Founders of New Albany
A tavern and inn, for which Noble Landon (1783-1866) obtained a liquor license in 1835, formerly occupied the southeast corner of High and Main streets. In 1837 Landon and William Yantis laid out the town of New Albany in 50-by-l00-foot lots, with Landon’s lots lying on the east side and Yantis’ on the west side of High Street. Landon was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, lived as a young man in St. Albans, Vermont, and migrated to Licking County, Ohio, in 1810. He was the first clerk and first Justice of the Peace in St. Albans Township and first postmaster in Johnstown and later in New Albany. In addition to contributions as a builder-developer, Landon gave to the village lore the story of a remarkable conversion. Long known as a heavy drinker, he suddenly ordered kegs of whiskey he owned to be carried into the street and broken. He then attended church regularly.
From Frederick County, Maryland, of German descent, William Yantis was a War of 1812 veteran of the Battle of North Point, where British General Ross was killed and William’s neighbor Francis Scott Key wrote the “Star Spangled Banner.” Arriving in Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1815, he married Elizabeth Schissler of Washington County, Maryland, and had nine children. In 1819 he bought Plain Township land that he settled and farmed. In 1837 he and Noble Landon platted New Albany Village, to which he appended an addition in 1850. Among his possessions were a trunk of books, saddle and harness-making tools and surgical instruments. On September 23, 1883, The Westerville Review reported, “… he was an eccentric man, who claimed some knowledge of medicine. Good hearted, to one who was a friend he would give up most everything he possessed, but with one he disliked he would have nothing to do….”