The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

Page 39

back

next

table of contents

 
came from Virginia they were radical democrats.  Doc Cummings had been a rebel bush-whacker during the war.  They and Landis formed a mutual dislike for one another on first acquaintance.  Worthington being a democrat at once became a friend to Doc Cummings and continued an enemy to Landis. 

When the county seat fight come on Landis was a Norton man.  Cummings and Worthington with equal zeal espoused the cause of Leota.  Open war was declared between them, which extended to their township and school matters.  In the winter of 1874 Hampton Cummings was employed to teach the district school.  John Landis as district treasurer refused to pay him until his political disabilities were removed.  He instinctively hated a democrat while the Cummings were equally severe in their denunciations of the republican, especially Union soldiers.  On Dec 10, 1874, Landis' oldest son, William, married Miss Alice, daughter of Leonard Fry, who was a friend of the Cummings. At a quasi-republican caucus held at Major Dannevik's house in the fall of 1875 an altercation occrrred  (sic) between William Landis and Fry.  Landis as one of the judges refused to let any democrat vote which ruling excluded Fry.  During the fight pistols were used freely.  Landis shot Fry inflicting a dangerous scalp wound.  On November 25th Fry had him arrested before Squire Oliver who bound him over to court, C. W. Posson and Capt. Jarvis signing the bond.  In the district court he was found guilty of assault and fined $25.  John Landis' previous acquaintance with Congressman Phillips and other distinguished men enabled him to control the federal patronage of the county.  He was postmaster at Port Landis for two years and the remainder of the time kept one of his friends in. In his administration of public affairs he took no pains to accommodate or please his enemies; they in the mean time made him all the trouble they could.  In the summer of 1876 Landis was appointed Justice of the Peace; at the November election he received 26 votes Hampton Cummings 31; Landis refused to turn the office over to him claiming that he was ineligible.  The county commissioners being in sympathy with the Leota faction addressed the following inquiry in writing to the county attorney: "If John Landis has usurped the office of Justice of the Peace is it our duty to prosecute him? signed G. N. Kingsbury, Jerome Shepherd, A. S. Burroughs."  County Attorney Thos. Beaumont being a friend of John Landis replied in the negative.  On November 8, 1877 Landis had E. R. Worthington and Leonard Fry arrested charging them with threatening his life.  Henry Oliver dismissed Fry but bound Worthington over to keep the peace.  On November 12, 1877 he made the same complaint against T. E. Hendricks but failed to make a case.  Doc Cummings was taken before Squire Langford on the same charge in August 1878, who bound him over; Henry Gandy and E. R. Worthington
signing the bond.

In the political conventions between 1873 and 1878 John Landis was always present as a delegate or contestant; he was chairman of several county conventions.  He and Thos. Beaumont represented Norton county in the congressional convention held at Abilene in 1876 and voted for the renomination of his old commander Col. Phillips.  The first congressional district at that time included all the territory north of the Kansas river from the Missouri river to the Colorado line.  The same year he went to the senatorial convention at
Kirwin at the head of a contesting delegation; but Dr S. L. Green, the regular delegate was seated.  He was the Norton candidate for county commissioner in the third district in 1877 but was defeated by A. S. Burroughs, the Leota

Page 39

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