As we come down Florida St, most of us arrive at Labor St looking at the little house on the curve. Have you ever wondered about its story?
Known to many neighbors as “The Maribel House,” the house at 903 Labor St was built by Otto and Maribel Heinen in the 1930s. Otto was born in Kendall County but was a near-life long resident of San Antonio. He lived in a boarding house at 109 Barrera St when he was drafted into WWI. After returning home from the war, he married Maribel Green, in 1922. Maribel was originally from Yoakum, Texas. For a few years they rented a house a block away at 805 Labor St before building their house at 903 Labor. Mr. Otto Heinen worked for some years as a mail clerk in a downtown hotel.
Otto and Maribel had no children of their own, but were aunt and uncle to many nieces and nephews. They lived out their years in the house in Lavaca. Otto passed away in 1965, and Maribel stayed on until her death in 1980. She had given the house to the Central Baptist Church which was on that site until 2016.
For many who drive through Lavaca from I-37, the Maribel House serves as a focal point. As the oldest neighborhood in San Antonio, we continue to preserve not just the houses, but the stories of the people who called Lavaca home.