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Women's History Month — Henrietta Bomberger

3 Mar 2021 11:32 AM | Anonymous

Happy #WomensHistoryMonth! Each week during this month we will highlight and learn about women from Shelby County and their life experiences.

Pictured is Henrietta "Ada" Bomberger (1886 - 1982)

Henrietta was born on January 28, 1886 to William and Arabelle Bomberger. The Bomberger's settled in Harlan three years after the town was incorporated in 1879. At this point Harlan was nothing more than a small village. If the family wanted to visit their relatives in Illinois, they would take a hack or hackney carriage, a horse-drawn cab, to Earling or Kirkman so they could take the Maple Leaf. The Maple Leaf was the main line for the Chicago's Great Western Railway. At the age of 22, Henrietta married Earle Cullums of Cook County, Illinois. A year later on June 17, 1919 the state of Illinois gave women the right to vote.

Throughout her life Henrietta witnessed the first recorded flight (1903), WWI (1914 - 1918), Spanish Influenza (1918 - 1920), common use of automobiles (1920s), the Great Depression (1929 - 1933), electricity in homes (1930s - 1940s), WWII (1939 - 1945), invention of the first computer (1943), the start of the Cold War (1947), Apollo 11 and men on the moon (1969), invention of cell phones (1973), and so much more.

After 96 years of experiences, Henrietta Cullums took her last breath on December 1, 1982 in Lyons, Kansas.


The Shelby County Historical Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1964. This four building complex is located at 1805 Morse Avenue Harlan, Iowa 51537.

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