824 West Pratt Street is about 10 blocks west of the Baltimore Basin, what we now call the Inner Harbor. On Sunday, 7 February 1904, a fire was spotted just northeast of where the Walter family lived. It raged out of control for two days, destroying nearly the entire business district, before over 1,200 fireman from several states extinguished it. In its aftermath 35,000 people were left unemployed and caused $150,000,000 million in damages (1904 dollars, which would equate to $3.84 billion today).
|Great Baltimore fire aftermath; photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress|
In 1910 the family continued to live in Baltimore at 874 Columbia Avenue, which was the home of Millard's paternal grandparents, so perhaps the family had been displaced by the fire. Millard's family moved to Washington, DC, sometime during the 1910s. They lived at 820 C Street, SE. Millard's father owned a cigar shop and continued to make cigars. Millard was 21 years old when the census was enumerated and worked as a manager at a newspaper. He had completed the 8th grade before he no longer went to school.
The next year Millard lived at 1612 A Street, NE, and worked as the circulation manager for The Bulletin. He married Alva Rae Carroll, daughter of Charles Wilkerson and Emma (Barnes) Carroll during this period. On 24 June 1924 they had a daughter, Mary Emma, at the A Street address. The tiny infant died the next day.
The family moved around a bit in Prince George's County and lived in Cottage City and Colmar Manor, before settling permanently in Clinton. During this period, Millard continued working as the circulation manager for United Publications Company, the likely owner of The Bulletin..
The family lived in Prince George's County in 1940. Millard continued working as a circulation manager for a newspaper. Millard owned his own home, which was valued at $6,000.
Millard Aloysius Walter, Sr., died in 1976. He was interred at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Waldorf, Maryland.