Introduction

400 block 1949

[Photo credit: Historical Society of Washington, D.C.]

As I walk around our neighborhood, I often find myself wondering about the people who have lived here since the second half of the nineteenth century, and I feel intensely curious about their distant lives. On the assumption that many of my neighbors must also share this fascination with the names and personalities of certain persons long dead, I am trying to gather on this blog some miscellaneous scraps of information about the former inhabitants of A Street SE (between Third and Sixth streets) on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. The emphasis is mainly on the people who lived on this street rather than the history of the buildings, though I am compiling any material that I can about the street’s past. There will also be some occasional notes about other addresses in the neighborhood, including of course St. Mark’s Church, which is at the corner of A and Third streets.

The easiest way to find all the posts relating to a particular house is to click on one of the addresses in the dropdown menu labeled Addresses at the right. The tag cloud below it includes surnames, names of institutions, and a few broad categories like photosdeaths, and marriages. The search box at the upper right is useful for doing more miscellaneous kinds of searches. If you want to search for words or phrases in the newspaper clippings, you can do that in my Evernote public notebook, which includes the same body of material.

I am grateful to several persons who have supplied material for this blog: Gene Berry, Peter Clark, Eric Freund, Mark Kantor, and Maureen Shea. I welcome further suggestions and corrections.

—Bill Peterson (wsp@umd.edu)

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1861 map

This is a small part of a map of Washington, D.C., published by A. Boschke in 1861. I have marked our section of A Street with a red line. What is interesting here is how thinly populated the street was at the beginning of the Civil War. The 300 block is mostly filled with houses on the north side, but there is nothing on the south side. The 400 block has just a few houses at the west end of north side and at the east end of the south side. The 500 block apparently has no houses at all.

1861-map

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Survey of Washington (1887)

I have pasted these images from A Complete Set of Surveys and Plats of Properties in the City of Washington, District of Columbia (Philadelphia: G. M. Hopkins, 1887), available online at DigDC.

Pink means a brick building; yellow means a frame building. This is a key to the other symbols:

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300 block, north side

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300 block, south side

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400 block, north side

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400 block, south side

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500 block, north side

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500 block, south side

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William B. Hartley: 1900 census

Federal census, 1900, 513 A St., SE, Washington, D.C.

  • William B. Hartley, head, b. August 1843, 56, married 34 years, b. in Del., father b. in Del., mother b. in Penn., commercial broker, owns home.
  • Sarah Hartley, wife, b. June 1846, 53, married 34 years, mother 10 children (3 living), b. in D.C., parents b. in Va., no occupation.
  • Unice [sic] Hartley, daughter, b. Oct. 1877, 22, single, b. in D.C., father b. in Del., mother b. in D.C., typewriter.
  • S. Dorothea Hartley, daughter, b. Feb. 1888, 12, b. in D.C., father b. in Del., mother b. in D.C., at school.
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William B. Hartley: 1920 census

Federal census, 1920, 513 A St., SE, Washington, D.C.

  • William B. Hartley, head, owns home, 76, married, b. in Del., father b. in Del., mother b. in Penn., broker, merchandise.
  • Sarah Hartley, wife, 73, married, b. in D.C., parents b. in Va., no occupation.
  • Eunice F. Hartley, daughter, 41, single, b. in D.C., father b. in Del., mother b. in D.C., clerk, U.S. Printing Office.
  • Sarah Dorothea Hartley, daughter, 31, single, b. in D.C., father b. in Del., mother b. in D.C., clerk, U.S. War Department.
  • Eunice E. Hawkins, sister-in-law, 71, widow, b. in D.C., parents b. in Va., no occupation.
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William B. Hartley: 1910 census

Federal census, 1910, 513 A St., SE, Washington, D.C.

  • William B. Hartley, head, 66, married (once) for 44 years, b. in Del., father b. in Del., mother b. in Penn., broker, merchandise.
  • Sarah M. Hartley, wife, 68, married (once) for 44 years, b. in D.C., parents b. in Va., no occupation.
  • William P. Hartley, son, 37, divorced, b. in D.C., father b. in D.C., mother b. in Del. [sic], agent, advertising.
  • Sarah D. Hartley, daughter, 22, single, b. in D.C., father b. in D.C., mother b. in Del., student, music.
  • Eunice F. Hartley, daughter, 32, single, b. in D.C., father b. in D.C., mother b. in Del., sewer, bookbinding.
  • Eunice S. Hawkins, sister-in-law, 61, widow, b. in D.C., parents b. in Va., no occupation (own income).
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Eunice F. Hartley: 1940 census

Federal census, 1940, 513 A St., SE, Washington, D.C.

  • Eunice F. Hartley (owns home, value $7,000), head, 62, single, completed high school, b. in D.C., lived in same house in 1935, clerk, U.S. Government Office, income $1,800.
  • Sarah D. Hartley, sister, 52, single, completed 2 years of high school, b. in D.C., lived in same house in 1935, no occupation.
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Frank McLean: found

Washington Post, 27 January 1907, p. 8.

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McLean family: gravestone

Find a Grave

Oak Hill Cemetery
Washington
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Plot: Stewart, Lot 615 East.

[The McLeans lived at 507 A St., SE.]

46641732_132544928374

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Francis McLean: 1910 census

Federal census, 1910, 507 A St., S.E., Washington, D.C.

  • Francis McLean, head, 73, married (twice), married for 34 years, b. in N.Y., parents b. in N.Y., clerk, War Department, owns home (no mortgage).
  • Marion J. McLean, wife, 60, married (once) for 34 years, 2 children (1 living), b. in N.Y., parents b. in N.Y., no occupation.
  • Frank N. McLean, son, 28, single, b. in D.C., parents b. in N.Y., student [illegible].
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Francis McLean: 1900 census

Federal census, 1900, 507 A Street, SE, Washington, D.C.

  • Francis McLean, head, b. May 1836, 64, married 25 years, b. in N.Y., parents b. in N.Y., clerk, government, owns home (no mortgage).
  • Marion J. McLean, wife, b. June 1849, 50, married 25 years, 2 children (1 living), b. in N.Y., parents b. in N.Y., no occupation.
  • Frank N. McLean, son, b. August 1881, 18, single, b. in D.C., parents b. in N.Y., at school.
  • Norma R. Benedict, sister-in-law, b. July 1870, 29, single, b. in N.Y., parents b. in N.Y., teacher.
  • Ada Collick, servant, black, b. Jan. 1882, 18, single, b. in Md., parents b. in Md., servant.
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Marion McLean: 1920 census

Federal census, 1920, 507 A Street, SE, Washington, D.C.

  • Marion J. McLean, head, owns house (no mortgage), 70, widow, b. in N.Y., parents b. in N.Y., no occupation.
  • Frank N. McLean, son, 38, single, b. in D.C., parents b. in N.Y., clerk, Municipal Building.
  • Ellen Mount, maid, 69, widow, b. in D.C., parents b. in Va., servant, private family.
  • Gussie Swartz, lodger, 28, single, b. in Mo., parents b. in Wis., stenographer, U.S. War Department.
  • Alice Swartz, lodger, 28, single, b. in Mo., parents b. in Wis., stenographer, U.S. War Department.
  • Nellie Swartz, lodger, 32, b. in Mo., parents b. in Wis., stenographer, newspaper office.
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Frank N. McLean: draft registration card

Draft registration card, World War I [Ancestry.com]

Frank Newton McLean, 507 A St., SE, Washington, D.C.

Age: 37. Date of birth: 1 August 1881.

White. Native born U.S. citizen.

Clerk, District government, Room 308, District Building.

Nearest relative: Marion J. McLean (mother), 507 A St., SE.

Medium height, medium build, brown eyes, brown hair.

Date of registration, 12 September 1918. Local Board for Division No. 6, District of Columbia.

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Rosa Bixler: death

Washington Evening Star, 25 April 1959, p. 6

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Marion McLean and Metropolitan Baptist Church

Washington Evening Star, 24 February 1932, p. 18

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Emily Chappelear: death

Washington Evening Star, 13 December 1940, p. 24.

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Marion McLean: death

Washington Evening Star, 9 December 1942, p. 15

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 Washington Evening Star, 9 December 1942, p. 15.

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Unfurnished rooms for rent

Washington Evening Star, 5 December 1931, p. 24.

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House for sale

Washington Evening Star, 12 February 1921, p. 17

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Rooms for rent

Washington Evening Star, 25 September 1910, p. 70.

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Ad for Frank McLean

Washington Evening Star, 22 January 1907, p. 18.

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Bed for sale

Washington Evening Star, 30 November 1889, p. 3

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507 A Street, SE: early reference

Washington Star, 6 July 1889, p. 2.

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John C. Hesse retires

Washington Post, 11 August 1920, p. 12.

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John C. Hesse: awarded Medal of Honor

Washington Post, 14 May 1905, p. F3.

[At various times Hesse lived at several adresses on A Street, SE: 503, 506, 508, and 510.]

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This document explains why and how the Medal of Honor was eventually withdrawn: Interments in the Historic Congressional Cemetery.

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Francis E. Knott: death

“Deaths.” Washington Post, 28 May 1964, p. C16.

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[He had lived earlier at 503 A Street, SE.]

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