756 Rock Creek Church Road: Some Interesting History

756 Rock Creek Church RoadOccasionally when you dig into the history of places you find the most interesting facts in some of the most uninteresting locations. An example of this would be 756 Rock Creek Church Road.

Should you find yourself standing in front of 756 Rock Creek Church Road it is a very unassuming structure located near the Georgia Ave/Petworth Metro station. It is in the first row of homes constructed by Kennedy Brothers on the old Cammack estate in 1910.

What makes the site of note is its first residents, Mr. George G. Seibold and his wife Grace Darling Seibold. While George was a linotype operator and proofreader of the Evening Star, it was Grace who brings the most interest to this Park View address – in not one but two ways.

Grace Darling Seibold

Grace Darling Seibold

During World War I, the Seibold’s son, George, joined the action as an aviator with the rank of First Lieutenant. When letters from George stopped arriving, Grace was unable to find out anything about his whereabouts. Not knowing he had been killed in France, she began visiting area hospitals hoping George had been wounded and returned home.

Through this experience, and in getting to know other mothers who had lost a child, Grace organized a group consisting solely of these mothers with the purpose of not only comforting each other, but giving loving care to hospitalized veterans confined in government hospitals far from home.

In this way Grace Seibold organized and became the first president of American Gold Star Mothers. You can read more about this here>>

The other brush with history comes from Grace’s father, General Edward Whitaker. Gen. Whitaker was chief of staff to Gen. George A. Custer during the Civil War. As the Union and Confederate forces met at Appomattox Court House, Gen. Whitaker was sent out to receive the truce when it was offered by a member of Gen. Longstreet’s staff at Gen. Lee’s request.

After the surrender, Gen. Whitaker found that he had possession of the white towel that had been used for the flag of truce. After cutting off a piece for himself, he gave the towel to Gen. Custer who later presented it to his wife. You can read Gen. Whitaker’s 1896 account of the surrender and the white towel here>>

Mrs. Custer donated the towel to the Smithsonian Institution in 1936, minus the section of towel that Gen. Whitaker had removed. Gen. Whitaker’s section of towel was at that time neatly framed and hanging in his daughters house at 756 Rock Creek Church Road. You can see the towel Mrs. Custer donated here>>

Grace Seibold died in 1947 and George moved in with a daughter in Roanoke, Va.,  sometime after. George lived until 1955. Both are buried in Rock Creek Church Cemetery.

Mrs. Coolidge, Mrs. George G. Seibold & James Haley, 10/13/24

Mrs. Coolidge, Mrs. George G. Seibold & James Haley, 10/13/24

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7 Comments on “756 Rock Creek Church Road: Some Interesting History”

  1. RCChRD Res Says:

    Wow! I didn’t know about the truce flag. That’s really cool. I have long wanted to reserve one of the apartments for parents visiting their sons/daughters at Walter Reed. I figured it would be a great way to celebrate the history of the house and to recognize the sacrifices made by American soldiers. I wasn’t interested in rental income, just the cost of utilities. Believe it or not, my idea proved very difficult to implement.

  2. RCChRD Res Says:

    Incidentally, did you notice that Sweet Mango restaurant is in the process of enclosing their deck?

  3. Kent Says:

    No, I’ll have to check out Sweet Mango tonight.


  4. [...] found this image not too long ago of Grace Seibold (of 756 Rock Creek Church Road) with the First Lady Coolidge and a secret service escort on October 12, 1924. In digging into the [...]

  5. Patty Says:

    nice article about this house. do you live here? My great father, my grand father and now my brothers own a house on this street. i think it was built in 1907.
    It is 733 rock Creek church road, and the same family has been renting it for over 50 years.

    Patty


  6. [...] Rock Creek Church Road, where it could present information on a number of fronts — such as General Edward Whitaker and the surrender of Lee’s army or his daughter Grace Seibold and the …. It could also include Washington Senator’s baseballer Lenny [...]


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