The Iuen family are descendants of
Master Masons, who originated in Austria,
migrated to France, then to New York and finally
settled in Ohio.
In 1943, Marvin's
father, who was a contractor in Ohio, moved his
family to south Florida and began working at
Broward Marine. "At that time", says Marvin,
"Wilton Manors did not have a bridge at 26th
Street. You had to drive through the water on a
dirt road. There were just farms with string
beans and tomatoes on the east side of Wilton
He recalled that, "You
could build one house a year without a license.
So my father and his buddy began building a
house a year in Lauderdale By the Sea. They
built about 5 homes, and then became licensed
and formed a company calling it Iuen &
Clenin. " Clenin eventually
became a building inspector for Wilton Manors.
Marvin Iuen served in the
US Coast Guard, and was stationed in New
Orleans. When he got out of the service in June
of 1954, he joined his father and began building
homes. The 26th Street bridge to Wilton Manors
was constructed in 1952. However, Wilton Manors
was still a little on the wild side, and he
recalled having an encounter with a six foot
rattlesnake as he was working on one of the
houses located behind the current Board of
Realtors. "That snake jumped right out at me as
I was working. It had 11 rattles and a button"
says Marvin," I had to kill it with a shovel!"
Mavin brought his bride,
Alice, to a home he built for her near Stranahan
High School. At that time it was a rural area,
and their boys, Troy, Mark and Todd, grew up
playing in the woods that is now I-95.
His son Troy says, "Dad lived in South Florida since the
age of 12. He saw how this area grew
from a small town to the huge metropolis that
it is today. He can remember when there was
very little development west of 441. Today
development extends west almost to the
Everglades. With our great climate it was only
a matter of time before the word would get out
to all the northerners.
Perhaps, this was a good thing, as it
gave Dad the opportunity to provide housing to
the many new arrivals. With his father
and my uncle, Dad kept the construction
business in the family, building 2 to 3 houses
a year. Most of those
houses were built in Eastern Wilton Manors. For one house that
Dad built, he drew the floor plan to fit some
fancy Oriental rugs. He also built
warehouses in Oakland Park, along with some
offices and apartments.
Before my parents were married, Dad
drew the plans for his first house, made a
scale model, took a picture of it and
presented that to Mom hoping she would
accompany him to Florida for the rest of her
life. Then, he built the “dream house”
and many other houses to fulfill other
people's dreams .
remember helping him part time on some of
those projects. Back then he would do it all,
concrete, framing, trusses and
landscaping. He built additions to my
house and my brother’s house and also helped
with my new house here in Wilton Manors. To
this day, I don't think I've ever seen a
harder worker than my Dad."
Marvin eventually took over the business from
his father and constructed many of the homes in
our neighborhood. In 1969 he moved his family
into a new home he built for them in Wilton
Manors, where he and his wife, Alice, still
An avid fisherman, Marvin
is shown above cleaning his catch with his son
Troy. Troy also lives in Wilton Manors
with his wife Monique, who designed the Wilton
Manors East neighborhood logo for our web site.
When he is not fishing, Troy operates Action
Marvin was able to identify
28 of the many homes he was involved with
building in East Wilton Manors. Yours
might be one of them!