A leading citizen of Wallowa County and numbered with the most progressive agriculturists of his vicinity, the subject of this sketch is eminently fitted to be granted representation in the annals of his county, since he has been faithful in its development and has also displayed commendable zeal in the advancement of its interests, while also in the days gone by when base strife was tearing the nation asunder he responded quickly to the call of freedom’s banner and fought with courage and valor on the fields of blood until the last enemy was put down.
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Joseph H. was born in Crawford County, Indiana, on February 25, 1839, being the son of Samuel and March A. (Smith) Landrus. His early life was spent on a farm and in gaining a common-school education in the various sections where he resided. From his native place he was taken by his parents to Kentucky, thence to Coles County, Illinois. At the age of eighteen he was married to Miss Nancy A. Philson and two children were born to crown the union, being Francis M., deceased and Priscilla A., wife of John Farr, in Adair county, Missouri. On January 1, 1862, Mr. Landrus enlisted in Company H. Sixty-first Illinois Infantry, and then commenced a career of military action that is seldom exceeded. He participated in the battle of Shiloh, was at the siege of Vicksburg and did noble service in the heat of the conflict, fought at Little Rock, Arkansas, and at Murfreesboro was captured with all of his regiment and consigned to the gruesome and cruel bondage of Andersonville prison. Let those vaunt war as they desire, but if one wishes to understand its sorrow and pain let those of Andersonville testify. A strong man, weighing two hundred and four pounds when he went into that den of infamy, when Mr. Landrus came out his physique was reduced to one hundred pounds, having endured the terrors of the spotted fever with all of the other wretched entailments of that most horrible of all prison pens. From Andersonville he went to Jacksonville, Florida, and there recruited and afterward participated in other battles and skirmishes, and in July 1865, he was discharged with honor to return to the walks of industrial life. Mr. Landus is now a member of the G.A.R., Captain Stanley Post No. 72, at Flora.
On September 17, 1865, Mr. Landrus married Miss Lydia A., a native of Illinois, and a daughter of Robert V. and Jemima Alexander, the nuptials occurring in Coles County, Illinois. Four children have been born to this union, as follows: Samuel R., married to Ella Ivie, and living near Paradise: Charles H., married to Elda Denslow, living near Paradise: Clarence L.: and Walter. In 1866 they removed to Sullivan county, Missouri and there he followed farming and also operated a sawmill and a grist mill, continuing there until 1891, in which year he migrated to the Grande Ronde valley, locating near Elgin in Union County, operating there a sawmill until 1895. In that year he came to the section where he now lives and took up the sawmill business. Later he purchased the farm, which is his home place now, three miles north of Paradise. His farm is well improved, being fenced and nearly all cultivated, and has a good house and barn and all other necessaries for a first-class ranch. He has a good orchard, the equal if not exceeding any in the community and in all of his ways Mr. Landrus has manifested a commendable spirit of thrift and industry and he is numbered with the leading men of his section.