Biography of William Edward Landram

There are few names more closely identified with the history of Merced County than that of William Edward Landram, who, as banker and citizen, has wielded a strong influence that has done much for the growth and prosperity of Merced, which has been his home for more than a third of a century. His birth occurred in Cairo, Mo., March 11, 1867, a son of W. L. and Betty (Boney) Landram. W. L. Landram was drafted for service during the Civil War and was on his way to the front when the war ended; he had been a farmer all his lifetime and died on the old homestead in Missouri on June 8, 1924, having reached the venerable age of ninety-one years; the mother of our subject passed away on April 29, 1922, aged eighty-five years.

William Edward Landram first attended district school in the vicinity of the home farm in Missouri; then he attended the Kirksville Normal and the Kirksville Business College. He was reared to farm work and spent twenty years of his life on the farm in Missouri, receiving practical knowledge of agriculture that proved of great worth after coming to California. On September 29, 1887 he came to Merced and soon thereafter became an employee of the Merced Lumber Company. After working and saving his money he bought stock in the business. For a time Mr. Landram ran the Merced River Flour Mill, on the river near Snelling; then he was in the transfer, wood and coal business for six years and for two years had charge of some land in the vicinity of Merced, and he now owns 320 acres of land in the Merced Irrigation District. In 1900 he took charge of the Merced Lumber Company, of which he has been vice-president and was general manager until January, 1924, when he came into the Farmers and Merchants Bank to give it his entire attention.

The marriage of Mr. Landram occurred in Merced on September 23, 1890, and united him with Miss Ida Banks, daughter of the late John Banks, senior member of the firm of Banks & Bedesen, pioneer butchers of Merced. Mrs. Landram was also a native of Missouri. One son was born of this union, John William, manager of a branch lumber yard at Livingston. Mrs. Landram passed away March 28, 1924. Mr. Landram is a thirty-second-degree Scottish Rite Mason; he also belongs to the Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World and with his wife was a member of the Eastern Star and Women of Woodcraft. Locally he belongs to the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Landram is the active vice-president of the Farmers & Merchants Bank of Merced, to which he gives all his time. The family are prominent and active members of the Central Presbyterian Church, of which Mr. Landram has been clerk of the board for the past twenty-three years.

Source: Outcalt, John. A history of Merced County, California : with a biographical review of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present; Los Angeles, Calif. : Historic Record Company, 1925.

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