A story of Lewis …
Lewis B Lehman was born in December of 1823, in Ohio. He married a young woman named Elizabeth Johnson, two years his junior, and they had 10 children. Lewis purchased the farms original 40 acres in 1854, and purchased another 40 acres in 1856. 14 more acres were acquired in 1891.
The Lehmans built a 2-story house close to a good spring, and set about building and running the farm. The house appears to have been built sometime between 1860 and 1880, so there was likely an earlier residence somewhere on the farm. Little is known about Lewis and Elizabeth’s life, but we can be sure that life was not easy for them, as agrarian life in the 1800s never was — but it was fulfilling, there were eventually 10 kids to help with the farm work, and thanks to the industrial revolution — farm work was becoming more mechanized. It is thought that before electricity came to rural America, up to 70% of a woman’s time was spent hauling water. Water for cooking, water for laundry, water for washing & bathing, water for drinking. The Lehman house was located near reliable water for a reason!
Elizabeth passed away in September of 1894, and is buried just up the road from the farm in Pisgah Cemetary.
Francis Lewis Bibler was born April 24, 1835 in Fairfield County, OH. He also married an Elizabeth, an Elizabeth Saum, on June 15, 1854, where they had 6 children.
Lewis and Elizabeth Lehman’s youngest daughter was Emma Lehman, born in 1868. Francis and Elizabeth Bibler’s youngest son was William Sherman Bibler, born in 1867. In 1896, William Sherman Bibler married Emma Lehman, and they had 3 children. Their oldest child, born in 1898, was Stanley Francis Bibler. William and Emma took over the farm after the death of Lewis Lehman in 1906, and the farm passed into the Bibler family name.
Stanley Francis married Creda May Black in 1919, after which they had 6 children. Ralph Fenwick Bibler was the oldest, having been born on the farm in 1920 and spent his entire life there. Ralph was raised by William Sherman, known to all as “grandpa”, and remembers when Grandma and Grandpa decided that the house needed to be moved closer to the road because it was too hard to get out during the winter. The house (and possibly the enormous barn) was jacked up, loaded on logs, and pulled up the hill with teams of horses, away from the spring but closer to the road, and sat on a new foundation. Ralph (and his wife Pat) never had indoor plumbing, and used an 2-seater outhouse until the 1990’s when ill-health forced them to leave the farm for another residence they owned up the road — that had indoor plumbing.
Lewis B Bibler, named after both Lewis B Lehman and Francis Lewis Bibler, was the youngest son born to Stanley Francis Bibler, in 1947. Growing up on the farm he learned the general operations of the typical small family farm that had defined agrarian life for centuries — some cows, some pigs, some chickens, row crops that were rotated annually, and a big garden. The cows grazed continuously and were supplemented with grain, the pigs rooted in the dirt and lived in a permanent hog house, while the chickens ranged free from their permanent coop.
Ralph passed away in 2005, the same year that Lewis B retired. Having always wanted to ‘get the old place back in operation’ and to honor the family history, Lewis set about bringing his dream to fruition. Today, after a 30 year hiatus, the farm is back in operation… but with a twist — and producing real, whole, nutrient-dense, beyond organic food.