Introductory to Charles K. Landis' Journal

The first journal of Charles K. Landis closes with the entry of July 11, 1868, and the next six years, crowded as they were with enterprise and achievement, are unrecorded; at least no journal covering this period has been preserved to us. It is greatly to be regretted that we are unable to fill this gap with the full detail which the journals afford. We are dependent upon the meagre record of the local newspapers for what knowledge we have of the many activities of the Founder during this interval, but even this suffices to show the untiring energy, the wealth of resource, the clarity of judgment and promptitude of action which characterized this remarkable man.

Any project which aimed at social betterment, either spiritual or material, made sure appeal to Mr. Landis, and we find him working early and late to advance the interests of Vineland. New industries were established here through his efforts, and legislation was set on foot for improved railway facilities, so essential to both industrial and agricultural growth. The Agricultural Society and Improvement Association were mediums through which he accomplished much for the good of the town. Vineland was growing rapidly, thanks to the unwavering ideals and shrewd common sense of the Founder.

These years were quite as important in his personal experience as they were in his public life. On October 14, 1868 he married Miss Clara F. Meade, and a son Henry Meigs Landis, was born to them September 1, 1869. The death of this child, August 15, 1870 was a heavy grief, never forgotten. Charles K. Landis, Jr., was born March 28, 1871, and another son Richard W. M. Landis, was born March 22, 1873.

On July 3, 1874, when Mr. Landis resumes the systematic keeping of a journal, we find him in London. The purpose of this European trip is soon shown to be three-fold. Failing health necessitated new scenes and freedom from some of his many anxieties, at the same time giving him a chance to realize his desire to study the architecture, sanitation, civic esthetics and social institutions of the Old World, always seeking that which might be adapted to the needs of his well-loved Vineland. Another ardent wish was to promote European emigration to Vineland. Today the number of our prosperous Italian citizens, in particular, shows this to have been no idle dream.