All About Family & a Clock

I’ve learned that this 89yr. Old Fool need not be surprised by unexpected thoughts at night. One night it occurred to me that my friend at College Mennonite Church, Elton Bomberger, might also be a relative. because my great grandfather, John D. Lehman married Barbara Bomberger who is my great grandmother.  So I have a trace of Bomberger genes in me.

Bomberger-Plaque-sqI mentioned the possible relationship to Elton, and he loaned me his “Bomberger” book.  I combined data in his book with data in my “Lehman” book.  Indeed, we are related.  He is in the eighth and I am in the seventh generation descended from the same immigrant, Christian Bomberger who arrived from Europe in 1722.


In this house grandfather David B. Lehman, Uncle Walter Lehman, and Cousin Aldus Lehman raised their families

About twenty years ago my first cousin Aldus Lehman had a restless night.  He got out of bed and rustled through some old papers.  He found a picture of men with “Bombergers”  written on it.  He also found a clipping with a photo of a grandfathers clock.  These disturbed him.  There seemed to be a connection between the two photos.

ScanI suggested that he use the internet savvy of his sons to search for information.  Months later he called from his Pennsylvania home to me in my Florida home.  He said that about ten minutes after launching a search, his son had located the clock that was owned by a Bomberger family who lived in a suburb of Chicago.

In 1996 Aldus and Ruth Lehman and Aldus’s sister Grace and her husband Edgar Burkholder went to Goshen College to visit Burkholders’ daughter Miriam.  Since they were so close to Chicago they went to see the clock. Aldus gave me a picture of the clock shown in this blog.

The clock was given by Jacob Erb as a wedding gift to his daughter, Sarah, when she wed Joseph Bomberger II on February 2, 1826.  He was a minister at Dillers Mennonite Church in Cumberland County, PA.

Joseph and Sarah gave the clock to their son Harry, brother of my great grandmother Barbara who married my great grandfather, John D. Lehman. Since then the clock has been given to Lauden Lane and Charles, each an eldest son in that Bomberger line.

image0-18I value the picture to right. It must have been taken sometime in 1928-29. It is of a family group on the front lawn of the David B. Lehman farm home. From left to right: I am on my Aunt Lizzie’s lap. My brother John appears between Aunt Lizzie and our mother, Ruth. The young woman seated in front of and between my mother and father is my father’s youngest sister, my Aunt Susan.  My cousin Aldus is seated on my father’s lap. Aldus and I were almost the same age.  I was born in March (1926)  and he was born in January (1927).

Aldus was taken from us in a farm accident.  This evening I talked for a while with Ruth his widow.  We talked about the grandfather’s clock and their visit to Goshen and Chicago. Ruth keeps me informed of family events in Pennsylvania.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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3 Responses to All About Family & a Clock

  1. Freda Zehr says:

    Martin, I loved this entry. My grandfather Lauver built a clock just like the one you show. Also loved seeing the “baby” which was you. At times I find myself feeling so sad to think of that time when say, your mother held you in her arms as did my mother hold me, and I in turn held my babies. I feel so sad that slips by so fast. I long to just go back and live some of those precious days over. It all went too fast. I know that is life as God planned it. Still I feel so nostalgic about the past.

  2. ann L. Wtson says:

    Dear Martin,
    I hope that his communication finds you in good health!
    I am a Bomberger descendant living on the original Bomberger farm in Lititz. We have a clock that is similar to the one in your post.

    Would love to communicate with you abut family things.

    Ann L. Bomberger Watson

    • Yes, I am 90 and in good health. My great grandmother was Barbara Bomberger, the daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Erb) Bomberger. Barbara married my great grandfather John D. Lehman. It is interesting to me that you live on the original Bomberger farm in Litiz. Let’s keep in touch. – Martin W. Lehman

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