CARTER LANDRAM


 

CARTER LANDRAM. Occupying a prominent place among the early settlers of Merced, Carter Landram has impressed his worth upon the community as a merchant and grain dealer, as a promoter of education and public utilities, and as an active and liberal member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He is one of the many native sons of Missouri who have found a field of activity in the San Joaquin valley, and who reflect credit upon the environment in which their youth was passed. Born in Macon County, Mo., April 13, 1840, he is a son of Reuben and Elizabeth (Dingle) Landram, the former born in old Virginia, and the latter in Kentucky, and of English parentage. H is paternal grandfather, James Landram was born in Virginia of Scotch-Irish extraction, and soon after the birth of his son Reuben moved to Kentucky, where the youth was educated in the public schools, and where he married at an early age. From Kentucky, Reuben Landram moved to Macon County, Mo., where he died at an advanced age, and where several of his nine children were horn. Seven of these children attained maturity and six are now living, Carter being the youngest. Besides the latter, the family is represented in Merced by James E., who came to the west in 1850, and by Abner P., now a resident of Salinas. Reuben Landram was a farmer his en-tire active life, and to the end of his days recalled vividly his experiences as a soldier during the war of 1812.

Carter Landram was educated in a private school in Missouri, and at McGee College, in Macon County. Prior to the Civil war he engaged in school teaching, which occupation lie abandoned to wear the gray of the Confederate soldier. Enlisting under General Price in a Missouri regiment, he served at the battle of Lexington, and was soon after taken ill and sent home to recover from an attack of typhoid fever. Rejoining the army, he was elected lieutenant under Colonel Poindexter, was taken prisoner in Randolph County, Mo., and was imprisoned in St. Louis, Mo., and Alton, Ill., receiving his parole Mo., and Alton, Ill., at the latter prison.

In 1864 he left home and crossed the plains with ox teams, being six months on the way, and experiencing trouble with the Indians, owing to the soldiers being withdrawn from the plains. Locating in Solano county, Cal., he worked on farms by the month until he had gotten a little ahead, and in 1873 located in Merced, where he invested his capital in a hook, stationery and musical instrument store, later adding notions and jewelry. Success came his way and the capacity of the store was enlarged to meet the growing trade. This store was sold in 1884, and in the meantime Mr. Landram had become interested in the grain business in 1881, buying and shipping to different parts of the state until July. 1882. He then entered the employ of Geo. W. McNear, of San Francisco, as agent in Merced, and continued the buyer for the firm at this point until November 1903. Since then be has conducted an independent grain business, but still continues to represent the San Francisco firm.

Mr. Landram has various interests scattered throughout the town and county. He is president of the Merced Lumber Company and at different times has owned and operated farms in the county. He was one of the chief instigators, as president of the Board of Trade to induce the Santa Fe Railroad to run through the town; aided the company in paying for lands, and raised about $5,000 in the town of Merced. He contributed both time and money for this worthy cause, and won the gratitude of the merchants and people in general for the success of his co-operation. He is prominent in fraternal circles, being a member of La Grange Lodge No.99, F. & A. M., of which he was treasurer for many years. Mr. Landram is a Democrat in politics, but has never desired or accepted office. He was the first president, and held the position for eight years, of the old Board of Trade of Merced. Near Salida, Cal., Mr. Landram married Alice Kerr, a native of Pike County, Mo., who was reared and educated in California. Five children have blessed this union of whom four attained maturity: John Max, representing the Merced Lumber Company and the grain interests of his father at Livingston, where there is a branch of the former and a warehouse owned by Mr. Landram; Margaret Mathena, widow of J C. Landram, of Merced; Hugh Kerr, attending the University of Tennessee, at Lebanon; and Telete, living with her father. October 28, 1896, the devoted mother passed away, leaving a host of friends to mourn her death. Mr. Landram has been active in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for many years, is a ruling elder in the church, and was formerly superintendent of the Sunday school. In his life he bears out the teachings of his denomination and is one of the high-minded, very liberal and progressive men of the community.

From History of San Joaquin Valley, CA qc 979.4 G9hc page 1313ff

Contributed by: Carol Lackey