206 East Nelson (ex 209 E Linden)
This was yet another of Herring & Wohlfarth properties to serve as a rental unit until it was taken over by Wallace & Herring in late 1935. Once again, the great depression made finding long term tenants and, later, buyers, difficult.
In 1932 the tenant was Harry H Clark, a steamfitter, and wife Geneva. For 1934 it was Clarence and Emma Judd. In 1936 it was Ruth V Payne and her children Ralph, Francis, Harold, Grover, Nancy and David, of whom Ruth, Ralph and Harold worked. The father, Grover C Payne, appears to have left the picture by this point.
In May 1938 W&H finally succeeded in finding buyers, Ray and Bessie Hutcheson. Ray was a 43-year-old book binder with the Government Printing Office; while Bessie supervised, or tried to, 23-year-old Ethlyn Lorraine, 20-year-old Anita, and 16-year-old Howard In fact, Anita was pregnant and in the process of running away to get married to a fellow named Chapman, and Lorraine was engaged to William Dalkin, a clerk. By the end of the year they would be married and living in DC. Anita, on the other hand, quickly got a divorce and moved back home with daughter Ethlyn Rae.
Thus, by April 1940 the house held Ray and Bessie, along with son Howard, daughter Anita and her daughter, and Edith Peck, 30-year-old telephone operator living there as a boarder. Anita remarried in May of 1941, this time to Joseph Brooks a machinist. This appears to have been less rushed, and it lasted a lifetime.
With two of three kids out of the house they sold it in June 1942 to Charles and Margaret Butcher. Charles' parents had come over from England and set up, first a fruit stand, later expanded to a grocery store. Charles was born in Alexandria in September 1912 and took up work in his father's stall before marrying Margaret Finnell in November 1935 in Ellicott City.
Charles and Margaret, along with daughter Sharon, born in 1935, lived in the house for a little over six years. In December 1948 they sold it to Edwin and Carrie Thompson, he a trainman for the RF&P. They had no children, so when they needed money they sold the house in January 1950 to Charles A Barker, but retained a life estate – meaning they held the house for as long as they lived, Barker would just have to wait them out for his house.
Perhaps a bit dark, but it is possible Barker thought his ship had come at least partway home when Edwin suffered a massive heart attack and passed away at age 57 in July 1952. Carrie, however, was made of sterner stuff. In fact, Charles Barker himself passed away waiting. Unfortunately, on his death in February 1962 it was discovered that he had left no will, nor did he have any known spouse nor children.
Not to worry, Edward Barker and Lucille Barker Brown, a nephew and a niece, stepped forward to claim the estate. But not so fast said Mary Suelston Barker (AKA Mary Sue Carpenter). She came forward with her husband John H Carpenter to claim that she had married Charles Barker in Richmond in November 1920 and that that marriage had never officially ended in divorce or annulment. In any event, all that is known now is that in 1939 the DC government announced that Charles A Barker and Mary Suelston Barker were delinquent on their real estate tax there to the sum of $38. It thus appears that they actually were married. Presumably the delicate matter of her having a second husband without properly disposing of the first was a subject of some discussion in the lawyers' offices. In any event, the parties agreed to sell the house and hold the proceeds in escrow for distribution later when the dust settled. Thus, in November 1963 the house was sold to Louis and Cecelia Kelso.
The Kelsos and their two children lived there at least the next twenty years.