Sunday, April 13, 2014

Levy Brothers

In honor of National Siblings Day (who knew there was a designated day?) it’s fitting to highlight siblings in my family, starting with the Levy brothers.  These brothers worked together in commercial real estate in Fresno in the early 20th century but, sadly, they didn’t all end up together at the end of their lives.  I hate thinking about the squabble that caused them to separate and I’m saddened that until recently, I wasn’t in touch with some of their descendants.  But I am now and for that I’m grateful!

The brothers were Herb (1884-1952), Leon (1886-1962), Sigmund (my grandfather, 1888-1968), and Ben (1892-1965).  Additionally, there was another brother, Arnold (1890-1890), who I wrote about here

Here are the boys in about 1889, before Ben was born.

Leon, Sigmund, Herbert Levy c. 1889

Here’s the young family in about 1890. 

Levy House Van Ness Avenue Fresno 1890

The family looks so small in this photo – here’s a close up. 

Levy House Van Ness Avenue Fresno 1890 cropped
Goldie and Herman Levy
Herbert, Leon and Sig

And by 1892 Benjamin had joined the family.

Benjamin Levy
Benjamin Levy

The house had sure changed by 1907!

Levy Home 1907

Although I don’t know the date this was taken, the family were all together and posed for a photo.  My best guess would be that this was taken somewhere about 1906-1908 based on the ages of the boys.

Levy Family Leon_Sig_Ben_Herb_Goldie_Herman
Standing – Leon, Sig, Ben, Herb Levy
Seated – Goldie Benas Levy and Herman Levy

By 1920 Levy Brothers was a thriving business and it looks like there were a number of people working there besides the four brothers. 

Levy Bros Office 1920

I can’t make out much in this photo except I do see my grandfather, Sigmund Levy, second from the right. 

The Levy Brothers ventured out for a photo in 1929 – boy do they look dapper!

Levy Brothers Ben_Herb_Sig_Leon 1929
Ben, Herb, Sig, Leon Levy
August 7, 1929

And they were together again in later years.

Levy Brothers Ben_Sig_Herb_Leon
Standing – Ben and Sig Levy
Seated – Herb and Leon Levy

And that’s about where the trail runs cold as the brothers had a falling out and some never talked to each other again.  I didn’t know until recently that my grandparents lived almost around the corner from Herb and his family.  All those years of visiting Grandma and Grandpa and there were my dad’s cousins so close but yet so far.  I’ve reconnected with Herb’s grandson and hope that one day we’ll be able to meet in person (Fresno, here I come!).  These brothers may have stopped communicating in their later years but their descendants will put a stop to that!


  1. Now see, if you were doing the A to Z Challenge, you'd be right on target for "L" day! HA!!
    Those are great photos. Didn't they have wonderful trikes as kids?!
    Even in the closest families, it's hard to maintain a family business. I love my sister, but I KNOW I could never be in business with her.

  2. I love the pictures of the brothers through the years and I love that you have connected with the cousins whose grandfathers stopped talking to each other.

  3. Debi,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!