Wiley Burke Avenue

The Wileys and the Burkes were pioneer Downey families whose sons named this street in 1937. The sons: William K. Wiley (1882-1955) and Frank Burke (1861-1952), who lived just two blocks apart on Rives Ave. Wiley was a Downey-born citrus grower who married Gertrude Ella Eaton (née Braun, c. 1887-1967), a widow with two daughters, in the early 1920s. They would have two sons together. Burke, a fellow orchardist, was the second of Joseph and Mary Burke’s six kids. (The eldest died at two years of age after swallowing lye.) Joseph Hartley Burke (1831-1909) was a wheelwright and blacksmith, born in Tennessee and apprenticed in Arkansas. He came to California in 1853, wed Mary Hunter in 1855, then set up shop in DTLA. He moved the family to Downey in 1864 after swapping his DTLA land with John G. Downey‘s own. Frank Burke, who served as VP of Los Nietos Valley Bank, was married twice and had no children. His brother Osburn was more prominent: see Burke Street in Pico Rivera.