In Old Bradleytown
By James Croggon, The Evening Star, August 30, 1908 [pt. 2 p. 2]
Between D, F, 9th and 12th streets southwest, on six building squares, constructed of a small particle of the extensive farming lands of Notley Young, the proprietor of many hundreds of acres, now measured by inches, a century ago, there was little to mark the street lines other than the square blocks set in the southeast corners of the squares.
So tardily did improvements come that there are living persons who are familiar with the countrified conditions when in the few roadways the mud at times was knee deep. It need not be said that the few who lived thee fifty years since little dreamed that railroad tracks would render bridges necessary to reach the main body of the city.
In the beginning it was looked upon as a promising section for development by Greenleaf, Morris, Nicholson and others. But not till 1820 ws there a vestige of even a straggling village.
The Bradleys came on the scene about that time, and this portion of the city took the name of Bradleytown, bu which name it was known for thirty or more years, the sparseness of settlement in adjoining squares clearly defining the bounds. The Bradleys being interested in the mail services by boat, they foresaw that the employes would need homes near the wharves.
First Carved Into Lots
Mr. Brent was the first mayor of Washington, from 1802 to 1812, by annual appointment by the President, and before moving to his new home lived at the mansion house of Mr. Young. Mr. Brent was the sole occupant of the square for some years.
In 1821, Capt. Peter Lenox, carpenter and builder, owned lots 26 to 32 on Maryland avenue and 11th street, and in 1828 Henry Turner bought lot 25, which he sold the year after to Joseph Abbott. The ground at this time had appreciated to 6 cents per foot.
In 1830 Phineas Bradley owned lots 4 to 16, nearly all the west half of the square, selling lots 4, 5 and 6 on E street to A.B. Waller, and these in 1839 were transferred to K.H. Lambell. Frederick Kellar in 1832 acquired lots 17 to 23, the Maryland venue front; William Lambell lots 1 to 3, at 11th and E streets, and G.W. Kendall lot 25 and 11th street. In 1839 A. Shepherd owned lots 4 to 6 on E street, and in 1842 Marianna A.B. Hammond owned the Brent lot and lot 18.
Between 11th, 12th, E and F streets, square 328, of four lots, of four lots, in 1794 figured with Greenleaf and others. Ball and Ford having title in 1800. Other than being included in the tax lists at the rate of 2, 1 and 3 cents per foot it was apparently unknown till 1830, when W. Lambell bought lot 1, the southeast quarter, and Robert Leckie the northwest quarter.
In 1833 William Dewees owned the west half and after A.B. Walker the northwest quarter, which went to K.H. Lambell in 1839, in the meanwhile, 1835, A.B. Smith, acquiring the corner of 11th and E streets.
The square between 10th, 11th, D and E streets, known as No. 553, assigned to Mr. Young, was intact till 1818 and, like the preceding, had decreased from 2 to 1 cent in value. It had been laid off for sixteen lots, and those of the west half of the square, 2 to 8, then passed to Phineas Bradley. In 1819 Captain C. Walker bought in lot 2, corner of E street; in 1820, Samuel Wimsatt, lot 3; in 1821, Luke Richardson, lot 2, and in 1825, Patrick Kavanaugh, lots 6 and 7.
W.A. Bradley owned lots 2 to 8 in 1826; W. Lambell, in 4, and S. Kean in 7 and 8. In 1829 J. Wood was in lot 4 and G. Arnold in 5 and 6; in 1831 A.B. Waller in 5 and B.G. White in 5, 6 and 7. S. Shryock et al. in 3 and 4, and W.W. Stewart in 7; in 1835 Mary Robinson and Sophia Lambell in 2; in 1838 Selah Beans, 5; in 1841, Ann White in 7 and in 1846 Dr. D.B. Clark in 8.
Square 350, between 10th, 11th, E and F streets was of sixteen lots and remained intact till 1820. It was a Greenleaf square and for some years subject to the courts. In early times it bore the same value as the above noted. L.H. Machen in 1828 bought lot 4 in F street, and in 1829 J.N. Ford and S. Wimsatt had parts of this lot and G. White a lease in it and Robert Keyworth owned lot 2. In 1830 William Douglas and W. Adams’ names attach to lot 3, E. Lindsleye to 1 corner 10th and F streets; H. Turner to 3; H. Gelston to 2. In 18331 B. Bean was on lots 1 and 2, the next year John Stettinus lot 3, which S.J. Todd had after. In 1835 the Bank of Washington owned 5 and 6; in 1839 W.A. Bradley 1 to 3, and W. Radcliffe owned 2 and 3 as also L. Thomas. In 1841 M. Wilson assigned lease in part 4 to Richard Wimsatt, and in 1842 Joseph Stephenson had lots 1, 2 and 3, the corner of 10th and F streets.
One of the Greenleaf Squares
In 1832 C. Bell had lot 26 and Ann White 50 and 51. Mr. Ault had lot 27 in 1835 and W.A. Bradley 3 to 18 and 50 to 76 – nearly all the south half. The Bank of Washington had 1 and 2 and Jacob Gideon 35 and 36 in 1836. Isaac Hill owned 35 in 1838 and Mr. Bradley 19 and 20. In 1839 H. Bradley and J.T. Cathcart were owners of 46. In 1841 Anselm Hatch owned 33 and R. Garrett 46 and 54.
Though the square south – 388 – was one of the United States squares which was in the names of Greenleaf, Law and others till about 1817, and no improvements were seen till the twenties, there was then rapid settlement. Thirty-eight lots were made, nineteen fronting each E and F streets. Andrew Way, jr., had those on F street and S. Elliot, jr., the E street lots in 1817. In 1819 Thomas Bulfinch owned lots 20 to 24 and S.A. Bulfinch 34 to 38, G.S. Bulfinch in 1820 succeeding to 20 to 22, and alter leasing part to Noah Jones and selling parts to Rezin Orme, Thomas Taylor and W. Adams. In 1821 W.A. Bradley had lot 19, corner 10th and F streets, in 1825 William Deming 23 and 24, and in 1829 the Bank of Washington 26 to 38. In 1830 W.R. Loundes was on lot 17 and S. Shryock on 12. In 1832 Todd and Peabody were on 17. In 1835 the Bank of Washington had 25 and D.A. Hall tax title to 34 to 38. D. Ross had lot 29 in 1836. Peter Hepburn 15 in 1837 and J.J. Holmead 23 the following year, Capt. James Guy and lot 12 to 1839 and Simon Frazier lot 4 in 1843.
The records as regards improvements in the olden time are not complete, but enough is known to note that the first made was the substantial house of Mayor Brent, at 12th street and Maryland avenue, and Frederick Kellar, long a clerk in the general land office in the twenties, had his home here. At the same period Capt. Charles Walker of the steamer Washington, the pioneer of the southern mail line, had his residence on the north side of E street east of 11th street; and west of him was the well known Luke Richardson, then engaged in the chicken business and long after a resident of the Thomas Circle neighborhood. Samuel Wimsatt, then a wood corder and lumber dealer and a leading lumber merchant, subsequently establishing the business which his sons have continued, then had his home on 11th street north of E street. John N Ford had a carpenter shop on F street in the thirties. Mrs. Jane Franzoni had a home on D street east of 10th street in 1829; Noaly Jones, a colored sawyer, had ten years before erected a home at 10th and E streets; William Deming five years before had bought two frame houses on E street; Peter Hepburn, carpenter and builder, moved from the Long bridge neighborhood to F street between 9th and 10th in 1837 and had his shop at 10th and E streets. Capt. James Guy, long connected with the river and bay steamers, lived on F street near 9th street.
In the Assessor’s Book
It will be seen from the following that by 1845 there had been a good healthy growth, especially along 11th and F streets and numbers were prominent in the up-building of the community. Among others there was George Pag, by occupation a machinist, who settled first on E street between 11th and 12th, and afterward on the south side of F street, between 6th and 7th streets, establishing a mill, and in the 50’s branched out, starting a shipyard at the foot of 7th street. Kelly Lambell was a neighbor at that time, engaged in shipbuilding at the foot of 9th street and later in life in the brickmaking business. Dr. Daniel B. Clark, who died recently, in 1843, established a drug store on the east side of 11th street south of D street on a capital of a few hundred dollars, and in a few years bought the lot at the corner on which was erected the Potomac Hall building, where he was engaged in business a number of years. The hall was long used for social and society purposes, and in 1852 was the armory of the Continental Guards, of which Ephraim Wheeler, Peter Wilson and John L. Smith were the successive captains. Dr. James E. Morgan, now dead, as a young physician had his home and office on the east side of 11th street between E and F streets, later removing to the former residence of Mayor Brent, at 12th street and Maryland avenue. Dr. Morgan served long on the school and health boards and was as popular as a public-spirited resident as a valued physician. George C. Henning, well known in business circles and long president of the late Traders National Bank, was boy of this section, living on 11th and E streets. Capt. James Mitchell of the Norfolk steamer Osceola and Capt. Charles E. Mitchell of the Southern Mail line lived on 11th street between E and F streets, as did John Riley, the chief engineer of the Mail line, who, with Capt. C.E. Mitchell, served in the Potomac flotilla during the war. William F. Purcell, judge of the Orphans’ Court for many years, was on the west side of 11th street, as also Robert F. Magee, who held the position of harbormaster subsequently, and L. Belzarius, shoemaker. John W. Martin, blacksmith, had his home at the corner of 11th and E streets, and afterward built a large coach and wagon factory. James Griffith, a tailor, and Mrs. Susan Norris were also on the west side of the street.
On the east side of 11th street were the grocery stores of Mrs. Ann Simms, Benjamin Magar and B. Leddon; the bakery of Cyrus Wineberger, the shoe shop of W. Whitemore; James Barber, tinner; Richard Braxton, Lewis Thomas, Mrs. Rumpff, William Marshall, ship carpenter; Robert Lawrence, Mrs. Merica, William Leach, draw tender on the Long bridge, and James Collier.
On F street between 9th and 10th streets were J.A. Bowen’s feed store. Alexander Adams’ grocery, David Hepburn, carpenter; W. Homer, Mrs. Jacobs, Simon Frazier, William Cook, painter; Charles Croggon, Isaac Croggon, Cyrus Smith, pumpmaker, and Gillis R. Taylor. Between 10th an 11th streets was Joseph Stephenson, engaged in the local express business, who afterwards established the Blue Line express, the father of the well known Stephenson Brothers, long in the lumber and steamboat business at the foot of 7th street. John B. Cornwall lived adjoining.
Church on 10th Street
At the corner of 10th and D streets two lots were bought of Barzila A. Smith October 4, 1843, as the site for a Methodist Episcopal church, the consideration being $500, and the grantees were William Ryland, French S. Evans, George Crandell, William Lloyd, William Bird and C.W. Boteler, trustees. The name of Ryland was selected to honor the first named, who had aided the enterprise financially and otherwise, being a minister of the church and a chaplain in the navy.
Mrs. Jane Gray was the sole resident on the south side of D street between 10th and 11th streets.
Along D street east on the church there had been some settlement, but far from a solid front was presented. In addition to Mrs. Franzoni, Misses Cooper, Garrett and Hatch’s residences William Burroughs had erected a home and carpenter shop and later moved to the north side of Maryland avenue. There were then here David Westerfield, a carpenter; Mrs. Mitchell, James White and F.A. Cadick. Facing the intersection of Maryland and Virginia avenues the situation was much appreciated before the railroads came.
Of those named the Cooper, Hatch and Stephenson families are still represented, and others here in 1850 are few and far between.