John Threlkeld of Georgetown owned 812 acres in Washington County called Alliance. In 1830, Clement Smith, of the Farmer’s and Mechanic’s Bank bought 296 acres of Threlkeld’s property at auction, to satisfy a debt.
In 1842 Agnes Levis acquired, from Clement Smith’s estate, about 156 acres of Alliance, lying mostly to the east of what is now New Mexico Avenue, between Fulton and Newark Streets, NW.
Her daughter’s death certificate calls this property “Alliance Farm, Washington D.C.”.
The Levis Family
Edward Levis (born 1775), and Agnes Lownes Levis (born 1797), were from Springfield Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. By 1825, when a child was buried by William King, they resided in or near Georgetown.
Edward Levis’s child, October 12, 1825. (William King Mortality Journal).
1830 census: 10-person household, no slaves, and 1 free colored person.
1840 census: 6 persons, no slaves
In 1842, Agnes Levis bought from estate of Clement Smith, for $3906, part of Alliance, beginning at NW boundary of Beatty and Hawkins’ Addition to Georgetown, north to George French’s land, then to Terra Firma, now Col. Pyle’s, then to south line of Loughborough’s, to Alexander Burrows’, and south to land of Henrietta S. Young. (DC Liber WB96 (1842) f.410/265).
The sale gave Mrs. Levis a right of way for wagons, horses, and cattle to come and go over Smith’s land on Tennallytown Road, east of her, which corresponds to part of the road to the Powder House, now Cathedral Avenue. (See The Georgetown Powder Magazine)
Edward Levis, assessed for 156 acres in 1855, had been buried at his farm in by Joseph Birch the previous year.
In 1860 Curtis Levis, 37, farmer, born Pennsylvania, was the head of household; Agnes Levis, age 63, lived with him, as did his younger brothers, Enoch and Phillip.
Enoch Levis, farmer, born DC circa 1834, was buried at his farm by Joseph Birch, 1863? Curtis Levis was buried by Joseph Birch, at Brooke’s Farm, November 28, 1873. (Members of the Levis and Brooke families originally buried on the farm were later transferred to Tenleytown Methodist/Eldbrooke Cemetery.)
Agnes Levis died 1873. Her estate, assessed at 60 acres in 1876, had been divided into at least two parts. Philip Levis,born DC circa 1846, resided on the southern end of Alliance farm, about where the Westchester Apartments are today. “Levis, Philip, butcher, High nr Boundary”. (1874 Georgetown Directory)
The Brooke Family
Philip L. Brooke (1821-1903), and Aquila Eld, donated land for a Methodist Episcopal church at Gloria Point in 1840. Brooke was a trustee of that Church (later named Eldbrooke, after its founders), and of West Georgetown Methodist Episcopal Church, at 35th Street and Reservoir Road, in the part of Georgetown once known as Bryantown.
Circa 1841, Elizabeth Lownes Levis, daughter of Edward and Agnes Levis,married Philip L. Brooke.
In 1866 widow Agnes Levis and her son-in-law Philip Brooke (who was a Trustee of the Public Schools Of the District of Columbia) sold land for a county public school on grounds of what is now Horace Mann School. (DC Liber RMH (1866) f.127-134)
Agnes Levis to Edward Brooke, 5 acres of land Agnes Levis acquired in 1842 (DC Liber RMH25 (1866) f.345). Edward Brooke, born circa 1842, Wholesale meat merchant, had a stall at Centre Market in the 1880s. Vestry of St. Albans, 1864-1924. In 1924, Edward Brooke lived at 2702, i.e. 2502 Wisconsin Avenue.
Philip L. Brooke bought “Alliance Farm”, on Loughborough Road, from Agnes Levis (DC Liber 564 (1868) f.356). That year, Philip Brooke was assessed for 77 acres.
1874, Philip Brooke’s house, on 77 acres, stood just east of 43rd Street, and just north of Lowell Street.
“Alliance Farm, Washington D.C.” was listed on Elizabeth Brooke’s death certificate.
Philip L. Brooke Died Honored Alike By All.––His Life Devoted to Noble Charities and Public Service.––The funeral on Wednesday of Philip L. Brooke marks the passing away of one of Washington’s oldest and highly-respected citizens, a character, the beautiful simplicity of which had enshrined itself forever in the hearts of his host of friends. The deceased was in his eighty-third year, and up to the time of his death was apparently in robust health. Though advanced in years, his zeal in philanthropy was unabated, and his devotion to his religious convictions untiring.
Throughout his long life he has been actively and intimately connected with the success of Methodism in the community in which sphere his earnest efforts have shone with gradually increasing brightness as the years advanced. The site on which Eldbrooke M.E. Church of Tenleytown stands, was a donation prompted by his generous nature, and the name of the church bespeaks a testimonial of the high regard in which he was held there.
He was ever a stanch advocate of the public school system, and early in its history in the District, if not in its very incipiency, he served on the board of trustees. In this capacity he was active in procuring the erection of the first county public school, on land near the present home of C.C. Glover, and contributed in large measure to the erection and furnishing of a domicile for the teacher.
Mr. Brooke was born in Maryland, but early in his life came to the District and lived, up to within a few years of his death, in the vicinity of Tenleytown, moving some time in the 90’s to 720 Twentieth Street northwest, where he died. He is survived by seven children, forty grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, all residents of the District.
In his death the community has lost a progressive member, the church an earnest and liberal supporter, his children a kind and loving father, and the district a citizen whose patriotism has never been questioned.
(Washington Times, May 17, 1903, p.4)
The Kengla Family
Philip Levis, in 1875, made a mortgage secured by a note to Charles R. Kengla and George M. Kengla; default having been made in the payment of the note, the land was sold by auction, and was bought by the two Kenglas in 1877. (U.S. Supreme Court, Levis v. Kengla, 169 U.S. 234, 1898. See Kengla Family Notes)
1894, George M. and Charles Kengla
1903 Baist map: Lewis Kengla.
After the Philip Levis farm was acquired by George and Charles Kengla, a Victorian country house replaced any existing farm house. (Photo, Washington Times, January 5, 1935)
The Kennedy Family
Starting in 1909, the Kennedy Brothers Company (Edgar Sumter Kennedy, and William Munsey Kennedy) built thousands of homes and many apartment buildings in the District of Columbia.
In 1925, the house (marked “William M. Kennedy, 28 acres”) was exactly on the circular park of the future Westchester Apartments. (1925 Baist map, Vol.III, plate 24)
Letters testamentary on the estate of William M, Kennedy, builder, who died June 17, were asked yesterday in a petition by Mrs. Mary E. Kennedy, the widow, and her sons, Gordon Kennedy and Kloeber Kennedy. The testator owned stock in the firm known as Kennedy Bros. valued at from $500,000 to $750,000 and owned the home at 3900 cathedral avenue northwest, which is valued at $200,000. He left debts amounting to $245,000. Attorney W Gwynn Gardiner appeared for the petitioners.
(“Administration Asked on Estate of Kennedy”, Washington Post, July 3, 1927, p.2)
1930, the Kennedy property was purchased by the Westchester Development Corp., headed by Gustave Ring, at an assessed value of $350,000. (“Landmark Replaced: Westchester Apartments on Site of Historic Home“, Washington Times, January 5, 1935)
Before the house was razed it was briefly rented by a Russian emigre. “La Colline School––3900 Cathedral Ave. NW. A progressive boarding and day school for boys and girls from 4 to 14 years of age, Baroness Irene M. Ungern, Principal.”
(“School and College Directory”, Washington Post, August 19, 1928, p.ES4; “Licensed To Marry”, Washington Post, November 24, 1928, p.12; “Refugees of 20 Years Ago Now Citizens”, Washington Post, August 20, 1939, p.B7)
The Glover Family
(Star, September 5, 1891, p.14)
Washington banker and philanthropist Charles C. Glover (1846-1936) bought property between Ward Circle and Cathedral Avenue––some of which had been farmed in the 1880s by an immigrant from Saxony named Traugott Rosenbusch––and built Westover at 4300 Massachusetts Avenue. The house was just south of Newark Street, between 43rd and 44th Streets NW.
In 1904 Charles C. Glover’s daughter Elizabeth married Reneke de Marees van Swinderen, Dutch ambassador to the United States. After her father died, in 1936, and van Swinderen had retired from the diplomatic service in 1937, the couple made their home at Westover, where she died in 1950.
(Hopkins, 1894, vol.3, part 1, plate 13; Star, August 5, 1891; September 5, 1891, p.14; “Retired Dutch Envoy’s Wife Dead at 71”, Washington Post, November 17, 1950, p.B2)
Westover, the country house of Charles Carroll Glover. (James M. Goode, Capital Losses)
Location of Westover (Baist Real Estate Atlas, 1903, plate 20)
Jonkheer Reneke de Marees van Swinderen (1860-1955), Charles Carroll Glover’s son-in-law.
Elizabeth van Swinderen, wife of the former Dutch minister to Great Britain––and daughter of Washington banker Charles Carroll Glover––points out London barrage balloons to Princess Juliana (pushing pram) and Princess Beatrix, in 1940, after the Dutch Royal family had fled to London following the German invasion.
Northern “Alliance Farm”including Westover and Orchard Hill, 1922.
Southern “Alliance Farm”, 1922; at right, near the bend of Tunlaw Road, a substantial farm building that may have belonged to Phillip Levis (and to Charles Homiller before that).
Charles C. Glover’s grandson, Charles C. Glover III, at 4200 Massachusetts Avenue. “An interesting group of youngsters photographed at the recent society hunt. They are C.C. Glover 3d. in the center and children of Commander C.R.P. Rogers U.S.N. Virginia and Alicia Rogers.” National Photo Company, April 8, 1920 (Library of Congress)
In 1920, the southern half of Westover was given to Charles C. Glover, Jr. (1888-1976) who built Orchard Hill, a Tudor house facing New Mexico Avenue. (The address, originally 4200 Massachusetts Avenue, was called 3201 New Mexico Avenue by 1968.) The house stood just east of 43rd Street, and just north of Lowell Street (or in the bed of Lowell Street), corresponding, more or less, to Phillip Brooke’s earlier house.
Orchard Hill, the residence of Charles C. Glover Jr. (Washington Post, September 25, 1977, p.37)
Circa 1953, the Gelman Company purchased land from Charles C. Glover, Jr., of Orchard Hill, and built The Towers, 4201 Cathedral Avenue, between 1959 and 1960.
Westover was razed in 1967, and the 16-acre tract was purchased by Westover Development Corporation for 7.5 million in April, 1969. Orchard Hill was razed in 1977. (James M. Goode, Capital Losses, pp.119-21)
Three major developers have acquired ownership or rights to the last remaining undeveloped tracts of land in this are lying south of Ward circle and bounded by Massachusetts Avenue, Glover-Archbold Park, and Cathedral, New Mexico and Nebraska Avenues.
The 15-acre estate of the late Charles C. Glover Jr., Washington banker and lawyer, is the most recent of these acquisitions. Lawrence N. Brandt, who built the Colonnade on New Mexico Avenue and the Beekman Place condominiums on 16th Street NW across from Meridian Hill Park, acquired the tract for $5.6 million earlier this month.
And to the north of this, adjacent to the 5-acre university parking lot, Kettler Brothers Inc., the giant development company that built Montgomery Village has already cleared more than eight acres where town houses will be constructed. Houses in this development, Westover Place, will sell from about $135,000.
Just to the north of this old Glover tract lies a nine-acre parcel, so far untouched, where developers Gerald M. LaVay and Richmond Donohoe have put up a 525-unit apartment building with units renting for between $337 and $746.
(“Bulldozers on the Estates: Development Invades the Preserve of the Wealthy”, Washington Post, September 25, 1977, p.37)
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