Sunday, December 14, 2014

Little Flower in the 1950s

The Little Flower neighborhood sits north and west of Irvington.  It has been a stable area since the first people started building small bungalows there in the 1910s.  Named after the Catholic Church along North Bosart Avenue, the community has been home to thousands of families over the years who started housekeeping in the modest dwellings.  Many of these families remained in the area for years and in some cases generations.

In the 1950s, the neighborhood was still filled with original families who had built small homes along streets like Wallace Avenue.  In 1927, Leo and Helen Erb's home at 1025 North Wallace Avenue was completed.  The couple raised their children in the house. Next door at 1027 dwelled Solomon Erb, the father of Leo and grandfather to several nearby kids.  The elder Mr. Erb passed away in 1944 so by by the early 1950s, Elmer and Gertrude Harmon owned the bungalow.  Norman and Lucy Wilson lived in 1101 North Wallace Avenue and had since its completion in 1928.  Mr. Wilson was an office manager for the Steckle Steam Specialties Company.  The Wilsons and Erbs would have known each other for nearly thirty years when these photos were snapped in early 1950s. People like the Erbs, Harmons, and Wilsons maintained their modest homes and kept up their small lots.  They planted trees and lovely flowers.  While many residents dashed to the suburbs, these families continued to dwell here well into the 1970s in some cases.

New generations are moving into the Little Flower neighborhood.  They seemed to have the same pride as the founders. They have a neighborhood association and residents still maintain their cottages and small lots.   Although many of the homes have been altered or enlarged over the years, the Erbs, Harmons, and Wilsons would have no trouble recognizing their stomping grounds in 2014.

Helen and Leo Erb standing in the backyard of 1025 North Wallace Avenue in 1952

Betty Jean, Kenneth, and little Ricky Erb in 1951 on the porch at 1025 North Wallace Avenue

Betty Jean, Kenneth, and little Randy Erb standing in front of 1025 North Wallace Avenue 1953.  Behind them, you can see 1027 and 1101 North Wallace Avenue.  Note that tulips are blooming in front of the spirea bushes.  

1025, 1027, and 1101 North Wallace Avenue in 2014

Erb home at 1025 North Wallace Avenue in 2014
The historic images are courtesy of Rick Erb via  


  1. There was an Erb family in the 1100 block of Bosart, too, from at least 1930-1970---the Jacob Erb family. Wonder if they were related.

  2. I believe they were related, Rachel. I will check and get back to you.