James E. Waugh (1841 – 1895) was the driving force behind the creation of the railroad suburb that became the Town of Berwyn Heights. He began his career as a grocery merchant, worked in the Treasury Department, and then took up real estate and insurance.
During the Civil War, Waugh organized a company of volunteers for the defense of the capital city, and briefly served as captain in the 1st California Regiment of the U.S. Army. He resigned his commission in November 1861.
In 1887, Waugh and David Lamb bought 393 acres of land east of the B&O Railroad near Branchville for a new development. They sold the land to Edward Graves, who had it platted as Charlton Heights. In August 1888, Waugh, Graves, Benjamin Charlton and 4 other Washington entrepreneurs incorporated the Charlton Heights Improvement Company to market properties to District residents.
A proud member of the Knights Templar, Columbia Commandery No. 2, Waugh named many streets in Charlton Heights after prominent Templars. One year after his death, Charlton Heights was incorporated as Berwyn Heights.