J. W. LANDIS, one of the leading lumber manufacturers of Johnson County, and a permanent citizen of Edinburg, is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Lancaster County, that state, on the 14th day of February, 1832. He is the youngest son of Abraham Landis, also a native of Pennsylvania, and for a number of years an industrious mechanic of Lancaster County. The name of subject’s mother was Margaret (White) Landis. The family left Pennsylvania in 1853, and immigrating to Johnson County, Ind., settled at the town of Williamsburg, in the old cemetery of which place the father and mother now rest side by side. J. W. Landis preceded his parents to Johnson County, moving to the town of Williamsburg in 1852, where he engaged in his trade of carriage making, which he had previously learned in Pennsylvania. Mr. Landis early acquired great proficiency in his chosen calling, and from 1852 until 1865, did a profitable business in Williamsburg. In the latter year he began the manufacture of agricultural implements at Edinburg, but soon abandoned the business, and in 1867, began dealing in livestock, which he carried on successfully for about eight years. In the meantime he embarked in the lumber business in Shelby County, and for some time operated a mill in the vicinity of Edinburg, which, like his previous ventures, proved financially profitable. He was interested in a sawmill in Edinburg for some years, in partnership with Jacob Mahley, but sold out in 1883, and the year following, began the manufacture of lumber at the town of Trafalgar. In 1887, he moved his large steam sawmill from the latter place, to Franklin, where it is now in operation. This is one of the largest and best equipped mills of the kind in Johnson County, requiring the labor of twenty men, and turning out upon an average of 20,000,000 feet of lumber yearly. In addition to the mills already enumerated, Mr. Landis, in 1885, purchased the mill at Needham, which he operated until 1886, disposing of it the latter year. In his various business enterprises, Mr. Landis has displayed excellent judgment and ability, and as a result of his well-directed efforts, is now in the enjoyment of a comfortable competence. His large lumber trade is constantly increasing, and in the business circles of the state, he enjoys an enviable reputation. He is a member of the Masonic, I.O.O.F., and K. of P. fraternities. Mr. Landis was married September 13, 1853, to Miss Mary H. Hoffman, of Lancaster County, Penn., daughter of Frederick Hoffman. Of the eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Landis, only two are now living: Mary A., widow of M. C. Cargar, and Ida T., both of whom reside in Edinburg. Mrs. Landis died in 1880.
Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker
Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 412.