Daniel Andrew Landes

Jesse and Christina Landes had nine children:

Daniel Andrew (1851-1934)
Sarah Elizabeth (1853-1936)
Mary Jane (1855-1941)
Jacob William (1857-1859)
Hanna Catherine (1860 - 1933)
Jesse Franklin (1862-1962)
John Wesley (1867-1930)
Emily Susan (1870-1899)
Henry Clay (1872-1945)

Daniel Andrew (eroniously listed as Daniel "Adam" on the majority of ancestry.com pages) was the oldest of Jesse and Christina's children and was my great-grandfather. You can see how he wrote his full name HERE at the end of his 1890 diary.

Daniel was known in our family simply as "D. A." and his wife, America Rebecca Dolly, was known as "Becky". Usually D. A. wrote her name in his diaries as "A. R." or "Becca", but sometimes as "America". They were married in 1871.

As a young man of 24, Daniel worked as a mail carrier on the Star-Route mail service and is listed as having won the bid for the route from "New Creek to Greenland, 21 miles and back, three times a week." The bid was for $297.00 and this is documented in the listing of US Postal Routes for 1875, page 311, Route No. 12296.

Later, Daniel evidently made wagons and ran a general store in Brushy Run, WV. At least this is what is listed in the 1882 West Virginia State Gazetteer and Busines Directory:

By 1891, Daniel had been elected as the Country Survery of Pendleton County, WV, and this was his main professional occupation until about 1920. Here is a listing from the 1891 WV Gazetteer:

As County Surveyor, it was necessary for Daniel to keep maticulous records, and no doubt this is one of the reasons that so many of his personal papers survived until today.

Daniel A. and America R. Landes are buried in the Landes-Dolly Cemetery (GPS: N38.72355 W79.40255) on a hillside of the original home place overlooking Germany Valley, in the Bland Hills near Riverton, WV. *

Daniel writes on January 1, 1880 in his diary, that "Thurs 1st: Went down to Bond [John Bond or Wm. H. Bond] with America and the children to get our picture taken. Very pretty day. Weather Remarkable.." With a little luck, this picture survives and I am starting to contact other Landes descendants about it. Another portrait photograph was taken around 1920 and was hand-tinted and put in an oval frame by a mail-order company in Chicago:

This photo was recently discovered and is either the original on which the above portrait was based, or is a separate photograph, perhaps taken at the same time. The back drop is typical of the ones that Daniel's son, Charles Jasper Landes (my grandfather), used when he took photographs.

I'm in the process of working out the timeline of where D. A. and Becca lived in various years based on his diaries and from listings of places and people from the West Virginia State Gazetters from 1883 - 1919. This is a little tedious, but so far this is what I've come up with:

In his 1880 diary, Daniel writes about going "up to Tract Hill", "to Upper Tract", and "over to Brushy Run", so evidently at this time they were living somewhere in the Brushy Run area but not specifically at Brushy Run.

On August 9, 1880, Daniel writes in his diary that he "Went to Franklin to county convention [and] Was nominated by acclamation for Surveyor of Lands" for Pendleton County. Evidently he was elected, because on November 25, 1880 he writes that he "Went up to I. T. Kiles and took oath and gave Bond as County Surveyor."

The 1883 West Virginia State Gazetteer lists him in Brushy Run as a "wagonbuilder" and running a general store.

Daniel writes in his 1887 diary on March 1: Moved from Franklin to my own place [at] Upper Tract. S. Bowers and Jas Evick Hauled loads for me. Paid H. Martin for Paint $15.00 Evick 4.00. So at some point between 1883 and 1887 they evidently had moved from Brushy Run to Franklin.

He writes in his 1888 diary that on September 22, 1888 he was elected Surveyor of Lands for Pendleton County, WV, and on December 3, 1888 he was "qualified" as Surveyer after the November 1888 election.

In his 1891 diary, Daniel writes that on December 7, 1891: " Went to Franklin and Qualified as Notary Public."

It is unclear how long they remained in the Upper Tract/Brushy Run area. At least in 1894 they were still living at Brushy Run because the Directory of US Appointments of US Postmasters, lists America R. Landes as the postmaster of Brushy Run, WV. But by 1899 they were living in the Dolly Hills area near Riverton and the Directory of US Appointments of US Postmasters lists Daniel A. Landes as the poastmaster of Box, WV, described here in the 1904 edition of the WV Gazzatteer and Business Directory:

It is uncertain where Box was located exactly. After some research my brother has concluded that it referred to the area located close to the Dolly School house on the Dolly Hills (Bland Hills) Road. There is a possibility that it could also refer to a small community located at the intersection of Bland Hills Road and US 33 known locally today as "Monkeytown."** However, it is more likely that it was the area around the Job Dolly farm, which later became the home of Daniel A. and America R. Landes.

See: Ancestry.com: Appointments of U. S. Postmasters, 1832-1971

Also see: the 1904-1905 West Virginia Gazetteer and Business Directory.

Here you can see Daniel write his name and address in his 1917 diary.

D. A. and Rebecca had 6 children:

Nettie Florence (1878-1967)
Minnie Ellen (1879-1948)
Oscar Wilson (1881-1959)
Virginia Susan (1883-1973)
Charles Jasper (1884 - 1952) - my grandfather
Zella (1886-1975)

D. A. was a very religions man all his life and he writes about this in all his diaries from 1877-1930. His grandfather (John Landes) was the son of a German Brethren minister from the Ephrata tradition in Pennsylvania. Nothing is known yet about his father, Jesse's, religious views, but no doubt -- D. A. was brought up in a religious home in Brushy Run.

D. A. writes in his diaries about attending "preaching" and Sunday School regularly on Sundays up to about 1917, by which time he and his family converted to Seventh-Day Adventists, perhaps as a result of the influence of D. A.'s niece, Roxetta (1872-1945). After about 1917 his diary entries have him attending "Sabbath School" on Saturday at the Dolly School House near their home in the Dolly Hills.

Rebecca died in 1926 and her will is probated in the Pendleton County Courthouse in Franklin. D. A. died in 1934 and he willed the farm to his daughter, Zella Landes (1886-1975), who never married and continued to live there until her death in 1975. Zella was lised in the 1918-1919 West Virginia Gazetteer and Business Directory as living in Box, WV and as a "music teacher." Zella's will is also probated in the Pendleton County Courthouse, and she willed the property to one of her nephews, Herbert Landes, who was one of the sons of Charles Jasper Landes (C. J.), my grandfather. Herbert died in July, 1991 and his wife, Gae Nell Landes, died shortly afterwards in November, 1991. Gae and Herbert willed the property to a granddaughter, Vickie Bennet, who along with her husband Jimmy, continue to live there today.

*Note: What is known as the "Bland Hills" is a section of Germany Valley on the west side of US Rt. 33 and just down over North Fork Mountain, and probably named as such because of the many Blands who lived there, especially Thomas Bland and Enoch Bland. However, on the east end of the Bland Hill just past Horse Ridge Road is the section which was originally settled around 1776 by Johann Dahle/John Dolly (1749-1847). This section is known on maps as Dolly Ridge, but is known locally and in our Landes family as The Dolly Hills. This can be confusing, because the name, "Dolly Hills" is also connected to an area in northwestern Grant County known as "Doll Sods." An historically significant location, Dolly Sods was an especially important area for logging in the late19th and early 20th centuriues. Today it is designated as a U. S. Wilderness Area and is part of the Monongahela National Forest. A historic marker has been placed at the grave of John Dahle (John Dolly) located toward the end of the Bland Hills Road, about 1 mile east of Horse Ridge Road. This graveyard is the final resting place of John Dolly I (Johann Dahle, 1749-1847), John Dolly II (1798-1879), Job Dolly (1834-1905), America Rebecca Dolly Landes (1857-1926), and her husband, Daniel A. Landes (1851-1934), my great-grandfather.

**Note: In the WV Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1918-1919, these communites in Pendleton county are listed. Box is listed separately from Riverton, Circleville, and Macksville:

Box. Population 250. In Pendleton County, 13 miles northwest of Franklin. UB Church. Telephone connection. Mail daily. W. D. Simmons postmaster. Zella Landes is listed as "music teacher" and Curtis Bland as blacksmith. Box, WV was probably what is known today by locals as, "Monkeytown." There is a United Brethren church in Monkeytown just east of the Roots Run Rd. Also, Box is listed separately from these other communities:

Circleville, population 114. In Pendleton County, 13 miles west of Franklin. ME and UB Churches. Telephone connection. Stage to harmon. W. S. Dunkle, postmaster.

Riverton, population 100. In Pndleton County, 18 miles northwast of Franlin. UB Church Telephone connection. Stage daily to Harman. John A. Harman, postmaster

Macksville, population 30. In Pendleton County, 18 miles northwest of Franklin. UB Church. Telephone connection. Stage daily to Circleville; to Harman. Mail Daily. H E Harper, postmaster

Nome. Also known as Hunting Ground. Population 180. In Pendleton County, 18 miles west of Franklin. Stage daily to Harmon. Mail semi-weekly from Circleville.


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Site last updated: August 25, 2019