Minnie Lee White

Minnie Lee White spoke with Hazel Kreinheider in 1974 to share memories of her life on the 1300 block of Massachusetts Ave SE near Lincoln Park, where she had lived since 1932.

The discussion was not recorded, but Hazel wrote a summary of Mrs. White's recollections. It's only two pages in length but has some surprising information, especially about the Capitol Hill resident who sculpted a famous statue of suffragettes for the Capitol.

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Interview Date
September 20, 1974
Hazel Kreinheder
Paula Causey

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[Minnie Lee White was interviewed in 1974 to provide background for the application to create the Capitol Hill Historic District. Any use of this material should credit the Ruth Ann Overbeck Captitol Hill History Project website for making it available. No verbatim transcript was created at the time of the interview; instead, notes based on the interview were prepared by Hazel Kreinheder. The notes were retyped by Paula Causey in 2014 with street names and addresses edited to conform to the style used by the Overbeck Project.]

Capitol Hill Interviews

Interview with Minnie Lee White By Hazel Kreinheder September 20, 1974

The conversation with Mrs. Minnie Lee White concerns Capitol Hill and Lincoln Park and was conducted in connection with efforts to determine the historical boundaries of Capitol Hill.

Mrs. White has resided at 1363 Massachusetts Avenue SE since 1932. She was a close friend of AdelaideJohnson, the sculptress of “The Glory of Washington,” the suffragette statute in the crypt of the Capitol.Johnson lived at 230 Maryland Avenue NE. Later she was forced to sell due to her financial circumstances. The property was sold to Mr. Marlow of the Marlow Coal Company. He also owned Marlow Heights. Johnson stayed on as a tenant until such time as she was no longer able to meet her rental payments. At that time, most of her belongings were moved to 1363 Massachusetts Avenue SE. She died about 10 years ago [November 10, 1955 at age 96] and is buried in Congressional Cemetery near the chapel. There is a write up of Johnson in Art and Artists of the Capitol, on pages 383–388. Many of her dresses were given to the Smithsonian, but Mrs. White still retains a number of pieces of her furniture.At one time, an attempt was made by Miss Alice Paul of the National Woman’s Party to have the house (230 Maryland Avenue NE) maintained as a memorial studio and attempts were made (unsuccessfully) to obtain some Congressional financing for such a project. In recent years the house was boarded up.

Another famous person who lived on Capitol Hill was Charles Lindbergh. He attended school at Seventh and Pennsylvania Ave SE while his Father was in the House of Representatives (Minnesota Sixth District, 1907-1917). [Charles graduated from high school in Minnesota in 1918.]

1300 block of Massachusetts Ave SE

Mrs. White’s two houses at 1359 and 1363 were part of a row built by a family named Carroll. TheseCarrolls were probably related to the Carrolls of Duddington. When she first moved to Massachusetts Avenue, Joseph Carroll lived at 1367 Massachusetts Avenue SE. He is now deceased, but was a memberof the builder’s family.

The 1300 block of Massachusetts Ave SE was mostly inhabited by government workers, many of them Navy Yard people. Most of the houses have two flats.


Capitol Hill Interviews Minnie Lee White Interview, September 20, 1974

A number of years ago there was open “block busting” in the neighborhood and many families moved tothe suburbs. At that time, the block went into decline. It is now undergoing restoration.

Mrs. White said that Mr. Carroll had told her when the houses were constructed, but that she had forgotten the exact date. They would be, however, about 70 years old.

A man who had something to do with the building of the Panama Canal (possible an engineer) lived on the north side of the block just about where Massachusetts and A Street SE meet. His house stood alone and was somewhat more substantial than those next to it.

Dr. William H. Clements lived in a big house at the corner of 13th and Massachusetts. In response to a question as to whether Mrs. Clements is still alive, Mrs. White said that she is and is presently living in Hyattsville, Maryland. [Note: H.F. Kreinheder had found a reference at Martin Luther King Library to a Mrs. Willliam H. Clements who lived at 110 13th Street SE and was President of the Capitol Hill History Club in 1953-4.]

Dr. Stebbins was the one time head of St. Elizabeth’s. He later became head of DC General Hospital and he and his wife lived in a house belonging to the government on the grounds of the DC Jail.

Mrs. White volunteered the information that historically Capitol Hill probably extended only to about 14thor 15th Street, but that since she has been at 1363, all of the area west of the Anacostia River has been considered part of the same neighborhood.

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