in New York City with her daughter Elise/Elyse White, and 2 year old grandson Charles R. White. She was also listed as living with Ed Hairston in Roanoke, VA in the same 1940 census with his adult children and mother in law.

Did she ever live at 132 Florida Avenue NW? Yes, as we will see later. According to the Evening Star, she died there. According to the June 7, 1950 Evening Star, Julia Woods died at the age of 83 on FL Ave. Widower Edward Hairston died in 1954, and Julia was listed as his last spouse.

Gregory Edward Woods

Gregory Edward Woods was born July 28, 1902 (1903) to Julia Ann Johnson and William Woods Sr. in Roanoke, VA. He grew up as a PK (preacher’s kid) Roanoke. He was the second son and child. He went to school and at some point he went to college.

In the 1923 DC city directory his address was 132 Florida Ave NW and his occupation was a student. Looking at that same directory, his mother Julia is also listed as a resident at 132 FL Ave as a widow. According to the public family tree on Ancestry (must be logged into AncestryLibrary) he graduated from Howard University with a B.S. in 1927.

Coming back to the 1930 census, Gregory E. Woods is still at 132 FL Ave. NW.  His mother Julia has assumed to have returned to Roanoke with her new husband. He lived there with his 21 year old sister Elise, who was unemployed. By 1940 Elyse/Elise got married, moved to NYC and got work as a social worker. They also had three families of lodgers living with them. According to the family tree, Gregory married Elizabeth Ann Lomax on August 28, 1931. However, the family tree is wrong about the death of Rev. Woods, so the quality of the information is questionable.

In the 1940 census there was an Elizabeth A. Woods as Gregory’s wife at 134 Florida Ave NW. She was about 11 years his junior and was a housewife. They had two daughters, Clarissa and Shirley Ann. The home was still a rooming house, with the Browns, Turners and the Bradeys and a single woman named Mary A. Price.

Since the 1950 census has been recently released, let’s look there to see what was going on with the family. The residents of 132 Florida Ave NW were Gregory, Elizabeth, 18 year old Clarisse, 16 year-old Shirley A., and “70 year-old” Julia A. Woods. They still rented to roomers, James and Anna Brown workers in the laundry business and a 78 year old widow, Lizzie McClure. Elizabeth was no longer a SAHM, but was a government worker, working as a card puncher for the Department of Agriculture.

We know from the records, the family lost 132 Florida Ave NW after Julia’s death. It’s unclear why the family didn’t hold on to the property, as both the parents were employed with stable federal jobs. One of the daughters was old enough to get an adult job. In July 1982, Gregory E. Woods died. He is buried with Elizabeth, who died in 1984, at the Fort Lincoln Cemetery in Brentwood, MD.

WSIC- Reference Post- TC Properties Owned- Lots & Addresses

This is a reference post regarding Washington Sanitary Improvement Company’s (WSIC) properties.

Square 552

Lots 33-35 would have been 137-141 Bates St NW
Lots 49-60 — 1529-1551 3rd St NW
Lots 61-79 — 138-230 Q St NW
Lots 80-94 — 201-229 Bates St NW
Lots 98-100 — 132-136 Q St NW
Lots 104-106 — 131-135 Bates St NW
Lots 107-119 — 207-231 P St NW
Lots 120-131 — 1501-1523 3rd St NW
Lots 132-147 — 200-230 Bates St NW
Lots 148-150 — 201-205 P St NW
Lot 811 (now lot 221) — 130 Q St NW
Lots 816-818 (was 101-103) — 119-123 Bates NW
Lots 819-820 (originally part of lot 25) 125??-129?? Bates St NW. <- This will require more research.

Square 615

Lots 65-66 — 22-24 Q St NW (may need more research)
Lots 134-140 — (now 285-292) 31-43 Bates St NW
Lots 170-179 (now 811-818)— 46-60 Bates St NW
Lots 195-207 (now 293-304) — 55-77 Bates St NW
Lot 236 — 94 Bates St NW
Lots-237-244 — 15-29 Bates St NW
Lots 245-252 — 30-44 Bates St NW
Lots 253-256 — 45-51 Bates St NW
Lot 257 (now 806) — 12 Q St NW
Lots 258-265 — 62-76 Bates St NW

Square 617
Lots 169 to 183 (now 224-238) — 14-42 O St NW

1930 Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Mayme K. Patrick- Gist- 134 R St NW

In a previous post we looked at filmmaker Eloyce Gist, in this post, she is Mayme K. Patrick-Gist. Same woman, but as a home owner.

Looking in the 1930 census, Mayme King Patrick was an African American beautician, who owned her own shop, and owned her own home. According to the 1933-1934 General Assessment, Mayme King Patrick owned lot 167 on square 551. Since it is square 551, the house no longer exists.

Mayme Eloyce King was born in Galvaston County, Texas October 21, 1892 to Josephine Beavers and Walter Louis King, a farmer. She was the eldest of their seven children. In 1912 she gave birth to her daughter Homoiselle Vivian Patrick, the father was a library janitor, Roscoe C. Patrick. By the 1920 census, Mayme had moved to DC and was living as a roomer on 6th St and working as a hairdresser. In the 1930 census, she lived with 3 lodgers and listed her daughter as her 16 year old sister.

People are complicated. Life is complicated.

So let’s look at the story the Recorder of Deeds’ records tell about Mrs. King. The first record is from 1922, transferring the land from Carrie N. Mills to Walter L. King and his daughter Mayme King Patrick. The family, father, mother and adult daughter Mayme, borrowed $4,500 from trustees and $3,340 owed to Ms. Mills. I am loathed to look at the permits to see if they were building up a commercial building for her business. This was almost where R meets Florida Avenue and Sq. 551 was a commercial block.

Maybe her parents were just co-signers. In 1923 they transferred the property to her. She borrowed various amounts small and large, but mostly large during the 1920s from individual trustees. In 1934, papers revealed a name change (Mayme King Gist) and she began borrowing from an institution, $6,367.10 from the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation.

In 1932 she married James E. Gist in Philadelphia. Despite this, he does not show up in the land records. The 1940 census has a Arthur W. Gist listed as the head of 134 R St NW. They are both listed as photographers.

People are complicated and this chick is very complicated.

In 1939 she married a man 17 years her junior, Arthur Clifton Wood in Prince William County, VA.

In 1942 she borrowed $5000 from the Perpetual Building Association. And again in 1944, but she remains as Mayme King Gist. Then $6000 in 1945, followed by $6,900 in 1946 by Perpetual. There is more borrowing and repayment with others in addition to Perpetual in the 1940s and early 1950s.

There is no explanation of how or why her name changed once again to Mayme King Slaughter in 1953 documents. She married John William Slaughter in 1952, they separated a few years later, and eventually divorced in the 1970s. She is the sole entity mentioned in the records. No pesky husband gets attached to the records. She only used this name with one set of trustees, Ernest T and John H. Eiland, for loans in the early 1950s. Not sure what that was all about.

The last record for lot 167, is a loan from 1964 from trustees and here the trail ends for this lot.

Wandering back to one of several family trees on Ancestry.com, Mayme’s story ends in July 1974 in Atlantic City, NJ. Her daughter Homoiselle P. Harrison, died in the District of Columbia at the age of 87, January 18, 2000.

1930 Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Charles B. Walker- 136 R St NW

In the 1930 census, Charles B. Walker is listed as the head of household at 136 R St NW. Since this was on Square 551, his house sat near where the CaBi station by Florida Avenue Park currently sits. In the land records his house was on lot 166. His ownership is confirmed by the 1933-1934 General Assessment, where he and his wife Mary T. Walker are listed.

When getting into the Recorder of Deeds online records, it appears Mr. Walker owned the property around or before 1925, as their first document is a 1925 trust (borrowing money) between Mary and Charles Walker and trustee W. Carl Wyeth for $200. The next year in 1926, they borrow (trust) $1,000 from the Perpetual Building Association, via trustees Baltz & Owen. They may have used that money to clear their debt to Wyeth on July 23, 1926. They borrowed more from the Perpetual Building Association in 1927. This time it was $1,500. They paid off (release) another debt with Wyeth in 1927. The couple waited until 1930 to borrow again, this time $1,600, from the Perpetual Building Assoc. They repaid their 1927 Perpetual Building debt in 1930. The 1930 debt was paid in 1952. The last record for this lot is a 1958 deed transferring the property to Chester A. Walker after Charles’ death. Then it is a dead end.

Who were the Walkers?

Charles Beverly Walker Jr. was born November 6, 1868 in Washington, DC to Charles B. and Ann C. Walker. In 1880, he was 11 years old and attending school and he lived with his parents and siblings at 343 F St SW (I-395 currently runs through where F St should be). His father was a store porter and his mother a laundress. In 1900 the Walkers were at 105 F St SW, and Charles began his career as a barber. He lived there with his parents, siblings, his wife Mary A. Taylor, and two of their children. In 1910 was living with his wife and their children Homezelle, Chester, Beatrice, and Thomas Walton at 107 F St SW, next door to his brother Thomas and their mother Anne, who were still at 105 F St SW. Their last census in SW DC was the 1920 census, where the 51 year old Charles continued working as a barber, Mary was a charwoman, and their adult daughter Homezelle was a teacher. They were living at 350 E St SW, with teenagers Beatrice and Thomas, along with mother Anne where they shared the building with another household.

He remained attached to his F St SW roots. In his April 17, 1956 obituary in the Evening Star, he was a deacon at the Zion Baptist Church at 337 F St SW, when he died at home on Saturday April 15. He may have been a member of the Oldest Inhabitants Inc, as they too had a death notice for Mr. Walker. He was a member and Past Master of Pythagoras Lodge No 9. FA&AM over 50 years. Upon his death he was survived by Mrs. Homezelle Carey (wife of Richard E. Carey) of New York, Chester A., Beatrice M. and Thomas W. Walker of the DC area. He was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Truxton Circle Filmmaker Eloyce Gist

I was doing research for my Black home owners of Truxton Circle series and ‘eventually’ stumbled on a filmmaker. I spent all day researching Mrs. Gist as a property owner and right before retiring for bed, on a lark, I Googled her name, and discovered she made a few short religious films. There is a lot to share about her as a woman and a pioneering African American filmmaker that I am giving her a separate post under the name Eloyce Gist.

Eloyce Gist, director, actress & co-director of Heaven-Bound Traveler.

She was born Mayme Eloyce King on October 21, 1892 in Galveston County, TX. Her parents were Josephine Beavers and Walter Louis King, and she was the eldest of their seven (plus?) children.

According to an online biography, she married Roscoe C. Patrick in 1911. In 1912 Homoiselle Vivian Patrick was born.  She relocated, alone it appears, to Washington, DC in the 1920s. She appeared as a roomer at 1325 or 1525 10th St NW, working as a hairdresser at a beauty shop. In 1923, she first appears in the DC city directory as Mamie Patrick, hairdresser on 134 R St NW. She divorced Patrick in 1930.

In the 1930 census, she is listed as the owner of 134 R St NW, working as a beautician. Her daughter, Homoiselle, then 16, is listed as her sister.

In June of 1932 she married evangelical (she and her daughter were Bahá’í ) Christian James Gist in Pennsylvania. But they made movies together prior to their marriage.

The earliest known film was Hellbound Train in 1930. She and James are credited as co-directors and co-writers.

Film restorer Dr. Samuel Waymon explains the film better than I can in this Youtube link.

Their second known work from 1933, Verdict Not Guilty is, um, interesting. She and James Gist co-directed it, but she is the sole writer and is listed in IMDB as its one star.

Their last surviving film is Heaven-Bound Traveler from 1935. Eloyce played the Wife. I look at it and wonder if they shot this in their own Truxton home or on Truxton Streets? Hellbound Train looks like it was shot in LeDroit Park.

James E. Gist died December 12, 1937. It doesn’t appear that she made anymore films after her directing partner passed. Modern write ups mention that she went around playing these religious themed silent movies around town. However, I could only find 2 mentions in the Evening Star of her exhibiting the film. One mention was in the December 16, 1939 edition of the Evening Star of Mrs. Eloyce Giste showing Not Guilty at Metropolitan Wesley AMEZ church.

She did not remain a widow long and married projector operator, Arthur Clifton Wood, a man 17 years her junior. Gist was younger than her too. Wood was 22 years old, she was 39. They married December 12, 1939 in Prince William County Virginia. In the 1940 census, Arthur is listed as Arthur Gist, head of household and owner of 134 R St NW. It isn’t clear when the Wood marriage ended.

She married John William Slaughter in 1952. They divorced in 1972, but according to their Albermarle County, VA divorce certificate they separated in 1956.

I will do another post for Mrs. Mayme Eloyce King Patrick-Gist-Wood-Slaughter in May, as a home owner.

WSIC- Square 552- Odd side of 200 blk Bates- A visual

This concludes the visual look at the Washington Sanitary Improvement Company (WSIC), properties on Square 552. According to the 1933-1934 General Assessment WSIC owned lots 33-35, 49-94, 98-100, 104-150, 811, and 816-820. The 200 even block of Bates St NW were lots 80-94.

Whereas there were fewer dual entrance properties on the even side of the 200 block of Bates, the odd side had preserved more of them into the early 2000s.

211 Bates St NW
217 Bates St NW
227 Bates St NW (red house)
229 Bates St NW

Although it no longer had a second entrance, you can see evidence that there was a door under the window of 225 Bates Street NW.

225 Bates St NW (yellow)

A ‘positive’ of neighborhood disinvestment is that sometimes it works as a preservative. If structures manage not to get torn down, there is little incentive to modernize or gussy up the exterior. When gentrification hits, as it has, there is an incentive to add a third story or change the whole structure. I am thankful for the 2004 photos. It was the start of the 2nd wave of Shaw gentrification, but well before the million dollar houses started showing up. We can still see what the WSIC built and what managed to survive after 100 years.

I’m going to take a little break from WSIC. Just a little.

WSIC- Square 552- Even side of 200 blk Bates- A visual

The Washington Sanitary Improvement Company (WSIC), owned, on Square 552, according to the 1933-1934 General Assessment WSIC owned lots 33-35, 49-94, 98-100, 104-150, 811, and 816-820. Previous posts looked at the 100 block of Bates. Square 552 holds both the 100 and 200 block of Bates St NW.

Most if not all of the WSIC properties were built with two flats, as they were intended to be rental properties, not homes for homeowners. Looking at many of the houses on even side of the 200 block of Bates, there is only one property that had two entrances still in 2004.

226 Bates St NW (red house)

A peek at Google street view and 222 Bates St NW, which only had one entrance in 2004. It seems sometime around 2015, 222 Bates St became two condos, with two separate entrances. And it got a pop-up.

222 Bates St NW, before going condo & getting a popup.

So what’s the bay, no bay pattern? Starting with 200 Bates: 2nd floor bay, no bay, bay, bay, bay, no bay, bay, no bay, bay, no bay, bay, no bay, bay, no bay, bay, and bay. The pattern makes no sense.

Another thing should note about all the Bates Street houses, from the unit block on Sq. 615 to the 200 on Sq. 552, is there is no yard. It very much like a lot of Baltimore row houses. One steps out their door and the sidewalk is right there. No need for a lawnmower.

WSIC- Square 552- Odd side of 100 blk Bates- A visual

The Washington Sanitary Improvement Company (WSIC), owned, according to the 1933-1934 General Assessment WSIC owned lots 33-35, 49-94, 98-100, 104-150, 811, and 816-820. Previously, we looked at the even side of the 100 block of Bates where there were no WSIC owned properties. Now, the odd side.

Lots 816-820, which are 119-123 Bates St NW, are not the first set of houses on the 100 odd block of Bates. The other houses, on lots 183-185 (107-111 Bates St NW) have a noticeably different style.

photo of property
WSIC house.
Not WSIC built properties

A WSIC house has a particular style. There is the 2nd floor bay and there are the design details, sometimes two or three, near the top of the building over the windows.

I should note that lots 816-820 were lots 101-103 in 1919.

Old lot 25, became lots 803-805 (and other lots), is 125-129 Bates St NW. Lot 805 remains, and 803-804 became lots 821-822. These are not WSIC properties. You can see by the style of these properties they are not WSIC houses.

Not WSIC properties

If you remember from other WSIC posts, lot 25 owners were hold outs.

Lots 104-106 are 131-135 Bates St NW. Here we return to the WSIC style of 2nd floor bays, or no bays between bays.

MS124359.jpg

Lots 33-35 are 137-141 Bates and it continues the WSIC pattern of houses.

MS124225.jpg

WSIC- Square 552- Even side of 100 blk Bates- A visual

The Washington Sanitary Improvement Company (WSIC), owned, according to the 1933-1934 General Assessment WSIC owned lots 33-35, 49-94, 98-100, 104-150, 811, and 816-820. Previously, we looked at the surrounding streets. Now we get to the creamy caramel center that is Bates St.

On the square that is 552, Bates Street intersects the center and has a 100 block and a 200 block. The even side of the 100 block of Bates St NW are lots 192-194, 202-212, and 217-219. Aaaaand none of those numbers match what was owned by the WSIC in 1933.

118 Bates St NW

A number of Sq. 552 lots were owned by a guy named Charles J. Walker in 1933. On the even 100 block of Bates he owned lot 193, which is 112 Bates St NW. Along with lots 217-219, or 118-122 Bates St NW.

110-112 Bates St NW

I should look into Mr. Walker, when I’m done with WSIC.

WSIC-Square 552- Odd side of P St NW- A Visual

In the month of April we’re looking at the Washington Sanitary Improvement Company (WSIC) ownership of lots on Square 552, which is bounded by 1st, P, 3rd and Q Streets NW in Washington, DC. According to the 1933-1934 General Assessment WSIC owned lots 33-35, 49-94, 98-100, 104-150, 811, and 816-820. In this post we’ll look at P St NW, which are lots 107-119, 148-150.

So houses west of the alley between 139 and 201 P St NW are WSIC houses. Those are 201-231 P St NW. The other houses, east of the alley, 105-139 P St NW, are not.

I feel I need to state that the images are from 2004. Truxton Circle was a little rough around the edges then. It’s been 18 years now and most of the properties have been renovated. Several homes that were vacant, are now someone’s home. So the images do not reflect their current state. Go on to Google Street View for that.

Several of the WSIC houses have the classic 2nd floor bay and or have the covered entryway.

photo of property
221, 219, and 217 P St NW, 2004

There are several houses in this row that have kept their two door entries. I believe, and I will look into this later, that almost all the WSIC properties were originally built to house two or more households.

As seen with Q St and 3rd Street, the WSIC bookended their row with a bay that was two stories, as opposed to a 2nd floor bay. They did not do that with P Street.

photo of property
201 P St NW, 2004
photo of property
231 P St NW, 2004

The two ends of the WSIC row on P Street NW are not identical. 201 P St NW has something unusual, two entry doors, for the same property next to each other and covered. Typically, the two doors are separated by a window. Maybe this was done because of the alley? But if so, this is not replicated on Q St or on Bates.