1930 Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Charles Powell- 120 Florida Ave NW

Charles Samuel Powell was born on May 15, 1886 in Newnan, GA. He married his wife, Willie, in 1917. He worked for the Federal government as a clerk.

Looking at the 1933-1934 General Assessment the property (0551 lot 174) both Charles and his wife Willie N. Powell were on record for owning 120 Florida Ave NW.

They purchased their house 8/5/1921 from Mary Dewey. It appears they borrowed $1,160 from trustees Bradford & Smith to purchase the property.

They borrowed again in June 1924 $2,250 at 7% interest from trustees Purcell & Zepp. Again in February 1927 from trustees Kraft and Goldstein for the amount of $1875. The Purcell & Zepp debt was settled in 1927.

There were a lot more debts and releases (settled debts) in the 1920s and 1930s. There are so many, I will not mention them individually.

In April 1941, the Powells borrowed $4000 from the American Security and Trust Company. That same day they also borrowed $292.37 from trustees in a matter related to the Superior Construction Corporation. This leads me to believe they were having work done on the house. It appears they paid off their debt to the American Security and Trust Co. (then the National Permanent Savings and Loan Association) in September 1963.

In the 1950 census, their birth state changed to Texas. That’s probably incorrect. They were still at 120 Florida Ave and they had three roomers below the age of 29.

The house was sold in 1971 by the remaining spouse, Willie N. Powell. Charles had died on July 30th, but no year was given on the documents. She had sold it to DC’s Redevelopment Land Agency or basically, the DC government.

A newspaper search revealed that Charles Powell of 120 Florida ave. nw, died at the age of 68 in 1954.

1930 Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Isaiah Green- 122 Florida Avenue NW

What I hoped for with the 1930 home owners is to see from start to finish, the purchase and then the later sale. The problem with the 1920 Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle series, was that the Recorder of Deed records don’t start up until 1921. The few 1930 owners became owners in that early 1920s period and we don’t see how they came to be owners.

According to the 1930 census Isaiah and Eva L. Green owned 122 Florida Ave NW (Square 551, lot 173). They purchased the property October 27, 1927 from John M. and Lillie Nickels. They purchased the property with a loan from J. Logan Hopkins for $4,250 and what appears to be a loan from the seller, John M. Nickels and parties Bridgette and Canton for $2,350.

October 24, 1930 the Greens took a $5000 loan from the American Security and Trust Company/ National Permanent Building Association. The same day there was another transaction that looked (if it isn’t simple I have no idea) looked like it was transferring a $788.21 debit to John M. Nickels to a pair of other investors. The next month they were released from their 1927 Hopkins debt. There was another release for a Nickels/Bridgette 1927 debt. Then they took out another Nickels/Brigette-Caton debt for $400.

Eva Carter Green died August 30, 1935. Isaiah married again in November 1936 to a Lena Clatterbuck Ashton Tisder. She was 48, he was 57.

In 1946, the Greens, this time Isaiah and Lena, took out a $3,500 loan from the American Security and Trust Company/ National Permanent Building Association. That same year, they paid off the 1930 American Security and Trust debt, as well as another 1930 debt.

Isaiah died April 30, 1948.

The last record for the Green family is a 1951 deed, where the executor of Lena T. Green’s estate, Ruth A. Jackson, sold the property. She died in 1949.

The Greens owned the property from 1927 to 1951, 24 years. It started with Eva and Isaiah Green and ended with the estate of Lena Green.

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.

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.

WSIC- 1900 Resident Owners of Sq. 552-George Adams-120 Q St NW

There weren’t too many resident owners on Sq. 551 (bounded by 3rd, Q, 1st and P Sts NW). As I mentioned in the post about Sophia Hess, there were only two. Sophia Hess, at 145 P St NW, a 65 year old single woman of German heritage. She owned 0552 lot 7.
George Adams, at 120 Q St NW, was a 40 year old African American laborer. He owned 0552 lot 26-west 20. Sophia’s post went a little long, so I am giving George Adams his own post.

I have confirmed his home ownership in the 1902/1903 General Assessment.

So who was George Adams? That’s a good question because I could not find enough solid information. In the 1900 DC city directory there were about 11 George Adams. One George W. Adams at 120 Q St NW. The 1900 census tells me he was born in Maryland in February of 1860.

There was another George W. Adams in DC around the same time, who owned a lot of land. I don’t think he is the same guy. The other George Adams was married to Bettie Elizabeth Adams, our George Adams was unmarried.

His mother, Alice Adams, lived with him and she is the woman who connects George to Lycurgus Adams another property owner on the block. In the 1860 census relationships were not mentioned, so there are 15 people in the Adams’ household in Bladensburg, MD, Alice and Lycurgus among them. Lycurgus could have been George’s uncle, but it is unclear.

1900 Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Solomon Basey- 1603 1/2 3rd St NW

I have a template for my Black home owners series. Since I am dealing with the Sq. 551 3rd St owners, and Solomon Basey was Black, here we are.

When I looked for Solomon Basey in the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America site, which allows me to search the Evening Star and other DC newspapers (for free). I found this ad:

Evening star, May 29, 1907, Page 3

I gather that Solomon Basey who was an African American shoemaker who lived at 1603 1/2 3rd St NW was feeling the end was near and sold his earthy possessions to his step daughter. In the 1900 census Mr. Basey was only 48 years old. It was harder to be older 100 years ago.

In the 1900 census he was a widower and lived with his sister Julia Washington. He had married Ellen Carey in 1896. It appears she died (or quietly divorced).

Flipping through various DC city directories between 1878-1906 Solomon Basey shows up at 406 Franklin St NW, 1603 1/2 3rd St NW, and 510 O St NW. The O St address may have been his shoe and boot shop.

1930 Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Mary J. Poole- 138 R St NW

I’m going to peck at 1930 Black home owners in Truxton Circle. There will probably be a lot of 1920 overlap, so I won’t go at this too hard. It’s something to do between Washington Sanitary Imp. Co. posts.

In the 1930 census Mary J. Poole was a 54 year old single woman and African American seamstress. She lived at 138 R St NW with her widowed sister Maria Young, 25 year old niece Alma P. Smith, three Hardy boys ages 3 to 8 listed as boarders, and three adults listed as lodgers.

Looking one census back to the 1920 census, Mary Jane Poole was living at 1807 12th St NW. She was listed as the sister-in-law of William Smith, who we will see later in this post. She lived with William and his daughter Alma Smith. They were in the same house (current building has an English basement) as Charles and Maria Young. So at some point, the ladies Mary, Maria, and Alma moved on over to 138 R St NW.

The land records start in 1921 and the owner in 1922 was widower named William R. Smith. In November of 1922 William Smith married Corine A. Ashton. She appeared on a 1923 trust as Corine A. Smith where they borrowed $7000 from the Oriental Building Association. Did this new wife have anything to do with Mary, Maria and Alma’s moving? There are more documents but later in 1923 the Smiths transfer the property to Fritz and Florence Alexander, who then immediately transfer the property to William R. Smith, Maria/Marie A. Young, and Mary Jane Poole in September 1923. That same day this group and Corrine, borrow money twice.

In October 1926 something happened and the court and a sale was forced and Mary Jane Poole purchased the property from Maria A. Young in a trustees deed. It’s not good for too many people owning a piece of property. But the rest of the documents following this it appears that William R. Smith quietly disappeared after this and does not appear in any following documents.

July 8, 1950 she transferred the property to Elsie Taylor Jefferson who immediately transferred it to Alma S. Cornish (formerly Alma Smith?), Henry A. Cornish and Ms. Poole. Once again, too many people owning the property. Well it didn’t last long because Mary Jane Poole died the next year on December 9, 1951.

In 1972 Alma and Henry sold the property to the DC Redevelopment Land Agency for $19,800. And now it is part of the Florida Avenue park.

Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: Ernest Hawkins- 38 N St NW-Double vision

Looking at the 1920 census for another Black home owner, I came across Ernest Hawkins, who is listed as “Hawkens”. He lived at 38 N St NW in Washington, DC with his wife Sarah and daughter Ernestine.

photo of property

When I do these histories I look at genealogical sites and of course the land records. The land records don’t show much activity, but do provide useful death dates in this case. One interesting thing I should mention is that this family appears twice in the 1910 census.

Ernest F. Hawkins was born in 1872 or thereabouts, in Washington, DC. He married Sarah Walker in March 1894 in Fredericksberg, VA. Their daughter Ernestine was born later that same year in December. In the 1900 census, Ernest is listed as working as a coachman for a livery. The family were renters in a 2 unit property at 1720 5th St NW.

I’m not sure what was going on in 1910. In one, 38 year old Ernest F. Hawkins, 37 year old Sarah W. Hawkins and their 15 year old daughter Ernestine are living in Keyport, NJ. They lived on 3rd St where Ernest was a laborer at a brickyard and they had been married 16 years. That enumeration took place April 27, 1910. The other appearance in the 1910 census was at 53 P St NW, where 36 year old Ernest and Sarah Hawkins lived with their 14 year old daughter Ernestine and 11 year old son Henry Hawkins. Ernest worked as a laborer for the Treasury and the couple had been married 16 years. This enumeration took place on April 19, 1910. They aren’t an exact match but the closeness makes me think they were counted twice.

So when we find the family firmly in Truxton Circle as home owners, Ernest is listed as a 47 year old messenger who works for the government. Sarah is also working for the government as a matron and Ernestine is a Maryland teacher.

As I mentioned earlier, the land records don’t show much activity, just death. The first two are 1953 deeds transferring the property from Ernest and Sarah to Ernestine though a go-between, Zeph P. Moore. The first deed mentioned that Ernest died March 21, 1927 and Sarah W. Hawkins died May 23, 1951. The nest document is a 1970 deed mentioning the death of daughter Ernestine Hawkins-Smith on February 27, 1967. The property was left to Charles R. Walker, who sold it to Charles F. Adams and Clinton W. Chapman There is no mention of how Charles R. Walker is related but I gather he is some relative from Sarah’s side of the family.

Black Home Owners of Truxton Circle: William Bowman- 20A N St NW

William H. Bowman was the African American owner of 20A N St NW, according to the 1920 census. But for looking at his ownership of the property let’s just look at 20 N St NW, Washington, DC, as the A and the B, for the other household hint that this was a two flat unit. It is possible, the Bowmans lived in unit A and the Wrights and Redmans in unit B.

photo of property

When the 1920 census was taken William H. Bowman lived with his wife Mary E. and their teen aged sons, William (Jr?) and James. But when looking at the land records, William died later that year November 17, 1920. This was noted in a 1928 trust (borrowing money) for $2500 with the Washington Loan and Trust Company in Mary’s name. It looks (I can only guess) that this allowed her to pay off an August 1918 debt.

Once again, I’m going to guess, but the next document appears that Mary E. Bowman financed work with the Washington Contracting Company in 1934 for $320.00. She borrowed another small amount, $253.00 in 1936 and $450.00 in 1937 from different trustees.

It appears she refinanced her debt with a $3600 loan from the American Building Association in July 1937, and immediately paid all the previous debts.

Three years later she sold the property to John T. and Ruth King on April 16, 1940. The Kings were a white couple who lived at 25 Randolph Place NW.