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Elihu Clabbernong (1863-1947) was a citizen of Capharnaum County, Michigan and member of the Clabbernong family.

Background

Elihu lived with his parents until they died, at which time he went to live with his great-uncle, Jedediah.

The two lived together on the Clabbernong farm until Jedediah died, the same night a mysterious meteorite crashed onto their property (The Beast under the Wizard's Bridge, 11) . Following his death, Elihu burnt his grand-uncle belongings, pinned his grand-uncle's ashes to the bottom of Wilder Creek (Beast, 106), and abandoned the farm on his way to becoming a successful businessman.

Even though it was assumed Jedediah had taught Elihu sorcery, Mrs. Zimmermann doesn’t remember Elihu associating much with magic (Beast, 13); this sort-of missteps around her earlier claim that Elihu was a "part-time warlock" (The House with a Clock in its Walls, 100).

In 1892, Elihu offered to fully finance the demolition of the old wooden bridge and installation of a new iron bridge over Wilder Creek. Local legends of the time said that Elihu "melted the meteorite down and mixed it into the iron" (Beast, 13) used for the new bridge. Elihu became a rich, prominent citizen of New Zebedee and died of pneumonia in 1947 at age 84.

Inspiration

While Brad Strickland created - or perhaps envisioned or interpreted - the Clabbernong family history, Bellairs first mentioned the characters in passing in The House with a Clock in its Walls when Lewis, his uncle, and Mrs. Zimmermann are chased across the iron bridge (House, 100). As such, Bellairs’s names evoke the Bible similarly to his other minor characters.

Elihu is Biblical name, a character in the Book of Job who was one of Job's friends; the name is of Hebrew origin and means "my God is He"[1].

Reference

  1. Wikipedia: Elihu