Hello, I have to share this article from the Baltimore Sun at some point in the 1950's. I want to say 1956, but don't have that at the moment. I am a cousin to Don Anders who just posted recently - Mary Isabelle Landwehr who married Nicholas Gross. This article was kept in a family bible for at least 80 years. We think Mary Isabelle may have been John's sister.
Man in the Street: John Landwehr by William Stump Landwehr Lane, a narrow street that begins in the middle of the 2300 block of Frederick Avenue and extends north for a few hundred yeards, perserves the name of a man whose life was a good illustration of the traditional American success story.
He was John H. Landwehr, a native of Badenbergen, Germany. He sailed for Baltimore in 1832, accompanied by half a dozen brothers and sisters, and parents who had no money - and no idea what they were going to do to make some, once they arrived.
In due time they were on the dock here, confused and frightened. William Wilkens, the wealthy and famous man who owned a hair factory west of the city, was on the dock, too. In some way, his attention was called to the Landwehrs and their predicament. He told them about a vacant house, offered them transportation to it, and John Landwehr's daughter believes employed Herr Landwehr on the spot.
For reasons long forgotten, Herr Landwehr soon left his wife and children and headed West, with the promise that he would send for them as soon as he found work. He was never heard from again. The oldest of the children began looking for jobs, John found work cleaning hog bristles in the Wilkens factory. He was 6 or 7 at the time.
Before he reached the age of 20, John had saved enough money to buy a grain mill in what is now the 2200 Block of Frederick Avenue. Together with a brother, who lived with him in a tiny stone house that still stands, he prospered - enough to build a house at 2242 Frederick Avenue (it still stands, too), to marry and to develop an urge to expand.
He bought the north side of the 2300 block. And he bought a piece of history. For on the land was a sturdy building called the White House; originally it had been the home of the overseer of Carrollton, Chares Carroll's estate, and, some years before John Landwehr took possession of it, it had been an inn.
Landwehr divided the rambling house into apartments. Near it, he built a large combination home and feed warehouse. Soon he made so much money that he decided to invest in real estate, and he accordingly built some houses on Frederick Avenue. He also demolished the White House because it took up too much space, and put up more houses.
To reach these houses, he cut a lane past his home. He gave it no name. "I'm sure it didn't occur to him to do so." says Miss Elizabeth Landwehr, who lives across the street from the combination home and warehouse.
For the sake of convenience, the neighbors began calling the little dirt street, which dead-ends behind an old factory, Landwehr's lane. The name stuck when the neighborhood became part of the city in 1888, it officially became Landwehr Lane.
Miss Landwehr, the only remaining member of the family says the lane has changed little since her father died at the turn of the century. In fact, she doubts that it has changed much since the 1870's when he created it.
Its brick sidewalks are still in good condition: the houses, perhaps because John Landwehr built them with the finest of materials, look almost new.