Benjamin Charlton (c. 1820-1894) was a prominent member of the Washington, D.C. business and social community. He was director at the Central National Bank and served on the Committee for the Inauguration of President Grover Cleveland. Charlton married Sarah, the daughter of Thomas Havenner, owner of the once famous Havenner’s Bakery in Washington, D.C., which Charlton inherited after his father-in-law’s death.
In 1888, Charlton joined five other businessmen to develop land along the B & O Railroad consisting of approximately 400 acres; 50 by 100 foot lots adjoining 50 foot streets laid out in an irregular pattern. They named this development Charlton Heights, after Benjamin Charlton. In the same year, the Charlton Heights Improvement Company (CHIC) was established. CHIC was created to attract white-collar workers from the city to this area. About two dozen, large Queen Anne and other Victorian-era style homes were built here.
After the demise of CHIC, Charlton Heights was incorporated as Berwyn Heights on April 2, 1896. The name Charlton Heights lives on in current land records.