In any event, the town formed a special committee to examine the possibility of constructing a new multipurpose building with town hall, jail, fire house and auditorium in May 1925. The study appears to have been a formality, however, for within a matter of weeks the town was already petitioning the state legislature for permission to issue $24,000 worth of bonds to pay for what would become the town hall (now the fire station on East Windsor).
This was to be his last official act, however. He had been suffering from nephritis for about two years and he was finally laid low mid-June and died at his home on July 8th 1925. His term of office was filled out by Councilman Charles Adams. At the next election Adams, still on the “law and order ticket” was narrowly defeated by William Kleysteuber, a breakaway who formed the “citizens ticket” to shake up governance (that is, he apparently disliked Adams).
Gertrude continued to live in the house with a steadily-decreasing brood around her. By 1930 the house held just her and daughter Frances, who had returned from Blackstone College. Middle son Janney had moved to Augusta County where his wife gave birth to daughter Jean and where he worked as an electrical engineer2. The other two sons, although maintaining their official residence in Del Ray, only showed up for brief visits. Paul, now 28, was living with his wife and young child as a professor of biology at Ohio State University, while 26-year-old Robert C. was a teacher at the University of Maryland, having received his PhD from Johns Hopkins in June 1930 after serving on the faculty of VMI.
On September 26th 1931 daughter Frances married Dr. Madison Campbell of Washington, DC. In what must have been a bittersweet event the ceremony took place at the house she had grown up in on Mt. Vernon Avenue, in the absence of her father she was given away by her brother Robert, and was presided over by Rev. O.C. Beall, who had married her parents 30 years before. Then she too moved out.
Although the house undoubtedly held memories it was far too large for a single person, and expensive to keep up. Among other costs, Gertrude had been assessed $97 for concrete curb and gutter on the Del Ray side and $64 for a concrete sidewalk on the Mt. Vernon side by the City in 1934/35, significant costs in the depression. Finally, in March 1937 she sold her longtime home to local real estate investors Michael and Joanna Barry and bought the property at what is now 15 East Custis. The purchase was nominally in the name of her son Robert C. and his wife Emily, but they did not live there. The more modest brick house now standing there was undoubtedly built for Gertrude at that time.
2 Janney moved around and after service in WW2 moved to Cumberland, MD, where an elderly Gertrude moved to be close by. Unfortunately, Janney took ill and passed away in 1950 at age 47, and Gertrude moved to Williamsburg, where she finally passed away herself in 1957 at age 87.