Mendel & Etta Bromberg


The Notes on the Bromberg family were written by Dr. Leon Bromberg, Galveston, TX, for the publication:

"History of Houston County Texas"

Generation No. 1

1. MENDEL1 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.


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 faith.

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 Courthouse Annex.

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.


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, bro-n-law, 51,

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.


ii. MOSES "MOSE" BROMBERG, b. 01 Apr 1873, NY.

Link:  Photo of Mose Bromberg


Mose 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.


Perry 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.









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. KLEIN.


Lena 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.


Burial: Evergreen Memorial Park, Crockett, Houston Co., TX




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

2. SOLOMON "SOL"2 BROMBERG (MENDEL1) was born 1870 in NY. He married HELEN.


Sol Bromberg 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:

i. LEON3 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 Galveston.

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.

Source: UTMB Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Career Forum