A Tribute to Our Founder Jay Lehman 1929-2020

Jay with his treesHappy Father’s Day to all the dads and father figures in our lives! In honor of the day, we’re paying tribute to Lehman’s founder Jay Lehman. Jay worked tirelessly his whole life, dedicated to family, faith, and community – the framework of life well-lived. Continue reading

Words of Wisdom From My Dad, Jay Lehman

Editor’s Note: In memory of our founder Jay Lehman (1929 – 2020), we are rerunning a touching article his son, Galen, wrote for Father’s Day a couple of years ago.  This is in honor of Jay’s birthday, April 21, when he would have turned 92.  Rest in peace, Jay.  We miss you.

In so many ways, our fathers are our first teachers. Often, they’re our most important teachers throughout our lifetimes. My dad, Jay Lehman, has been teaching me my whole life, first as a parent, and then as the only boss I’ve ever had. (I started sweeping floors at Lehman’s at age 15!)  Continue reading

A Life Well-Lived

Jay LehmanJay [Junior Ezra] Lehman of Kidron, OH passed away peacefully on July 26, 2020. Born on April 21, 1929, he recently celebrated his 91th birthday with family and friends. A private family service will be held later this week, with a celebration of life in the future.

Founder of the iconic old-time general store Lehman’s in 1955, Jay worked tirelessly his whole life, dedicated to family, faith, and community – the framework of life well-lived. Continue reading

Jay Lehman: Leading A Life Well-Lived

Jay Lehman

Editor’s Note: Earlier this week, founder Jay Lehman celebrated his 90th birthday! Continuing the celebration, his daughter, Glenda Lehman Ervin, is sharing with us more about Jay and his journey over the years.

A depression-era baby, born in a rural village and raised with little formal education in a one-room school house, Jay Lehman is leading a life well-lived. He is an oxymoron and a legend. Continue reading

What I’ve Learned From My Grandpa, Jay Lehman

Jay Lehman and Lindsay Lehman Peters

My grandpa, Jay Lehman, and me.

Editor’s Note: In celebration of Grandparents Day (Sunday, Sept. 9th), Lindsay Lehman Peters shares the lessons and wisdom she’s gained from her “Poppy,” Jay Lehman (Founder of Lehman’s). Enjoy! Continue reading

10 Things Jay Lehman Says

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2016 for Jay Lehman’s 87th birthday. In honor of Father’s Day (this Sunday!), we’re sharing it with you again. We wish everyone a Happy Father’s Day!

“Dad is a man of few words,” said Galen Lehman, son of Jay Lehman and CEO of Lehman’s. Continue reading

You Won’t Believe Where Jay’s Going Now

Here at Lehman’s, we all agree that our founder, Jay, is one of the most interesting men in the world.  After all, he started a successful hardware store that has lasted over 60 years, has traveled the globe, has planted thousands (perhaps even millions) of trees, is an accomplished tennis player (at age 87!) and even has his very own bobblehead.  That, my friends, is when you know you have “made it” in the world.

And now, his bobblehead is about to be enshrined forever! The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Milwaukee, WI and is home to the world’s largest collection of bobbleheads and bobblehead related exhibits. Jay’s bobblehead is now a part of their collection so his iconic image will be available for adoring fans to enjoy for many generations. Is that cool or what? (Bob your head “Yes!”)

Below are the picture used to inspire Jay’s bobblehead, and a picture of the Jay Bobblehead that will be on display at the museum.  Now we ask you, can you tell the difference?



Before Lehman’s: Jay’s service years in Europe

Jay Lehman, circa 1951

Jay Lehman, circa 1951, the time of his service with the PAX program. Four years later, he founded Lehman’s.

Jay “Junior” Lehman, a 21-year-old farm boy from Ohio, sailed to Europe in 1951 as part of the first wave of conscientious objectors to military service in a new program called Pax. Their freighter docked at Antwerp, Belgium, on April 6. Waiting for them on the dock was the program’s first director, Cal Redekop.

Redekop escorted the group of 20 draft-age men to Germany, where their first job was to turn Nazi poison-gas bunkers in Espelkamp into housing for World War II refugees. The Pax “boys,” as they were called, had no power tools or mechanized machinery. “It was all back-breaking labor,” said Redekop. Continue reading

Jay’s Puzzle: Phone Booths in Amish Country

amish phone booths,lehman's puzzle

Jay Lehman stands by his collage of phone booth photos. Now a puzzle, this poster can still be seen in our store in Kidron, OH.

In an age where “smart” phones are the norm, phone booths have become a rarity lately. Most people not only have a phone with them, they have instant access to the Internet (talk about coming a long way from the rotary phone!)

It’s no wonder some folks are surprised when they visit rural Amish Country. What has been deemed as no longer relevant is a necessity here. Because the Amish don’t use telephones in their homes, phone booths provide a place for them to make calls in case of an emergency or for business purposes. Continue reading