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Professor John Henry Landes


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/3/2001 at 12:37:06

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties 1890
Professor John Henry Landes, County Superintendent of Schools of Van Buren County, and one of the leading residents of Keosauqua, was born in Putnam County, Indiana on October 6, 1850. His father Ananias Landes, was a native of Virginia, born in Augusta in 1826. When a lad of twelve summers he emigrated with his parents of Indiana, the family locating in Putnam County, where he grew to manhood. His school training was in advance of that which most boys of his day received. He acquired a collegiate education and thus having fitted himself for the duties of life he embarked upon a mercantile career in Green Castle, continuing in that line of business with good success until 1860, when he decided to make his home in Iowa. He chose Davis County as the scene of his future labors and there spent several years and then removed to Clarke County Iowa, where he passed the remainder of his days. In whatever community he resided he became a prominent citizen on account of his worth and ability. He was a man well informed on all public affairs and exerted an influence in behalf of the best interests and worthy enterprises of the county. In political sentiment, he was first a Whig, later a Know Nothing, and on the organization of the Republican Party joined its ranks continuing a faithful adherent of its principles until his death.
In Putnam County Indiana, Ananias Landes was united in marriage with Miss Anker Boyd, a native of that state and a daughter of Robert Boyd. They became the parents of six children; the eldest of whom is John H.; Margaret A. is the wife of O.C. Macy of Missouri; Albert Cary, a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Des Moines Iowa is now engaged in the practice of his profession in Clarke county; Robert S. is living in Westerville, Decatur County Kansas; Augusta A. and Emma M complete the family. The father died in Clarke County Iowa in 1878, and the mother departed this life in 1889. They were Presbyterians, lived consistent Christian lives and died in the faith of that church.
John Henry Landes is a self made man who by his own efforts has risen from a humble position to one of honor. In early life he displayed an aptitude for learning and soon mastered the branches taught in the common schools. He desired then to further continue his studies but his father being unable to grant his wish, he was thus thrown upon his own resources and working as a farm hand he obtained the money, which defrayed his expenses while a student in the Troy Academy of Davis County. He then engaged in teaching, and performed any other honest labor, that might replenish his exhausted exchequer, and thereby enabled him to pursue a course in the Iowa State University. Industry and perseverance overcame the obstacles in his path and accomplished that result. In 1878, after leaving the University, he received a call to the high school of Keosauqua, of which he remained principal for nine years. A short time convinced the citizens of this community that he was capable of filling his position and would faithfully discharge his every duty, which led to them retaining him for the position until he was called upon, in the autumn of 1887, to fill a vacancy in the office of County Superintendent of Schools. The following autumn he was elected the that office on the Republican ticket and two years later was re-elected, still continuing in the office, the duties of which he discharges with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents.
In 1879, a marriage ceremony was performed in Troy Iowa, which united the destinies of Prof. Landes and Miss Callie Cunningham. The lady is a native of Davis County, and a daughter of Obadiah and Cynthia Cunningham. Three children have been born of their union, sons, Don Henry, Carl C. and Gene. The Professor and his estimable wife hold a high position in the social world and have won the respect of all who know them. He is a member of Keosauqua Lodge, No. 23, I.O.O.F. and in political sentiment is a Republican. Although he feels an interest in political affairs, he has never been an office seeker, believing rather that the position should seek the man. It was thus in his case and the wisdom of the people in their choice has long since become evident.
I am not related and I am posting this biography for those who may find this person in their family history.


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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