The Notes on the Bromberg
family were written by Dr. Leon Bromberg, Galveston, TX, for the
"History of Houston County
Generation No. 1
BROMBERG was born 16 Sep 1844 in Poland, and died 12 Jan
1919 in Houston Co., TX. He married ETTA
05 Jan 1868. She was born 1849 in Russia, and died 07 Jul 1933
in Houston Co., TX.
Notes for MENDEL
It was in 1861
that a sixteen year old lad in the village of Jackrow in Poland
got his parents' blessing and urging to escape from the brutal
tyranny and persecution in his home town and to venture to
America, the land of the free and opportunity for all. This boy,
Mendel Bromberg, with the meager family savings, bought passage
in the steerage of a sailing ship which took forty days of rough
travel to arrive in New York.
The streets were not paved in gold as he had been told in
his dreams but freedom was a priceless possession. Mendel went
to work as a day laborer and studied English at night. When he
had overcome the language barrier he set out for Texas which had
always been his goal. Travel alone in those days required
courage for an immigrant young man, but Mendel was amply endowed
with that quality and the indefatigable spirit of the early
pioneers. The kind epitomized in Conrad's immortal book "Youth".
When he reached Texas, Mendel Bromberg chose to settle in
the town named after a hero of the Alamo, the county seat of the
first county in the great state. He stayed in Crockett all of
his quiet, industrious life. He helped the community grow and
he aided his fellow men within his resources. He died with only
moderate means, rewarded by the universal respect and admiration
of all who knew him in Houston County.
Mendel Bromberg loved the land. He was one of the first
East Texas citizens interested in soil conservation. He built
roads at his own expense. One such road from the El Camino Real
(now Hwy 21) to the Trinity River Bottom farm is shown captioned
in historic maps as the "Bromberg Road".
During his life he gave land and money for the building of
Protestant Churches even though he had been born in a different
Mendel, in all his adult life, had the love, help and
inspiration of his courageous and devoted wife, Etta. They were
married when they were both young. Their love and struggles
against great odds and tribulations never faltered. Theirs was a
story book union of two pioneers and it was true.
In business Mendel Bromberg started out with a wooden
general store on the Southwest corner of the Square. Directly
behind it going South on the red clay hill he built a plain four
room cottage. A large barn was erected between the store and his
home. A bountiful garden which he tilled himself took up most of
the remaining block (now devoted to the parking area of the
One of the first homes in Crockett to have electricity and
a telephone was that owned by the Brombergs. From the date of
installation until when the telephone company was merged with
the larger parent concern the Brombergs were the proud owners of
telephone number sixteen (16).
By the year 1911, the Bromberg store had prospered enough
for Mendel to build a big brick building on the same site, using
brick from his own kiln. This sturdy, sound building, now the
Houston County Courthouse Annex, stands as a tribute to the
admirable, lasting workmanship of its day, a time when men took
pride in their work and found satisfaction in what they wrought.
The little cottage behind the store had given way in 1905
to the spacious and dignified home which Dr. Leon Bromberg, the
only grandson, maintained and visited whenever his health
permitted until his death.
In a footnote to the family history, and certainly
significant evidence of the high regard in which Mendel Bromberg
was held by his fellow citizens is the following: When a new
town was started some 18 miles Southwest of Crockett on Highway
21, it was proposed by many that it bear the name of Bromberg.
However, Mose thought that rather than have his father so
honored, it would be more appropriate to call the town Austonio
since it was on the route to Austin and San Antonio. It was so
ordered and agreed upon.
More About MENDEL
FACT #1: 1880 Houston Co TX - village of Crockett:
BROMBERG, M., 45, dry g. merchant, Russia Russia Russia; Etta,
40, wife, k/h, Poland Russia Poland; Soloman, 10, NY; Moses, 8,
son, NY; Perry, 5, son, NY; Sarah, f, 6/12, dau, TX; WILLIAMS,
Celece, black 50, dem.
FACT #1b: 1900 Houston Co. TX: BROMBERG, M., Oct1844, 55,
m30yr, Russia Russia Russia, Immig1854 46yr-in-usa, genl.
merchant; Etta, wife, Mch1847, 53, 6ch 6liv, TX Poland Polland;
Mose, son, Aprl1874, 26, s, TX, genl. merchant; Sara, dtr,
Nov1880, 19, TX; Lena H.,
FACT #1c: 1910 Houston Co., TX: BROMBERG, Mendel, 65,
Polish Polish Polish, nat1867, retail merchant dry goods; Etta,
wife, m1x 43yr, 7ch6liv, Russia Russia Russia; Mose, son, 37, s,
NY, wholesale dry goods; Lena, dau, 28, TX, teacher; WEIS,
Pauline, dau, 26, no chi
FACT #1d: 1920 Houston Co TX, S. LeGory St.: BROMBERG,
Etta, 71, Wd, immig 1868, PrussPoland Polish Russia; Mose, son,
46, Single, NY, Merchant.
FACT #1e: 1930 Houston Co TX- W. First St.: BROMBERG, Mose,
h/h, $15,000, owned, 57, Single, NY Poland Poland, farmer; Etta,
mother, 82, Wd, Poland Poland Poland; WEIS, Pauline, sister, 44,
m@23, TX Poland Poland; Gertrude, niece, 16, TX AL TX; Harry,
FACT #2: Lived first in Syracuse, NY; to Houston Co., TX.
Children of MENDEL
BROMBERG and ETTA are:
2. i. SOLOMON "SOL"2
BROMBERG, b. 1870, NY.
MOSES "MOSE" BROMBERG,
b. 01 Apr 1873, NY.
for MOSES "MOSE" BROMBERG:
Bromberg spent most of his adult life in Crockett,
first in charge of the Bromberg Store on the Square
and looking after the family farm interest. Later on
he joined his Brother Sol in working for the
Galveston Dry Goods Company. Mose was never married.
He is still remembered as one of the most popular
men in Crockett; an inveterate reader and student of
many disciples; he was always active in civic
affairs .. served as President of the East Texas
Chamber of Commerce in its early days; he was among
the most progressive men of his time. He headed a
group which encouraged the planting of hundreds of
pecan trees in Crockett and environs. He was one of
the founders of the Crockett Country Club. He and
his good friend, Jack Beasley, Sr., started the
subdivision of homes on the Eastern side of
Crockett. He was a talented raconteur; never uttered
a profane word in the presence of ladies and wanted
to whip anybody who did. In brief, Moses was a
Southern gentleman of the old school.
iii. PERRY BROMBERG,
b. 1875, NY; m. DAISY.
for PERRY BROMBERG:
Bromberg became a renowned surgeon and Professor at
Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. His
wonderful Mother sewed and sold bonnets to help pay
for Perry's medical education. He lived up to her
highest expectations. He was, indeed, "the apple of
her eyes". Handsome and expert and modest in spite
of his professional fame and the many honors
bestowed on him, he and Daisy had no children.
iv. SARAH BROMBERG,
b. Nov 1880, TX; m. HYMAN HARRISON.
Notes for SARAH BROMBERG:Sara became Mrs.
Hyman Harrison and moved to Los Angeles, CA, where
her only child, Fay (Mrs. Ted Elias) also lived.
v. LENA H. BROMBERG,
b. 11 Dec 1881, TX; d. 13 Oct 1966; m. HENRY H.
for LENA H. BROMBERG:
will always be the best remembered and loved in
Crockett out of the whole Bromberg family because
she spent almost her entire life there and dedicated
her heart and soul to teaching. "Miss Lena" was
educated for her profession at the Sam Houston
Normal in Huntsville. In later years she was honored
as one of the most distinguished Alumni of that
College. Always called "Miss Lena" by three
generations of students in the Crockett High School
where she taught Mathematics and not incidentally
inspired her classes to read fine literature. Many
days, a group of interested students would
voluntarily stay after school to have her read
poetry and prose to them, and enjoy informal
discussions. A good book could, and should, be
written about her and teachers of her kind who
looked on teaching as a calling like the ministry.
"Miss Lena" was only away from Crockett for a
few years after marriage to Henry H. Klein, an
Attorney in New York City. No children came to this
union. After his death, his widow returned to
Crockett and to teaching. Again she was the gracious
and considerate hostess in the old Bromberg home on
South Fourth Street. She will never be forgotten by
those who knew her best. She was a brilliant and
remarkable lady who loved children and her work.
"Miss Lena" was one of the founders of several
study, social and historic groups/
She lies at rest in Crockett where her
tombstone reads: Lena Bromberg Klein, December 11,
1881 - October 13, 1966, Beloved Teacher and Friend.
About LENA H. BROMBERG:
Burial: Evergreen Memorial Park, Crockett, Houston
vi. PAULINE BROMBERG,
b. Oct 1884, TX; m. HARRY WEISS.
for PAULINE BROMBERG:
Pauline married Harry Weis. First they moved to
Mertzon, TX, where Gertrude, their only child was
born. Later Pauline and Harry returned home to
Crockett to help care for her Mother and look after
the Bromberg Store. Gertrude went through school in
Crockett; she became Mrs. Dave Aron and lived in
Monroe, LA. Sadly and ironically, Pauline who was
the youngest and most vivacious of the three girls
was the first to die. She lies at rest with her
husband in Louisiana.
Generation No. 2
"SOL"2 BROMBERG (MENDEL1)
was born 1870 in NY. He married HELEN.
Notes for SOLOMON
became a lawyer. He gave up the practice of Law to become
executive of the Galveston Dry Goods Company. After the
liquidation of that Company, Sol became a executive officer of
the W.L. Moody interests in Galveston, TX.
Children of SOLOMON
BROMBERG and HELEN are:
BROMBERG. Dr. Leon Bromberg practiced
medicine in Galveston for 30 years, and was
assistant professor of clinical medicine at UTMB
from 1955 to 1969. Born on Galveston Island in
1899, he graduated from Ball High School with honors
in 1916 and received his bachelor's degree with
honors in 1920 from the Rice Institute in Houston.
Dr. Bromberg attended Vanderbilt University College
of Medicine in Nashville, TN, where he earned his
doctorate in medicine in 1924.
He then joined Washington University in St.
Louis, MO, where he had a distinguished career as a
teacher and physician. He was a captain in the
medical corps of the U.S. Navy during WWII.
After the war he returned to St. Louis to resume his
medical practice and teaching. He returned to
Galveston in 1955 and to the John Sealy Hospital in
Dr. Bromberg died in 1985, leaving a legacy in
the Dr. Leon Bromberg Charitable Trust Fund, which
endowed the Dr. Leon Bromberg Professorship for
Excellence in Teaching in 2001.
He never married.
UTMB Graduate School
of Biomedical Sciences – Career Forum
3. ii. ESTELLE BROMBERG. She married WIESELBERG.