By Lula Vaughn
Abie Landon is a big part of Bunker Hill history, and a man who for many years was know as a
man about town. He was a talker, never met a stranger, but had a temper and could turn on you
in a instant. Ever stranger who came to town, probably met Abie before they met any one else.
He loved to tell people about our town, and in the early times he probably knew everyone in
Abie's grandfather was Simeon Landon, who settled here after the Civil War. He was a gun smith.
He was in the 64th Ohio Regiment and was a prisoner of war in Andersonville, Ga. where he was
wounded while trying to escape.
Abie was born June 16, 1919 to George and Susie Mary (O'Brien) Landon. His father was a harness
Abie and his family seem to have bad luck "from the beginning".. His sister Ester passed away
in 1926 at the age of 11. His mother passed away March 4, 1927 of cancer ,leaving him , three
other brothers, Wallace, Edward , Marion and a sister Vera. Abie was around 8 years old when
his mother passed away. He was placed in an orphanage at Centralia, Ill. along with his brother
Marion and sister Vera who was only four years old. This must have been where he learn so much
about the Bible, as Abie could recite verse after verse from the Bible with the best of them.
Abie remained in the orphanage until he was able to care for himself, then he returned to
Bunker Hill, to live with his dad. He worked for the farmers during harvest time. In the early
days before elevators, and hay bales the loose hay was put in the barn loft with the use of
horses on one side of the barn, and someone on the other side who would clamp the grabling hook
on the hay, and then holler to the person on the other side that they were ready, He worked for
Mr. Art Nobbe one time and when they got ready ,they hollered for Abie to pull the horses up,
but he could not be found . They finally saw him running across the fields for Bunker Hill.
They didn't know if he got mad, got tired or what, but that was Abie. The next day he joined
Abie joined the Army Aug 7th, 1940 and was with the Military Police Battalion. He served in the
South West Pacific and received the Asiatic Pacific Ribbon, the American Defense Service Ribbon
and the Good Conduct Ribbon. He was discharged June 26, 1945 from Wakeman Convalescent Hospital
at Camp Atterbury, Ind., as disabled.
The terror, stress and desperation endured under heavy shelling, was more than he could stand,
and he became "Shell Shocked."
He returned to Bunker Hill, and worked for the Bunker Hill Vault and Monment Works, He was laid
off several times due to his temper. He worked for Dr. Hess, on his farm and in town, and he
ran errands for many merchants in town. He could play the Harmonica and he tried to play the
piano's when he came upon one, but some people said they did not believe he made music.
Abie never had a good jobs or much money and he drew a small pension, but he always had a dime
when he met a child. The children loved Abie and Abie loved the children. He was the town Santa
Clause for many Christmas's, and enjoyed it.
Abie went to the Laund -ro-mat about the same time as I each week. As soon as he came in with
his little basket of soiled clothes he would say, "We only come this way but once, and we might
as well be clean" And he was a clean man. He always told what he done, he didn't hide anything.
He said in his early life he was a rounder, but his drinking days did not last long. He
attended the Methodist Church in Bunker Hill, when he felt like it, and probably could quote
more scripture than the minister.
Once while being hired to dig ditches for Mr. Jim Whitfield, he became tired and preceded to
break the shovel handle in order to quit work early. The second day this happened again and on
the third day, Mr. Whitfield told him , if you break the shovel handle today it will come out
of your pay. So that was the end of that.
While getting stories for this article, I have talked to Abie's sister Vera who lives in Mo.
She stayed at the orphanage until she was able to care for herself, and then she remained in
Centralia. Such a sweet lady. Her voice sounds so nice over the phone. She is now 80 and just
retired She was a Secretary at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Mo. She never went to work there
until she was 55, so I think that is quite an accomplishment. Her husband is 80 also, and he
has a sawmill. He is still active and they attend the Baptist Church. In fact the last time I
called, she had just served breakfast to several members and missionaries from the church at
My thanks to all who helped me with this article.