Merkel Landis (1875-1960)

Merkel Landis, 1896

Merkel Landis was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania to John B. and Barbara Merkel Landis on January 5, 1875. During his youth he lived at 136 North College Street and attended Carlisle High School and the Dickinson Preparatory School. Officially entering the College as a freshmen in 1892, Merkel began four years of study for a bachelor of philosophy degree under Dickinson's modern language curriculum. He was a member of Sigma Chi, Theta Nu Epsilon, the editor of the Microcosm for three years, an Allison Orator for four years, and the short stop for his class baseball team.

Graduating in 1896 at the age of 21 Landis worked as a clerk in the Carlisle Deposit Bank until 1897. He also attended the Dickinson School of Law and was admitted to the Cumberland County Bar on June 5, 1899. He worked at the Merchants Bank in Carlisle starting in 1901. Later the bank was renamed the Carlisle Trust Company and he retained positions there as treasurer and as president from the fall of 1921 until his retirement in 1937. During his years with the bank he developed the first version of the Christmas Savings Fund in 1910.

He served on the Board of Trustees beginning in 1930, eventually becoming a trustee emeritus. He also worked as chairman for the Carlisle Red Cross, and was the secretary, treasurer, and trustee of the Sara A. Todd Memorial Home. His devotion to local history led him to be active with the Hamilton Library Historical Association for many years. He married twice, first on October 12, 1905, to Helen R. Boyd, and, after her death in March 1932, to Mary Kirtley Lamberton on August 12, 1933. He had two children, Joseph Boyd Landis and Mrs. Katherine L. Hammersberg.

At the age of 85, Merkel Landis died of a lingering illness at his 101 South College Street home on the morning of September 28, 1960.

Author of Post: 
Dickinson College Archives
Date of Post: 
College Relationship: 
Alumnus/Alumna Class Year: 
Trustee - Years of Service: 
1930-1944; 1944-1960