The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

Page 38

back

next

table of contents

 
led to exclaim like Madam Roland "O Liberty what crimes are committed in thy name!  Thus we find him at 30 years of age leading the fight to abolish statutes and conditions which five years before he considered sacred to the people of the slave states.  Landis was a man of positive convictions; he never forgot a friend or forgave an enemy, and when his southern blood was fired it was his boast that he feared the face of no man.  It was these characteristics that made him much trouble and probably hastened his death.  Many a man who was as brave as he but with more discretion would have avoided much of the trouble that he apparently courted.  He enlisted August 3, 1861 in the 4th Kansas Infantry, was soon promoted to Quartermaster Sergeant.  The 3rd and 4th regiments were consolidated and became the 10th Kansas Infantry.  Landis was placed on detached service with Col. Wm. A. Phillips' regiment, third Indian, as Quartermaster Sergeant and served with said regiment until February 1864, then returned to his old regiment, the 10th Kan. where he remained until the expiration of his term of service August 1864.

We very much regret that we are unable to give a more extended account of his army service; we have written to some of his army comrades for data but up to this time have received no reply.  At the expiration of his army service he returned to his family and farm near Troy in Doniphan county where he received the plaudits of his friends and the execrations of his enemies; and his friends in talking the matter over now after the lapse of 30 years are unable to decide which he enjoyed most.  While we are unable to enumerate the engagements he was in, we heard Col. Phillips use the following remark in regard to him in 1890, " Where the fight was thickest there could John Landis be found."  

In the fall of 1872 accompanied by Otto Marion Dannevik and Eward Hooverson he started for Norton county; October 14 found them on the Solomon near where Edmond now stands.  After selecting their claims they returned to Troy to spend the winter coming back with his family in 1873, to remain permanently.  He and his sons at once set to work opening out their farms; he built a two story log house with a look-out on top and to use his own expression "made preparation for war", not with the expectation that he was to have trouble with his neighbors but to protect his family against possible Indian raids.  His ability and commanding presence at once put him to the front and made him a recognized leader from the start.  His first trouble that we have any account of dates back to January 1875; grasshoppers had destroyed the crop in 1874, aid was sent to the settlers during the winter.  George Hansen had been designated to distribute it on the Solomon; Some of the settlers became disatisfied (sic) with his administration of affairs; on January 20th John Landis, E R. Worthington, E. S. Purviance and John Dunbar went to Hansen's dugout, broke in and took what aid they had on hand and proceeded to distribute it in accordance with their own ideas of fairness.  On January 25 Hansen came before Henry Oliver, Justice of the Peace, and had them arrested on the charge of burglary.  They were bound over to the district court, Wm. Simpson signing their bond.  Hansen employed A. G McBride of Kirwin to prosecute.  Their trial came on at the May term of the district court.  Landis and others employed J. R Hamilton to defend them, the jury failed to agree and at the November term the case was dismissed by the county attorney.  From this time on Landis was in trouble continuously; the friendship that had existed between him and Worthington up to this time was broken.  The Cummings family, consisting of William Sr., William Jr. (the doctor) James and Hampton,

Page 38

back

next

table of contents

 


US GenWeb Home Page


KS GenWeb Home Page



Home Page for Kansas



Search  KS GenWeb Project

KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by Tom & Carolyn Ward for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.  Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page. 

web design 2003 by Ardie Grimes,
Norton County, Kansas GenWeb coordinator
Text and photos from this 1894 book are within the public domain