Above: The Hess Farm as seen on Google Maps Street View.
This farm is the birthplace of Catharine Hess (1819-1875) wife of Bishop Christian Bomberger. (See Catherine's 1838 show towel, below.) This farm is also the birthplace of Barbara Hess (1824-1885) wife of Jacob Bomberger.
Christian Hess (1789-1855) was born nearby at the 1740s Hess Homestead. He married Barbara Huber (1791-1855) who was born on a portion of the Huber Homestead on Newport Road. Christian's grandfather Johannes Hess helped build the log house at the 1740s Hess Homestead. Then, Johannes' son John purchased this farm here on the Rothsville Road for his son Christian.
Above: The 18th-century stone farmhouse was constructed of limestone with decorative sandstone corner quoins. Today the stone is covered with pebbledash stucco. Horse-and-buggy Mennonites now own the farm.
The Mennonite family that lives here calls themselves "Team People", referring to teams of horses and buggies used for transportation. They are allowed electricity and telephone, but no cars, internet, television, or radio. They speak Pennsylvania German and English. Lancaster County's Plain Mennonites love to plant bright neon-pink petunias, like the ones in front of the farmhouse here.
View this farm in a larger Google map.
Above: Blue pin: Hess Farm. Purple pin: Geyer / Hess / Landes / Berkenbine Graveyard
A Show Towel made by Catherine Hess in 1838, while Living at this Farm:
Above: Catherine Hess' 1838 Show Towel (Clarke Hess Collection)
This decorated towel was made in 1838 by Catherine / Cadarina Hess (1819-1875), a young Mennonite woman who was living at this farm with her parents who owned the farm. Her parents were Christian Hess (1789-1855) and Barbara Huber (1791-1848).
In 1839 Catherine married Christian Bomberger (1818-1898). Catherine moved from this Hess Farm to the Bomberger Homestead on Memorial Road, Lititz . Christian was a Mennonite farmer, preacher, and bishop. Christian was a great-great grandson of Mennonite immigrant Christian Bomberger, who came to America in 1722 from Eschelbronn in the Kraichgau, Germany.
Catherine Hess was a great-great-great grand-daughter of Mennonite immigrants Hans and Magdalena Hess, who emigrated from Europe to Pennsylvania in 1717. The Hess family's European history is not known, despite much research in Europe by the Hess family. It is assumed the family emigrated from Germany or Switzerland.
The cross-stitch motifs are typical Pennsylvania German motifs, including the “O edel Herz” motif. Show towels were often hung on doors, as is this towel. They were not designed to be used as regular towels, but were for decorative purposes. The “noble-heart” motif with the initials "O E H B D D E" usually indicates the needleworker was from a Mennonite family.
Catherine was the first cousin of Clarke Hess' great-great-grandfather Henry Hess (1821-1908), who lived at the 1740s Hess Homestead.
A Mennonite First Edition:
Inscribed to 9-year-old Betsy Hess from her uncle Peter Huber in Canada.
She lived here at this Hess Homested on Rothsville Road.
(She was a sister of Catherine Hess, who made the show towel above).
Mennonite Bishop Benjamin Eby (1785-1853) was the pioneer leader of the Mennonites in Waterloo, Ontario. He settled there on a farm that is now part of Kitchener. This community was first known as Ebytown, named for the Eby family. It later was named Berlin, until the name was changed to Kitchener during World War I.
Bishop Eby was born at the Eby Homestead near Lititz. He was a great-grandson of the Eby immigrant Theodorus Eby. The bishop's grandparents built that Eby house. Benjamin Eby moved to Canada in 1806 and founded the first Mennonite church in western Upper Canada.
Bishop Eby was also a farmer and schoolmaster. He wrote two school books. The first was this book: Neuws Buchstabir- und Lesebuch (1839), and the second was Fibel (1843). He also wrote a book about Mennonite history titled, Kurzgefasste Kirchen-geschicte und Glaubenslehre der Taufgesinnten Christen oder Mennoniten (1841).
This ABC book was inscribed for nine-year-old Betsy (Elizabeth) Hess (1836-1891). She was the daughter of Christian and Barbara Huber Hess, who lived here at this Hess Farm on Rothsville Road. She received the book from her uncle Peter Huber who emigrated to Ontario in 1819 from the Huber-Brubacher Farm which is now Zig's Bakery.
During her teen years, Betsy lived with her sister Barbara and brother-in-law Jacob Bomberger (1824-1885) on the Bomberger-Wenger Farm. Perhaps she was living with the Bombergers as a hired girl. During this era it was not unusual for a young girl to live away from home with an older sibling to assist with household chores.
Elizabeth later married Isaac Bomberger and they lived in Penn Township near White Oak. See the fraktur birth record of Isaac Bomberger's father, also named Isaac, on this website, Here. This book came from the 2001 auction of Elizabeth's great-grandson Emanuel R. Bomberger. (Book: Clarke Hess Collection)