Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Emma Ashton

Note- This was sitting in my draft folder. I don’t know why. It’s probably lacking some information, but I don’t know what.

Mrs. Ashton lived at 1405 1st St NW in Truxton Circle. She was not the only person to live at that address in 1920. I count about 14 people living there. It’s a modest house, so I’m not sure how one could crowd 5 households of that many people in that house.

Mrs. Emma Ashton, an African American widow of Ludwell Ashton had lived at 1405 1st St NW since 1900. In the 1900 Census she’s at 1405, living with her 75 year old widowed mother Adeline Brooks, who was the owner, her husband and their sons, Kellogg B. and Leonard A. Ashton. In 1920 the roles had changed, Emma was the head and the owner and her then 93 year old mother wasn’t.

Emma Ashton does not appear long in the Recorder of Deed’s records. There are several financial records for 1922, which aren’t particularly clear to me. She could have extended some loans, but I’m not sure. This period lasted between 1922 and 1924. It appears that she lost lot 11 (on Square 616) in 1934 and lot 816 in 1929.

Looking for an Emma Ashton for all of DC uncovered other property she owned in Truxton Circle, 302 Florida Ave NW (0519-0072) and 14?? 1st St NW (0553-0122). It appears she sold the property on 1st St in 1922 to Gertrude E. Holmes.

Police of Truxton Circle- Thomas Lawlor

Here’s a quick story of Thomas Lawlor. In November 1882 Ofc. Thomas Lawlor, an Irish immigrant, who lived on 4th St NW in Truxton Circle, was at work and fell ill. Then he went home, and died.
Thomas Lawlor lived at 1618 4th St NW with his wife Ellen, and their two children Daniel and Mary in 1880.

The 1880 census didn’t ask if people were owners or renters. I only discovered that Lawlor owned the property because I was searching for the newspaper announcement that he had died. In addition to finding his funeral arrangements, I found a mention of a real estate transfer.

Sept 9, 1878

For some reason Thomas Lawlor, the resident of 1618 4th St NW in 1880, sold/ transferred the property (0509E-0053) to James Lawlor in 1878. I don’t know if James is a relative.

Nov 15, 1882

It seems to be a very Irish thing, of that time, to have something at the home of the deceased. It appears they departed from 1618 and made their way to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. I wonder if the German George Glorius and his family, one block over, joined the procession? The Glorius family also attended Immaculate, which from personal experience, is a 15 minute brisk walk away from 1618.

There is very little of interest in his personnel file (see He seemed to have wandered into a grocery on North Capitol, where he wasn’t supposed to be, and was written up for it.


Police of Truxton Circle- James S. Boswell

There were several cops in Truxton Circle. The two I can think of also died in Truxton Circle. Somewhere I had a list of men who listed themselves as policemen in the various census. Once things open back up I can go down the list and review their personnel files, as I have here for James Boswell.

You may remember James Boswell from the Black Homeowners of TC: The tragic story of Ofc James S. Boswell post. He, his wife and the odd family member lived at 219 Q St. NW. He had a very short retirement, less than a month. And then, he died. And not too long after that, his wife died.

As you can see from this short bio, a Carl E. Mueller complained about Ofc. Boswell. These complaints and the brouhaha all about it appears in the personnel file. Below is part of his personnel file. I don’t think it is his whole file. And in it are letters from the a bunch of the people involved, including a handwritten letter from Ofc. Boswell. There is a racial element and the N-word is mentioned. I vaguely think it was Boswell who throws the N-word in, as he recalled his version of the conflict.

James Boswell Policeman 1895 1912 by Mm Inshaw on Scribd

Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Garland E. Carr pt.2

Sorry for the delay. Stuff happened.

So Garland E. Carr was a co-owner of 1520 1st St NW, with his mother and sister in 1922. The Carrs do not appear in the 1920 nor the 1930 census. They owned the property between 1922 and 1935.

In 1918 Garland was a farmer living in North Carolina when he was placed (not sure if drafted) in the military. In 1919 he returned from France and the answer to how do you keep them on the farm after they’ve seen gay Paris, is you don’t.

On June 11th 1922 Garland did something and was listed as living at 29 Massachusetts Ave NW. So what happened was, Garland Carr, being a vet tried to claim disability. His claim was denied and he was very displeased. So displeased that he returned to the Veterans Bureau office that denied him and (I’m going to quote the Evening Star) “had bored a hole through a window sash and thrust burning paper into the building  because, he said, his claim for disability was not allowed and he could not get no money from the bureau. The fire burned out when the paper was consumed.”

Garland Carr (center) arrested for trying to blow up Veterans Bureau, 6/21/22 SOURCE: Library of Congress. National Photo Company Collection.

I get why he did it. My mom was a vet and I remember her struggles with the VA. But it was still a crime. He may have spent a year in prison for it.

He may have spent a year in prison. He moved on with his life. During Word War II he was a self-employed contractor.

Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Garland E. Carr pt.1

African American Truxton Circle Property Owner- Garland E. Carr

I did not find Mr. Garland E. Carr via the Census, like I normally look for African American TC home owners. No, this one came to me via someone doing history at the National Archives looking at another topic of which Mr. Carr was involved. What Mr. Carr did I will wait until later to reveal.

A few months after this picture was snapped, his mother along with his sister Genevieve R. Patrick became owners of 1520 1st St NW. This was Square 552 lot 165.

Later in 1936 Elizabeth Carr sold it.

In my next post I’ll talk about what Mr. Carr did to have his picture taken.

Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Arthur B. McKinney

Parts of this are from a previous post I published some time ago. I’m revisiting this African American home owner, to add more information.

I had given up on Mrs. Annie Newsome (or Annie Newsone in the 1940 census) who was listed as the head of household and married. She appears in the 1930 census with a different possible birth year. So I gave up on her and decided to look at a professional man who might have more information about him.

Dr. Arthur B. McKinney abducted from Freedmen's HospitalDr. Arthur B. McKinney abducted from Freedmen’s Hospital Sat, May 15, 1926 – Page 2 · The Pittsburgh Courier (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comSo I chose Dr. Arthur B. McKinney of 1519 1st St NW from the 1940 census. From the little clip above, Dr. McKinney was involved in some odd little caper in 1926 where his brothers abducted him from Freedmen’s Hospital and took him to his mother’s house at 1515 1st St NW. A Della A. McKinney, widow, is listed as a home owner in the 1930 census at that address.

In the 1920 Census, Arthur B. McKinney was a 31 year old doctor living with his mother Della at 1515 1st St. NW. Looking at Ancestry’s family tree, his full name was Arthur Bancroft McKinney. He married Ethel J. Thornton in December of 1920. They apparently had no children. But the family tree fails to note his siblings as Samuel A. and Della McKinney had 5 sons, 2 daughters, a daughter-in-law, and a grandson living with them in 1900 at 63 P St NW. Continue reading Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Arthur B. McKinney

Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Arthur McKenny

There is another African American Arthur McKenny in Truxton Circle. That other Arthur is a McKenney (with an ‘e’) and a doctor and I will repost him a little later.

This Arthur McKenny lived at 1401 1st St NW with his wife Ellen and adult daughter Minnie in 1920. In 1870 he was a farm laborer in Falmouth, Virginia. In 1900 he was living at 424 Washington St, which seems to be around the corner of the 700 block of 4th St NW. In the 1900 Census, he was living with his 60 year old mother Annie Coach (Minnie Thompson in the family tree), his wife and daughters Minnie and Mary Ellen.

Image not foundThe problem with Square 616, is that there are old lot numbers and newer lot numbers and they all seem to get jumbled together. But let’s try to do this. Looking at the Recorder of Deeds the earliest document is a deed where Arthur and Ellen sell lot 813 (also lot 11, just to confuse people), which appears to be 83 O St NW, in 1922 to David L. and Mary Ellen Cooper. Mary Ellen….. huh. Continue reading Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Arthur McKenny

Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle- Ernest H. Saulter

Image not found
1919 Baist Map

Today’s African American Truxton Circle resident from the 1920 Census who owned their home is a thirty-three year old express man named Ernest H. Saulter. He lived at 30 P St NW with his wife Ethel Willie. No children. No boarders. Just those two. The property no longer exists, and the Mundo Verde Public Charter School sits there. When it did exist, it sat across from the space between Langston and Slater schools. Prior to 30 P St NW, Ernest Howard Saulter lived at 433 Rhode Island Ave NW, and 309 I St NW, which also does not exist anymore.

A 1922 city directory shows Mr. Saulter’s business address as 30-32 P St NW. On his 1917 draft card, when he was on Rhode Island, he listed himself as being self-employed.  When looking at the Recorder of Deed records the Saulters owned lots 21, 90, and 832. On the 1919 Baist map above, lot 21 and 832 are pretty much the same lot. In 1921 Clarence M. DeVeile (not Cruella DeVille) sold the property on lot 90 to the Saulters.  DeVeile had bought the property a month earlier from Henrietta Finnegan. In order to purchase it, DeVeile borrowed $1250.00 from what looked to be the Washington Six Percent Permanent Building Association. In November of 1923, the Saulters sold lot 90 to the District of Columbia government.

Lot 21 is confusing. In the old map, it is the old number, it’s part of lot 832 and there is another lot 21 facing North Capitol Street. It’s very hard to tell what’s going on with that, so I will just look at the transactions involving the Saulters. It appears they bought the P St facing lot in 1923 from the estate of Jane Steward formerly Jane Scott. But then it appears that a month or so later they sell it to the DC government.

Looking at other Recorder of Deeds documents, Ernest owned property elsewhere too. In 1924 Ernest and Ethel purchased what could have been 609 Rhode Island Ave NW. There is a vacant lot in that space which is Sq. 442 lot 3. That same year they brought 147 Rhode Island Avenue NW (sq. 3108, lot 0003) which does still exist. The Saulters stop showing up in the Recorder of Deeds records after 1937 with a trustees deed between the Saulters and the Homeowner’s Loan Corporation. That same year the Homeowner’s Loan Corporation sell the 147 Rhode Island Ave NW to Marie H. Malvan and Mildred R. Schey for $4,750.

The last record of Ernest Saulter is in a World War II draft card. The card dates from around 1942. At that time Mr. Saulter is 56 years old. He is living at 805 O St NW, about where the Giant parking garage sits. The contact he has listed is a woman named Estelle Johnson, at the same address. This brings to question, where is Ethel? Mr. Saulter is listed as self-employed but having “defective eyes”.

Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle- Walter W. Dick

So here is another chapter in the series of African American home owners in the DC neighborhood of Truxton Circle from the 1920 Census. I will try to avoid making dick jokes.

In the 1920 Census Walter W. Dick lived at 70 P St NW (Sq. 616, lot 830) with his wife Eva Dick, daughters Jessie Mae and Estelle S. Dick, and a roomer T Emmett Saunders of Texas. There was another Dick at 70 P St NW, Arthur Dick who lived with his step-son Louyico Holmes. The house still exists and is currently 1380 square feet. Okay, I’m done.

William Walter Dick was born June 22nd in 1877 in North Carolina, one of four children of William R. Dick and Antoinette Pharr Dick. January 1906, in Mecklenburg, NC married Eva Irenee Caldwell. Sometime that year their first daughter Jessie was born. Two years later, Estelle was born. Then two years after the birth of Estelle, Walter was a railway porter for the family was living in DC, at 1312 G St NE.

Another view of the Dick family at 70 P St NW was with a World War I draft card. He was working for Southern Rail as a brakeman in 1917 or 1918. He last appears in the 1930 Census. Estelle is gone but they have a 4 year old daughter, along with the 23 year old Jessie, named Edna Elaine. In 1932, they borrowed $150 from an individual investor, using lots 830 and 831 as collateral. They paid it back the following year. I assumed when I checked the land records, when the property was sold in 1957 to …. Robert Weiner. Okay, the universe just want to tell dick jokes, you let the universe tell dick jokes. Anyway, as I was saying when I saw that the property was sold in 1957, I assumed Walter Dick had died. According to the deed, he was the surviving joint tenant to Eva.

Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Louis Bruce/Bruer

Some pages of the 1920 Census are too pale to read. There was a man we have in the spreadsheet listed as Louis Bauer. Since the Ancestry page for this man are too pale, I will assume, we pulled the data from a photocopy fro, the microfilm.

Image not foundSo who we believe to be Louis Bauer lived at 1405 3rd St NW (Sq. 553, lot 834) , another address that no longer exists, with his wife “TP” and their granddaughter. I have to guess it was a two flat property as there was another household at the address, but the state of the Census doesn’t provide any surname for them.

Looking at the Recorder of Deeds records, the earliest owner attached to that property was Mary F.P. Bruce, not Bauer. The initials FP are close enough to TP, as a F could look like a T, that I think the family name was Bruce and not Bauer.

There were some agreements between Mary F.P. Bruce (1854-1943), the mother, Mattie F. Tignor and a woman named Phoebe E. Tyrrell, with 3 different deeds between 1940 and 1950. There are a few more deeds and Mattie F. Tignor’s name remained on the property with another widow, Gladys F. Morse until 1961 when they sold it to Jackson Avirom, who the same day transferred it to Esther Band and her husband Robert Band. In 1963 the Bands sold the property to the DC government.

Because of the confusion with the names it is a bit hard to find information about the Bruces. In the 1920 census Louis Bruce is 72, his wife, 66 and both without occupations. However, we can find Mary FP Bruce in the 1910 city directory as a hairdresser, living at 1405 3rd St NW. A Mattie Bruce, that same year is living in NE DC as a domestic. Just looking at the other Bruces in that city directory, there is an Alex Bruce at 1405, who is a janitor. In the 1915 city director, Mary FP is still at 1405, but none of the Alexes for that year are, but Sandy the janitor is.

There are too many inconsistent items for a good search.