It is my hope that a local historian may be able to help me find out more about J. Harry Lander. I suspect that he died and is buried in Lapeer Co. Michigan, probably in or near Deerfield. The following is all I have on Harry. As you can see he had a life that most men can only dream of - expect his terrible childhood.
The first bio was written by my great grandfather, Rev. David Lander. Rev. Lander wrote History of the Lander Family of Virginia and Kentucky published in 1926. The second is a letter from Harry to my great grandfather which goes into more detail about his life experience. At the end is communication with Coleen, Wasilla AK historian that places Harry in Lapeer MI. As a side note, the letter from Harry as well as all of Rev. Lander's research is now housed in the Kentucky Historical Society, Lexington, KY. When great grandfather passed, all his work was given to a cousin in California. She donated it to the Kentucky Historical Society.
Any assistance you can give me would be appreciated.
Cripple Creek CO
J. HARRY LANDER was born at Peoria, Illinois, May 1, 1859. He was a "cowboy" for many years and got very little book learning. At one time he was a Texas ranger. Later he was chief of stock detectives in Montana and made a fortune in the cattle business, but lost it all in a blizzard. He was next superintendent for the Northwestern Cattle Company, of Niobrara, Nebraska, for several years, and later was in the live stock and commission business at Caldwell, Idaho. In 1879 he took a hand in Indian warfare. He was a scout for General Thomberg. The General returned to his post, leaving Little Wolf and a band of braves still at large. They decended upon the ranch and destroyed everything. HARRY was the only one to escape alive. In 1880 he was sent to Oregon to buy cattle to feed the Sioux Indins in South Dakota. That winter he and his partner killed 3,000 buffalo for their hides, employing twenty men to skin them. He continued buying and herding cattle for the same company till 1885, and was appointed captain of No. 6 Roundup at Miles City, Montana. He writes: "Teddy Roosevelt was in my roundup, and I was his boss. We were great friends and kept in touch with each other till he died." He further writes: "Russell B. Harrison, Son of President Benjamin Harrison, and I framed the stock laws of the state of Montana as they stand today. I held the position of stock detective for sixteen years. In 1897 I sent a man to the Dawson goldfields in Alaska. In 1900 I left my position and went up there myself, but failed to make a strike. In 1903 I went to Oklahoma and took charge of a big cattle ranch, but I did not like the climate and went to Idaho in 1906. I bought thousands of cattle and sheep on commission and shipped them to Omaha, Nebraska. In 1912 I came to Alaska again to get into the mining game, and am here at Wasilla, a small station on the new Government railway in the Willow Creek mining camp, thirty-two miles from the head of Cook Inlet and fifty miles from Anchorage." Amid these stirring scenes HARRY found time to get married occasionally. His first affair occurred in 1885, when he met and married Miss NANCY NEWLAND, but she died in childbirth at St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1889. His second affair was with Miss. CORDELIA FOSS, whom he married November 20, 1891. Her daughter, LAURA BERTHA, was born December 12, 1892. She is now Mrs. W. H. HUSTEN, of Anchorage, Alaska. CORDELIA was the youngest daughter of Senator JAMES FOSS, of Maine, and a cousin of NORDICA, the famous American soprano. She died at Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1894. The third and last affair was with Miss HARRIETT EVANS, whom he married August 6, 1896. By her he had a son, RICHARD EVANS LANDER, born July 23, 1899. He was the first to enlist from Anchorage, Alaska, and was the first to arrive in France. He was a private in the First Division, Battery E, Fifth Field Artillery, and was in every prominent battle except Chateau Thierry, and came home without a scratch. [000:I/p100]
Letter to Rev. David L. Lander as follows:
"Wasilla Alaska Janu 6-1920
Rev. DAVID LANDER
Avon Park Florida
Dear Mr LANDER
Some 4 years ago I got a letter inviteing me to come to your reunion some place in Kentucky I think. but it was imposable for me to leave However anxious I was to see all the Big Family it must surely have been a great sight to see so many people & to know they were all related I bet they were a fine looking lot I never have seen a LANDER that was not good looking but suppose you have have seen a lot of them that were quite homley. & I never knew a Lander to be a particularly bad person I am the estrag__ of our family beging the younest was given away to a German family at 3 years old to raise at nine years I ran away from them & shifted form myself was born at Peauria Ill on May 1st 1859 the German family had no children of their own & was particularly cruel to me I have scars on me now that were made by the wife after leaving them I got work from farmers & kept on drifting west & in 1874 was in the chactaw nation in the Indian Teritory 1875 was in Texas kept on going south intill I got to Sanantonio Tex whare I joined a bunch of cowbosys & became quite experi in that line & in the _______ of of Tx Had many little sca with Indians Never drak & was alwaya a Hard worker in 1877 went north witha Herd of Cattle to Dodge City Kansas as forman of the Herd a mear boy in years but much of a man in actions in 1878 was appointed cattle detective for the State of Texas & was sent to Dodge City Kan to imspect all Herds from Tex for stolen cattle. A verry High position for a Boy I made good & was appointed a Ranger in Tex that _____ but our of my trips took me to Nebraska the time the Indian out brake at fort Sill Indian ______ the cheyanne Indian started north & killed every one that they caught out stold wimon & girls & comitted all kinds of Horable deeds I could not stand that & joined Gen THOMBERD at Ogalla Neb as Scout we did not capturee them but split in two parties & Chief DULKNIFE was captured at (continued Comments) Ft. Robinson Neb & 300 of His indians were taken prisoner Chief LITTLE WOLF stayed in the Sand Hills in Neb all that winter with 300 more of his band. I went to work for E. S. Newman on Running water Neb after Gen THOMBERG returned to His Posi
Little WOLF & his warriors were still at large & in March 1879 they killed our intire outfit took all our horses 52 in number & I was the only one that came out alive They burned our Ranch Hay Stacks & killed Hundreds of cattle, in 1880 I was sent to Oregon by my co to buy cattle as we had goten ___contract to furnish the Souix indians with Beef which took 1500 Head pe month I bought 18000 cattle that year & entirse cattle were driven to South Dak to feed 2100 indiansthat winter I hunted buffalo & my partner & I killed 3000 Buffalo for their hides Had 20 men to skin. 1881 I went back to Oregon to buy more cattle & continued at buying & driving for the same co intill 1885 when I took the managers - of a Ranch for an Illinois Co in the State of Montana & was appointed Captain of no 6 Roundup at Miles City Montana (*Strange to say TEDDY ROSEVELT was in my roundup & I was his Boss we were great Friends & always kept in touch with each other until he died in 1885 I was appointed Stock Detecave for the State of Montana RUSSELL B HARRISON son of Pres HARRISON & myselfFramed the sjtock laws for the state of Montana which still stand today I held that position 16 years & in 1897 I had sent a man to the Dawson gold field in 1900 I left my position & went up to Dawson but did not strike it in 1903 went to Oklahoma & took charge of the E___ HALSELL Ranch a verry bid concern but did not like the climate & went to Idaha in 1906. bought thousands of cattle & sheep on ____ also shiped thousands to Omaha In 1912 came to Alaska again to get into the mineing Game & am still here. was married in 1885 to Miss NANCY NEWLAND of Boice City Idaho who died at child birth at St Paul Minn in 1889. in 1901 was married to ___delia FOSS youngest Daughter of U.S. Senitor JAMES FOSS of the State of Maine who died in 1904 at Minneapolis in 1906 was married to HARRIETT EVANS of chicago who died at Anchorage Alaska Feb 28 - 1919 I now live in a beautiful little mountain home 17 miles from Wasilla a new station on the new government R.R. in the Willow Creek mining camp 32 miles from the extream Head of Cook inlet 50 miles from the Town of Anchorage a town of 5000 peoples & the turmanal of the R.R. Am entirely alone & a very unhappy old worn out man.
My Father JESSE ALEXANDER HARRISON LANDER fought all through the Mexican war all through the Sivel war & never a scratch My son RICHARD EVANS LANDER was the first Boy to inlist from anchorage & was the first Boy from alaska to arrive in France was First Class private in the First Div Batery E - 5th field artilery & was called from Coblrnze Germant on account of His mothers illness but go home to late - was in every prominent battle except Chattrau Terry. Came home without a scratch while he is one of 13 of the original 250 that was left out of that Battery. ____ was in the first Div & they went in with 26000 men. there was 35000 replacements in the
first Divison I inclde a snap shot of him taken on His Return it is verry good of Him if He had been 3 hours later to arive at anchoratge it would Have been 2 years to the hour from the time He left anchorage. He is now 20 years old. I am not working this winter last summer I was manager of ousr of the ______mines here but I doubt if I will work this year My son work in anchorage Now I have told you all about myself & you will say when did you go to school. the fact is I never went to school a day in my life. Have handled Millions of Dollars of other peopes money & what I knew from Books I learned from lying on my Belly & by the light of Buffalo chips or sage brush for a light Never drank or used tobacco. You may know I have seen some life & hope at your next Reunion to be of your far away Family to come to you. As the Estray our, will try to be at the Big Roundup. thanking you for the interest time & trouble we all make you. am very truley yours. (S) J. H. LANDER
LANDER, J. HARRY, Correspondence 6 January 1920, KHS Manuscript Archives 91M01, coped by Alice Hills, date unknown
1860 United States Federal Census [Census Place: Peoria Ward 5, Peoria County, Illinois, Roll M653_216, Page 0]
Alexr Lander, Male, 36, Birthyear Cal 1823, b KY, Painter, Real Estate $1,200/Personal $600
Mary C. Lander, Female, 31, Birthyear Cal 1828, b KY
Emily Lander, Female, 11, Birthyear Cal 1848, b IL, Attends School
Frank Lander, Male, 10, Birthyear Cal 1849, b IL, Attends School
Kate C. Lander, Female, 6, Birthyear Cal 1853, b IL
Edward Lander, Male, 5, Birthyear Cal 1854, b IL
Maggie C. Lander, Female, 3, Birthyear Cal 1856, b IL
Henry Lander, Male, 1, Birthyear Cal 1858, b IL
1880 United States Census [Census Place: Running Water, Sioux County, Nebraska, Family History Library Film 1254756, NA Film Number T9-0756, Page Number 48C]
Harry Landers, Other, Single, Male, White, 21, b IL, Occupation: Herder, Father's Birthplace: KY, Mother's Birthplace: KY
[I believe this is the above Harry. There were approximately 30 individuals on this cattle ranch in Nebraska. (dhl)]
1900 United States Federal Census [Census Place: Chicago Ward 34, District 1079, Cook County, Illinois, Roll T623_289, Page 17A, ED 1079]
I. Harry Lander, Head, White, Male, b May 1859, 41, Married 5 yrs., b IL, Father's Birthplace: KY, Mother's Birthplace: KY
Harriett Lander, Wife, White, Female, b Aug 1864, 35, Married 5 yrs., Children 1/Living 1, b Wales, Father's Birthplace: Wales, Mother's Birthplace: Wales
Laura B. Lander, Dau., White, Female, b Dec 1890, 9, Single, b MN, Father's Birthplace: IL, Mother's Birthplace: ME, At School
1910 United States Federal Census [Census Place: South Caldwell, Canyon County, Idaho, Series T624, Roll 223, Part 2, Page 241A]
J. Harry Lander, Head, Male, White, 51, Married 16 yrs., b IL, Father's Birthplace: IL, Mother's Birthplace: US, Dealer/Livestock
Harriett A. Lander, Wife, Female, White, 42, Married 16 yrs., Children 1/Living 1, b Wales, Father's Birthplace: Wales, Mother's Birthplace: Wales
Richard E. Lander, Son, Male, White, 10, Single, b IL
Bessie Schoneling, SisterL, Female, White, 28(?), Married 6 yrs., Children 1/Living 1, b IL, Father's Birthplace: Wales, Mother's Birthplace: Wales
Evans Schoneling, Nephew, Male, White, 4, Single, b IL, Father's Birthplace: GER, Mother's Birthplace: IL
1920 U.S. Census, Third Judicial District, Matanuska Susitnared. Extracted by Coleen Mielke, Wasilla, AK, Willow Creek Mining District. Lander, Harry J., 61, divorced, b. ILL, Gold Mine Manager.
1920 United States Federal Census [Census Place: Kenai, Third Judicial District, Alaska Territory; Roll: T625_2031; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 9; Image: 214]
Harry J. Lander, Head, Owns/Free, Male, White, 61, Birthyear Cal 1859, Widower, b IL, Occupation: Manager/Gold Mine, Father's Birthplace: KY, Mother's Birthplace: KY
1930 United States Federal Census [Census Place: Deerfield, Lapeer, Michigan; Roll: 1006; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 8; Image: 651.0]
J. Harry Lander, Head, Rents, Male, White, 70, Birthyear Cal 1860, Widower, b IL, Occupation: Farmer/Sheep Farm, Father's Birthplace: KY, Mother's Birthplace: IL
Thank you for the information. No, I'm not related to the Landers. I am a valley historian and I've been transcribing some old gold mining journals and the name Harry Landers is mentioned there. He first appears in the journals in 1913 and is connected with the Willow Creek Mining District but mostly in freighting. The journal says that he sold out and moved to Michigan in 1929 where he died of a stroke.
I looked him up on the census records and found the following:
1900 Chicago Ward 34
J. Harry Lander b. 1859 Illinois parents b. KY married 5 years
Harriett Lander b. 1864 Wales parents b. Wales (to USA 1866)
Laura B. Lander b. 1890 Minn. father b. ILL. mother b. Maine
Richard E. Lander b. 1899 Illinois father b. ILL mother b. Wales
1910 Canyon Co., S. Caldwell Precinct Idaho
Harry Lander age 42 2nd marriage 16 yrs. b. Illinois livestock dealer
Harriett A. Lander 1st marriage
Richard E. Lander age 10
Bessie Schoneling age 28 sister-in-law born Wales
Evans Schoneling age 4 nephew father b. Germany mother b. Illiois
1920 Wasilla Alaska
Harry J. Lander age 61 widower working for Willow Creek Mining Dist.
1930 Deerfield, Michigan
Harry Lander age 70 widower sheep farmer
From these census records, it looks as though Harry Lander followed the common path of a lot of Alaska farmers...with their families in the lower 48 in the winters and in Alaska during the summers. That would explain him showing up on only one Alaska census record.
Thanks again for the information.
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