District Heights, Maryland

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District Heights, Maryland
City of District Heights
Official seal of District Heights, Maryland
Location of District Heights, Maryland
Location of District Heights, Maryland
Coordinates: 38°51′34″N 76°53′21″W / 38.85944°N 76.88917°W / 38.85944; -76.88917Coordinates: 38°51′34″N 76°53′21″W / 38.85944°N 76.88917°W / 38.85944; -76.88917
Country United States of America
State Maryland
County Prince George's
Incorporated1936[1]
Area
 • Total0.86 sq mi (2.24 km2)
 • Land0.86 sq mi (2.24 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
266 ft (81 m)
Population
 • Total5,837
 • Estimate 
(2019)[4]
5,984
 • Density6,917.92/sq mi (2,670.91/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
20747, 20753
Area code(s)301, 240
FIPS code24-23025
GNIS feature ID0597330
Websitehttp://www.districtheights.org/

District Heights is an incorporated municipality in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States, located near Maryland Route 4.[5] The population was 5,837 at the 2010 United States Census. For more information, see the separate articles on Forestville and Suitland.

District Heights is located 9.85 miles (15.85 km) from central Washington.

Geography[edit]

District Heights is located at 38°51′34″N 76°53′21″W / 38.85944°N 76.88917°W / 38.85944; -76.88917 (38.859545, −76.889139).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.93 square miles (2.41 km2), all land.[7]

History[edit]

District Heights was originally farmland owned by Major Leander P. Williams, purchased as four patented Lord Baltimore tracts known as: "Good Luck," "Magruder's Plains Enlarged," "the Levels," and "Offutt's Adventure." Under grants issued to Lord Baltimore by King Charles I of Great Britain, the tracts belonged to Colonel Ninian Beall, Benjamin Berry, and Alexander Magruder. District Heights evolved from one of the four patents. In 1925, 505-acres of the Williams farm was purchased and formed into the District Heights Company by Joseph Tepper, David L. Blanken, Henry Oxenberg, Gilbert Leventhal, Simon Gordon, and Simon Gerber. The land was farmed by Walter and Al Dustin, whose farmhouse stood at 7116 Foster Street. By 1925, streets laid out first three blocks of Halleck Street and Aztec. By 1926, the city had approximately 25 homes built, two businesses, a grocery store and filling station, a pump house and water tower to furnish the water and pressure for the City, a sewage system and a free Model T bus service to 17th and Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E. The Town of District Heights was incorporated in 1936 and recognized by act of the Maryland General Assembly. Many of the Cape Cod style houses seen today date to the 1940s, when several developers constructed affordable, single-family, houses with financing from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), anticipating sales to federal employees and veterans returning from World War II. In 1946, the remaining and undeveloped 300-acres was bought and developed by New York City builder Samuel R. Rosoff, who established Washington Estates, Inc., thus adding additional tracts to District Heights which include areas now occupied by garden apartments.

Adjacent areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
194032
19501,7355,321.9%
19607,524333.7%
19707,8464.3%
19806,799−13.3%
19906,704−1.4%
20005,958−11.1%
20105,837−2.0%
2019 (est.)5,984[4]2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 5,837 people, 2,050 households, and 1,505 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,276.3 inhabitants per square mile (2,423.3/km2). There were 2,212 housing units at an average density of 2,378.5 per square mile (918.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 6.0% White, 90.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.7% of the population.

There were 2,050 households, of which 40.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.0% were married couples living together, 32.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 26.6% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.31.

The median age in the city was 35.8 years. 26.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.5% were from 25 to 44; 28.3% were from 45 to 64; and 10% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.0% male and 54.0% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 5,958 people, 2,070 households, and 1,538 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,649.1 people per square mile (2,556.0/km2). There were 2,170 housing units at an average density of 2,421.7 per square mile (930.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 9.20% White, 87.95% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.86% Asian, 0.20% from other races, and 1.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.49% of the population.

There were 2,070 households, out of which 38.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 28.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.7% were non-families. 22.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.36.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 30.8% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 8.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $52,331, and the median income for a family was $61,220. Males had a median income of $37,129 versus $32,443 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,190. About 4.5% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.0% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people[edit]

  • Jane Campbell Hutchison, Professor Emerita Hutchison (1932-2020) grew-up in District Heights and was an expert in the history of Northern European art and taught art history at the University of Wisconsin from 1964 until her retirement in 2012.
  • Lloyd R. Woodson, arrested in 2010 with military-grade illegal weapons he intended to use in a violent crime, and a detailed map of the Fort Drum military installation.[10]
  • NaVorro Bowman, former outside linebacker at Penn State University and former inside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders was born and attended high school in Forestville.[11]
  • East Coast Rapist, Aaron H. Thomas, lived in District Heights/Forestville from June 1994 to August 2006.[citation needed]
  • LaTonya Swann, winner of BET's Born To Dance, was born and raised in District Heights.
  • Jack Anthony D’Ambrosio, (1943-2015) a decorated Oakland Park, Florida, police officer who spent his youth in District Heights and wrote several books chronicling his amusing adventures in the "Apollos" teenage street gang that operated in the town in the 1950s.

Government[edit]

The city is governed by a mayor and city commission elected every 4 years. The current elected mayor and city commission are: Mayor Johnathan Medlock Commissioner Cynthia Miller (Ward 1); Commissioner Xander Harcourt - (Ward 1) Commissioner Harryette Irving (Ward 2); Commissioner Carol M. Blake (Ward 2)[12]

In June 2019, Mayor Martin was charged with misdemeanor misconduct in office for helping a friend buy $50,000 in fireworks only available to cities and those with a federal explosive license by asserting on city letterhead that they were for the city's Fourth of July celebration rather than for private use.[13][14] This followed Martin's earlier charge of misconduct in office in 2013 (Circuit Court Case Number: CJ135672).

The U.S. Postal Service operates the District Heights Post Office in an unincorporated area next to the city limits.[15][16] The post office is named for former and longtime town mayor E. Michael Roll, who championed its establishment.

History of Mayors[edit]

  • 1954-1956 L.T. Gates
  • 1956-1957 Thomas R. McEntegart
  • 1957-1963 E. Michael Roll
  • 1963-1965 Thomas R. McEntegart
  • 1965-1981 E. Michael Roll
  • 1981-1983 David H. Goldsmith
  • 1983-1985 William E. Hay
  • 1985-1987 David H. Goldsmith
  • 1987-1988 David W. Joy
  • 1988-1990 Charles L. Hudson
  • 1990-1991 Thomas S. Morrison
  • 1991-1997 Mary A. Pumphrey
  • 1997-2003 Jack C. Sims
  • 2003-2006 Carol D. Johnson
  • 2006-2016 James L. Walls, Jr. (died May 12, 2016)
  • 2016-2018 Jack C. Sims
  • 2018-2019 Eddie L. Martin (suspended Dec. 2, 2019)
  • 2019-2020 Johnathan Medlock, Acting Mayor
  • 2020- Johnathan Medlock

Law enforcement[edit]

The District Heights Police Department (DHPD) is the primary law enforcement agency for the City of District Heights which is located in Prince George's County, Maryland. An agreement exists with Prince George's County Police Department and the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office that outlines mutual aid assistance. Assistance is also provided by neighboring municipal agencies.[17]

Officers serve the City Commission and the citizens who reside in and around the Municipal Corporation of District Heights. District Heights is located within the 8th District of the Prince George's County Police Department. The two agencies work closely together responding to calls for service as well as solving crimes. Although the crime rate as reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation is twenty~two percent higher than the national average, this number represents both the non-corporate and corporate portions of District Heights.

The District Heights Police Department began in 1936. Over the years, it has seen many different officers. In 2012, Chief Michael March (Ret) retired, sparking the City Commission to temporarily appoint Chief (Fmr) Yolanda Alexander. Chief Alexander served as acting Chief for more than a year until she was fully sworn in as Chief of Police in October 2013. Her contract as Chief for the District Heights Police Department was not renewed after May 2014 City Mayoral and Commission elections. Several members stated a difference of opinion. Chief Elliott Gibson, was hired in May 2014, as Police Chief. Chief Gibson had a long history and experience in law enforcement. Following several unpraiseworthy news events involving the department, he was terminated by the City Commission after new Commissioners were elected in May 2019. The police department was overseen by the District 8 Commander and Asst. Commander of the Prince George's County Police Department until November 2020 when Interim Chief Kinsey Weems was appointed. Chief Weems has been a member of the agency since 2013.

Prince George's County Police Department District 8 Station in Upper Marlboro CDP serves the community.[18]

Education[edit]

The city is served by the Prince George's County Public Schools and District 7 of the County's Board of Education.[15][19]

Elementary schools that serve the city include:[20]

  • District Heights Elementary School[21]
    • Formerly included District Heights Parkway Elementary, whose building makes up half the current school, and which fed primary grades to District Heights Elementary following 2nd or 3rd grade
  • North Forestville Elementary School[22]

Middle schools that serve the city include:[23]

  • Drew-Freeman Middle School (7-8)[24]
  • Walker Mill Middle School

High schools that serve the city include:[25]

Francis Scott Key Elementary School is neither in the city, nor serves the city, but has a District Heights postal address.[28] The district previously operated Berkshire Elementary School in what is now Suitland CDP,[29][30] near District Heights. Berkshire Elementary closed in 2009.[31]

Public libraries[edit]

The Prince George's County Memorial Library System operates the Spauldings Branch Library near District Heights.[32] The library opened to the public in 1987 and is named after the area's original 19th century Spaldings election district (which changed in spelling to Spauldings in the 20th century when the election district was reapportioned).

Public Spaces[edit]

There are several public spaces and parks within the District Heights locale, these include sports recreational fields adjacent to the Municipal Center on Marbury Drive, an outdoor athletic exercise area along District Heights Parkway, the Hartman-Berkshire Park on Walters Lane, green spaces along the length of Kipling Parkway, and a recently dedicated Veteran's Memorial Park at the junction of Marbury Drive and Kipling Parkway. There is also a neighborhood mini-park on Lakehurst Street in North Forestville and a small Maryland National Capital Park next to the North Forestville Elementary School.

Transportation[edit]

MD 458 in District Heights

The only highway passing directly through District Heights is Maryland Route 458. MD 458 connects southwest to Maryland Route 5, which provides access to Washington, D.C. and Interstate 95/Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway). The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro Bus) serves the town via The District Heights–Suitland Line, designated Route V12; the District Heights–Seat Pleasant Line, designated Route V14; the Marlboro Pike Line, designated Route J12; and the Forestville Line, designated as Route K12.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "District Heights". Maryland Manual. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  5. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: District Heights, Maryland
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. ^ Markon, Jerry (January 27, 2010). "FBI says no terrorism link for Reston man found with weapons". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "Navorro Bowman". 247sports.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  12. ^ "City Commissioners". City Of District Heights. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  13. ^ Bui, Lynh (June 7, 2019). "Md. mayor says $50,000 in fireworks were for city, but prosecutors say they were for a friend". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  14. ^ "Mayor in MD Faces Misconduct Charge Over Fireworks Purchase". NBC4 Washington. June 7, 2019. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Boundary Map." District Heights, Maryland. Retrieved on March 1, 2018.
  16. ^ "District Heights." U.S. Postal Service. Retrieved on August 29, 2018. "DISTRICT HEIGHTS 6514 MARLBORO PIKE DISTRICT HEIGHTS, MD 20747-9997"
  17. ^ Demographics Archived May 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Marlboro-118 District 8 Station - Upper Marlboro." Prince George's County Police Department. Retrieved on December 7, 2019. " 8903 Presidential Parkway Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 ". Beat map. See 2010 U.S. Census Map of Upper Marlboro CDP.
  19. ^ "Prince George's County Public Schools Board of Education".
  20. ^ "NEIGHBORHOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS AND BOUNDARIES SCHOOL YEAR 2017-2018." Prince George's County Public Schools. Retrieved on January 31, 2018.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-06. Retrieved 2007-07-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-25. Retrieved 2007-07-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "NEIGHBORHOOD MIDDLE SCHOOLS AND BOUNDARIES SCHOOL YEAR 2017-2018." Prince George's County Public Schools. Retrieved on January 31, 2018.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-17. Retrieved 2007-07-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ "NEIGHBORHOOD HIGH SCHOOLS AND BOUNDARIES SCHOOL YEAR 2017-2018." Prince George's County Public Schools. Retrieved on January 31, 2018.
  26. ^ "Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School Home Page". www1.pgcps.org. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  27. ^ "Suitland High School". www1.pgcps.org. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  28. ^ Home. Francis Scott Key Elementary School. Retrieved on August 29, 2018. "Francis Scott Key Elementary 2301 Scott Key Drive District Heights, Maryland 20747"
  29. ^ "Home." Berkshire Elementary School. February 22, 1999. Retrieved on August 29, 2019. "Berkshire Elementary School 6201 Surrey Square Lane District Heights, MD 20747"
  30. ^ "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP (INDEX): Suitland CDP, MD." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on August 29, 2018. Pages: 1 and 2.
  31. ^ Wiggins, Ovetta (2014-06-30). "Barack Obama Elementary School principal in Prince George's County is transferred". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  32. ^ "Spauldings Branch." Prince George's County Memorial Library System. Retrieved on August 29, 2018. "Spauldings Branch 5811 Old Silver Hill Rd District Heights, MD 20747" - the location is not in the municipal limits.

External links[edit]