The now and then postings of the discoveries and contributions of the Miller and Bechtold families .

Monday, March 22, 2010

Showcase Persons: Heinrich Landis and George Washington

There is work to be done to get Henry Landis on the "Daughters of the American Revolution" list as a War Effort collaborator... Read on:

In 1750, Henry built on his farm a stone house which stands today on the east side of the road (Route 202 near Ringoes, New Jersey). It is said that Sunday meetings of the Brethren were held in this house. The house also has a famous Revolutionary War history as quoted below from the Mennonite Encyclopedia (article written by Roberta Miller-Herbert):

"The Landis House: The story-and-a-half stone house with a gambrel roof built by Heinrich Landis at Ringoes, NJ, about 1750 has become a registered national historic landmark. It is said to have been used by George Washington as a temporary headquarters following the battle of Monmouth (1778). The French military figure Marquis de Lafayette was also a visitor. He once fell ill and spent several days in the house recuperating… The house was also used as a prison for English soldiers. The original hasps and locks are still to be seen in the basement stonework.

"According to a local historian, Landes was much respected by his neighbors. ‘Though religiously opposed to wars and fightings, and consequently taking no part in the Revolution, he was a favorite of Washington, who, when in the neighborhood, would stop at his house and ….would walk up to him and pat him familiarly on the back, and call him a good fellow….’. J. W. Lequear, Traditions of Hunterdon (NJ),, 1957."

Because of his patriotic service during the Revolutionary War, Henry Landis is listed in the DAR Patriot Index, 1979, and any of his descendants may be eligible to join the Daughters of the American Revolution. There is a note on his DAR file “Future applicants must prove correct service.” The previously submitted information references the History of Hunterdon County, New Jersey. We are working on looking for proof. There are several references that lead back only to the Hunterdon County, New Jersey, information.

By his wife, Elizabeth Naas, Henry Landis had ten children, including our ancester Henry Landis, father of Mary Landis Eichenberg [Miller Family direct Ancestor] and Elizabeth Landis Eikenberry. Elizabeth Naas Landis died in the fall of 1753 at the age of 37 (more on the children below)... (end of this excerpt)

The first century of Hunterdon County, State of New Jersey
By George Scudder Mott
Pages 16 to 17:

As far as can be ascertained, after the occupation of the land on the eastern and western borders of the county, very soon land was taken up along the great Indian paths already described, especially on the Old York road. From parchment deeds now in possession of Mr. A. S. Laning of Pennington, it appears that in the year 1702, Benjamin Field, one of the proprietors living in Burlington, agreed to sell to Nathan Allen, of Allentown, 1,650 acres, comprising the land in and around Ringos. Field seems to have died suddenly before this was consummated, making his wife, Experience, his sole executrix, by a will dated 13th May, 1702. She conveyed this tract to Allen, by deed dated May 29th, 1702. This, which seems to have been before the purchase from the Indians by the Council, was probably allotted to Field's estate at the time of the dividend in 1703. By a deed bearing date 6th December, 1721, Allen conveyed to Rudolph Harley, of Somerset county, for £75 New York money, 176 acres. The deed conveys all the minerals, mines, fishing, hunting and woods on the tract. Harley removed from Somerset and settled here. On August 25th, 1726, he sold 25 acres of his tract to Theophilus Ketcham, innholder, for £15 English.(*To me the evidence favors the supposition that he kept the first tavern, and not Ringo, as has generally been held.* *footnote*)

May 22d, 1720, Allen conveyed 150 acres to Philip Peter. This whole tract of Allen's in a few years was divided into small portions. For, by a release executed June 26th, 1758, the following persons are enumerated as being possessed of parts of the original tract. Ichabod Leigh, 118 acres, Henry Landis, 80, ¥m Schenck, 280, Jacob Sutphin, 150, Tunis Hoppock, 100, Jacob Moore, 138, Obadiah Howsell, 8, Justus Ransel, 30, Rudolph Harley, 142, John Howsell, 3, Gershom Mott, 2, Philip Ringo, 40 James Baird, 18, Anna Lequear, 80, George Thompson, 100, Jeremiah Trout, 3, Barrack, 100, George Trout, 17, John Hoagland, 200, Derrick Hoagland, 180, John Williamson, 180. In 1724 Francis Moore, of Amwell, bought 100 acres from Allen, which afterward he conveyed to John Dagworthy, of Trenton. Dagworthy sold, on August 6th, 1736, to Philip Ringo, innholder, five acres for £30. On this plot the present tavern stands. On April 18th. 1744, he Jet him have eight acres more for £50 of the Province, Tradition declares that a log cabin was kept here, which became a famous stopping place known as Ringo's Old Tavern. The son and the grandson, John, continued the business until his death in 1781, when the property was purchased by Joseph Robeson. For many years Ringos was the most important village in the whole Amwell valley. A store was kept here to which the Indians resorted from as far as Somerville. Here public meetings were held to petition the king for the removal of grievances. Later on, celebrations for the whole county centered at this point. It was also a place of considerable trade. Henry Landis who came in 1737, carried on the saddlery business, in which he secured a reputation that extended from Trenton to Sussex. In the prosecution of this business he made money, and became owner of several hundred acres of land. In the old stone house which he built and which is now standing, it is said that Lafayette was confined by sickness for more than a week; and that he was attended by Dr. Gershom Craven, who practiced more than forty years in that part of the county.

All this is a not too long bike ride from my house in Princeton, NJ!
-Marty Miller

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