As I walk around this 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 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. Please note that after you do any of these searches, you will be presented with a list of posts in which that address or name occurs; at this point be sure to click on the title of each post for more details.

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, and Mark Kantor. I welcome further suggestions and corrections.

—Bill Peterson (

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502 Independence, SE

[Last revised 8 July 2014.]

Washington Evening Star, 31 May 1873, p. 2.


Boyd’s Directory (1876)

  • Alfred Hamilton, 45, plate printer.

Federal census, 1880 [502 A St., SE]

  • Alfred Hamilton, 45, married, plate printer, cannot write, b. in N.Y., parents b. in N.Y.
  • Lydia Hamilton, 30, wife, married, keeping house, b. in N.Y., parents b. in N.Y.
  • Clarence Hamilton, 3, son, b. in N.Y., parents b. in N.Y.
  • [In 1870 census, the family was living in Georgetown.]

Boyd’s Directory (1881)

  • Alfred Hamilton, plate printer.

Washington Evening Star, 31 December 1885, p. 1.

Image Image

1900 census [502 B St. SE]

  • Lydia C. Hamilton, head, b. July 1843, 56, widow, mother of 1 child (living), b. in N.Y., parents b. in N.Y., owner of house.
  • Jennie Hamilton, daughter, b. August 1862, 37, single, b. in N.Y., parents b. in N.Y., dressmaking

Boyd’s Directory (1903)

  • Alfred Hamilton. [But census shows he was dead by 1900.]

Washington Post, 2 July 1906, p. 12.


Boyd’s Directory (1908)

  • Grand Army of the Republic — Posts


Boyd’s Directory (1909)

  • Jennie Hamilton
  • Lydia Hamilton (widow of Alfred)

“Died.” 15 May 1909, p. 5.


Washington Evening Star, 17 May 1909, p. 20.


Washington Post, 12 October 1911, p. 2.


Washington Evening Star, 9 March 1923, p. 5.


Washington Post, 3 May 1927, p. 22.


1930 census [502 B St. SE]

  • Julia Spalding, head, owns (home worth $8,000), 53, single, b. in Md., parents b. in Md., nurse
  • Matilda B. Spalding, sister, 60, single, b. in Md., parents b. in Md., no occupation.
  • Mary E. Spalding, sister, 70, single, b. in D.C., parents b. in Md., no occupation.
  • L. A. Goley, head, rents ($30), 28, married at 24, b. in N.C., father b. in Switzerland, mother b. in Tenn., conductor, street railway.
  • Catherine P. Goley, wife, 30, b. in Va., parents b. in Va., no occupation.
  • Louise M. Goley, daughter, 0, b. in D.C., father b. in N.C., mother b. in Va.

Washington Evening Star, 14 May 1936, p. 3.

Image Image [Notice that Star got the names wrong.]

Census (1940) [502 B St. SE]

  • Matilda B. Spalding, owns property (worth $4,000), head, 80 [?], single, completed 3rd grade, b. in D.C., lived in same house in 1935.
  • Mary E. Spalding, sister, 88, single, completed 3rd grade, b. in D.C., lived in same house in 1935.
  • Julia B. Spalding, sister, 76, single, completed 3rd grade, b. in D.C., lived in same house in 1935.
  • James A. Lucas, rents ($40), head, 37, completed 8th grade, b. in Md., lived in Hyattsville, Md., in 1935, heat [?] salesman, Standard Oil Company.
  • Mary Lucas, wife, 28, completed 12th grade, b. in Penn., lived in Hyattsville, Md., in 1935.
  • James A. Lucas, Jr., 1, b. in D.C.

[Building permits.] Washington Evening Star, 1 June 1940, p. 26.


“Deaths.” Washington Evening Star, 28 January 1951, p. 28.


Washington Post, 24 August 1952, p. M10.


Washington Evening Star, 22 March 1964, p. 46.


“Crime and Justice.” Washington Post, 30 November 1970, p. C7.

“A stereo set with headphones and other accessories, a television set, a tape deck, a diamond ring and other equipment were stolen between 1 p.m. Thursday and 2 a.m. Saturday from the home of Paul Leventhal, 502 Independence Ave. SE.”

Lamb, Yvonne Shinhoster. “Paul Leventhal; Led Nuclear Control Institute.” Washington Post, 14 April 2007, p. B6.

Paul Leventhal, 69, founder of the Nuclear Control Institute in Washington and an expert in nuclear proliferation issues, died April 10 at his home in Chevy Chase. He had melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

Mr. Leventhal, a former newspaperman and congressional aide, launched his advocacy institute with a full-page ad in the New York Times on June 21, 1981, posing the question: “Will Tomorrow’s Terrorist Have an Atom Bomb?”

Since serving in the early 1970s as an aide on a Senate subcommittee chaired by Sen. Abraham Ribicoff (D-Conn.), Mr. Leventhal remained adamant about the dangers of nuclear terrorism and global commerce in plutonium — a key element used in nuclear weapons — and worked to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to nations or groups.

On the subcommittee, Mr. Leventhal worked on a Nixon administration bill to reorganize the Atomic Energy Commission. He described work on the legislation as a “baptism in fire” that changed his life.

Mr. Leventhal, who worked in the Senate from 1972 to 1981, was responsible for the investigations and legislation that resulted in passage of two landmark nuclear laws — the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, which split the Atomic Energy Commission into separate regulatory and promotional nuclear agencies, and the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Act of 1978, which established stricter controls on U.S. nuclear trade.

The non-proliferation act’s requirement that countries accept international inspections on all their nuclear activities — “full- scope safeguards” — as a condition for receiving U.S. nuclear assistance eventually was adopted as an international norm by the multinational Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Mr. Leventhal recognized the growth and threat of nuclear and bomb-grade materials, said lawyer Richard Wegman, who served as chief counsel for Ribicoff’s committee with Mr. Leventhal and later as counsel for the Nuclear Control Institute.

“Paul was a truly remarkable individual, exceptionally dedicated to an exceptionally difficult cause,” Wegman said. “He was one of the first to work for full-scope safeguards. . . . He insisted on incorporating that concept in legislation.”

In 1979, Mr. Leventhal served as co-director of the bipartisan Senate investigation of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, and he prepared the “lessons-learned” legislation enacted in 1980 to require preventive measures and emergency planning.

He said that work left him “acutely aware of that ineffable combination of human fallibility and mechanical failure that makes nuclear plants vulnerable to accidents, and also sabotage.”

He lamented a few years ago that the flow of nuclear technology and materials from industrial countries to developing regions was continuing.

“As a result, there is now more plutonium in civilian hands than in all of the nuclear weapons in the world. And some of it has already been turned into bombs, as in India, Pakistan and North Korea, while others have used or are now using civilian nuclear programs as a cover for weapons programs,” he said in a speech in 2001, adding that Iran and Iraq raised immediate concerns.

Mr. Leventhal, born in Manhattan, graduated magna cum laude with a degree in history from Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania in 1959 and received a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1960. He spent 10 years as an investigative and political reporter at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the New York Post and Newsday, until deciding that he wanted to “get inside of government and try to make it work.”

In 1969, he came to Washington as a press secretary to Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R-N.Y.), served in 1970 as campaign press secretary to Sen. Charles Goodell (R-N.Y.) and two years later was a congressional correspondent for the National Journal.

From 1972 to 1976, he concentrated on nuclear weapons proliferation as a research fellow at Harvard University’s Program for Science and International Affairs and as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution.  From 1979 to 1981, he was staff director of the Senate Nuclear Regulation Subcommittee, chaired by Sen. Gary Hart (D-Colo.).

After starting the Nuclear Control Institute, Mr. Leventhal served as its president for 22 years, lectured in a number of countries, organized conferences and wrote op-ed articles and books on nuclear terrorism, averting a Latin American nuclear arms race, nuclear power and the spread of nuclear weapons.

For the past several years, he directed the institute as a Web- based program that maintains a word-searchable electronic archive at and a collection of institute and Senate papers spanning more than 30 years at the National Security Archive.

Survivors include his wife, Sharon Tanzer Leventhal of Chevy Chase; two sons, Theodore Leventhal of Washington and Joshua Leventhal of Raleigh, N.C; a brother; and two grandsons.

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Virginia Davis: automobile license

“Automobile Licenses.” Washington Evening Star, 1 June 1913, p. 27.


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Edwinetta Schroeder and Charles Zurhorst: wedding

“In the World of Society.” Washington Evening Star, 2 December 1912, p. 7.


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Alice Lindenkohl: sale of house to Dora and George Bond

“Real Estate Transfers.” Washington Evening Star, 29 October 1912, p. 16.


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William Donnelly: party

“Society.” Washington Evening Star, 27 October 1912, p. 63.


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Byron Kingdon: assaulted

“Fights Galore in Day Will Keep Court Busy.” Washington Evening Star, 1 September 1912, p. 22.


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L. A. C. Clements: auto license

“Motoring.” Washington Evening Star, 26 May 1912, p. 24.


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