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Percy Land (1885-1950) and Meta Petermann

Percy Land, the son of Law Land and Elizabeth Sykes was born at 2 Whites Lane, Toronto, Canada on June 8, 1885.

The family left Toronto around 1892 and moved to Detroit, Michigan. They made several stops in the United States before settling in Suffolk County, Long Island:

  1. They moved to to Detroit, Michigan in 1892.
  2. Circa 1896 they moved to Hoboken, New Jersey.
  3. Circa 1899 they moved to Jersey City, New Jersey.
  4. Circa 1900 they moved to Hauppauge, Long Island.

They were listed in the 1900 census in Hauppauge. Percy and his father, Law, are known to have returned to Hoboken for undetermined periods of time between 1900 and 1908. I would seem that the transition from Hoboken to Smithtown (Hauppauge) was not cut and dry.

Percy Land married Meta Petermann in Smithtown in January 1908.

They had four children: Arnold in October 1908, Helen in February 1910, Allen in January 1913 and Edgar (Bud) in October 1915.

Percy in Hoboken in 1906 and 1907

Among the photographs that Aunt Helen gave me was a post card addressed to Percy Arnold Land at 328 Hudson Street, Hoboken, dated November 17, 1906. The stamp has been torn off so I don't know if I have the whole message. What is there reads,

"Percy, if not coming home tomorrow please write. Ruth. From Mamma"
I assume that Percy's sister, Ruth, wrote this card for her mother. The card is addressed only to Percy Arnold Land, not Law and/or Clarence, so I assume Percy was in Hoboken alone in 1906. Interestingly it was stamped "November 17, (can't read time) A.M., Hauppague" and again "November 17, 3:30 P.M. Hoboken". The mail certainly moved faster in 1906 than it does today.

Bud said that Percy and his father had moved to Hoboken to work on the new piers after the fire of 1900. There are several problems with this idea. The Lands had already moved to Smithtown by the summer of 1900. They were listed there in the 1900 census. In 1900 Percy was only 15 years old. It is possible that Percy was in Hoboken in 1906 to work on the new Erie Lackawanna Train Station. The rebuilding of the Hoboken piers was completed by 1905.

In any event Percy was in Hoboken in 1906 as evidenced by the postcard. He married Meta Petermann in 1908. Meta was born and raised in Hoboken.

This post card can be viewed in the Land photo album. See below.

Note: There was a carpenters' union in Hoboken in 1907. I do not know if Percy was a member.

Percy in Saranac, New York in 1907

Another post card (entitled "Bird's Eye View of New York and East River Bridge") was sent to Mr. Percy Land, 106 River St., Saranac Lake, Franklin Co. N.Y. on dated August 12, 1907. The message reads,

" Dear Son Please write you address intelligibly as we are not sure this is right. Mother."
The card was postmarked Hauppauge N.Y. at 12 P.M. August 12, 1907 and again Saranac Lake, N.Y. at 3 P.M. August 13, 1907.

What was Percy doing at Saranac Lake in 1907?

This post card can be viewed in the Land photo album. See below.

Saranac Lake, Adirondack Mountains, New York, 1906
Postcard in the collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Main Street looking S, Saranaac Lake, N.Y. 1909
Postcard in the collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Percy and Meta Before Their Marriage

Percy met his future wife, Meta Petermann, while he was living in Hoboken.

Helen Land said Percy and Meta met at a dance in Jersey City. Percy's address in Hoboken in November 1906 was at Hudson Street between 3rd and 4th Streets, quite close to 2nd Street and River Street where the Petermann family lived.

Meta was in Long Island at New Years 1906/07. She sent a post card from Hauppague on December 31, 1906 to her sister, Annie, in Hoboken. There was no message on the card.

Most likely Meta and Percy had met before November 1906 (when Percy is known to have been living in Hoboken on Hudson Street) if they were serious enough for her to visit his parents home in December/January 1906/1907.

The post card from Meta to Annie can be viewed in the Land photo album. See below.

The Marriage of Percy Land and Meta Peterman, 1908

Percy Land of Hauppague, New York married Meta H. Petermann of Hoboken, New Jersey in Smithtown, New York on January 18, 1908. Witnesses were Clarence L. Land and Anna Peterman. The minister was E. S. Wright of Central Islip. Percy was listed as a 22-year-old carpenter, born in Canada, father, Law Land, mother, Elizabeth Sykes, both born in England. Meta was listed as a 21-year-old, dressmaker, born in Hoboken, New Jersey, father, Bernard Peterman, mother, Sophie Steurer, both born in Germany.

The Children of Percy Land and Meta Petermann

Percy and Meta had:

  1. Percy Arnold Land, Jr. born on October 27, 1908 in the town of Smithtown, Village of Hauppauge, Long Island, the son of Percy Arnold Land, age 23, carpenter, born in Canada and Meta Peterman, age 22, born in Hoboken, New Jersey.

    Percy Arnold Land Junior was known as Arnold.

    For more information on Arnold see Arnold now or at the bottom of the page.

  2. Meta Helen Land, known as Helen, born on February 14, 1910 in the town of Smithtown, village of Hauppague, the daughter of Percy A. Land, age 24, carpenter, and Meta Petermann, age 24, born in Hoboken, New Jersey, she was the second of two living children. Attending physician, Roland Hazler (?). Percy was listed on the birth certificate as being born in Hauppague, this is obviously in error.

    Meta Helen was known as Helen.

    For more information on Helen see Helen now or at the bottom of the page.

  3. Allen Bernard Land born on January 8, 1913 in Central Islip, Long Island, the son of Percy Arnold Land , age 27, contractor and builder, born in Canada and Meta Peterman, age 26, born in New Jersey, he was the third of three living children. The attending physician was William S. McDannald of Brentwood, Long Island.

    Bernard was Meta's father's name.

    For more information on Allen see Allen now or at the bottom of the page.

  4. Edgar Law Land born on October 7, 1915 in Hauppauge, New York to Percy Land, age 30, contractor, born in Canada and Meta Peterman, age 29, born in the United States, he was the forth of four living children. Attending physician H. E. Chatwain (?) of Brentwood, Long Island.

    Edgar, called Bud or Buddy, always celebrated his birthday on October 8th. He said the doctor made a mistake in recording the birth date as October 7th.

    Law was Percy's father's name.

    For more information on Bud see Bud now or at the bottom of the page.

Hauppauge Field Club - baseball - 1907-1910

Percy played baseball in a uniformed minor league. The Hauppauge Field Club included three of the Land brothers: Clarence, Percy and Joe.

See Hauppauge Field Club

Percy and Meta, Best Waltzers, 1909

"The play given as a benefit for the fire company Tuesday night was a big sucess. The prizes for best couple in waltzing were given to Percy Land of Hauppauge and John Brenner of St. James."

Port Jefferson Echo, June 26, 1909

Some years before Helen Land's death she showed me a large silver colored (it was not silver or even plated) that she said had been won in a dance contest by Percy and Meta.

Percy and Family in the 1910

May 21, 1910 - Percy A. Land and family moved into William C. Clock's house in Hauppauge.

Percy's Birthday - June 1910

Hauppauge - A large number of young people gave a surprise birthday party for Percy on Thursday evening. "Dancing was the main feature of the event."

Percy and Family in the 1910 Federal Census

The 1910 Federal census listed the family of Percy A Land on Hauppague Road as follows:

  • Percy A., head, age 24, married 2 years, Canada, immigrated in 1896, house carpenter, renting
  • Meta H, wife age, 24, married 2 years, born in New Jersey
  • Percy A, son, age (can't read), born in New York
  • Meta H., daughter, age (can't read) born in New York.

Their immediate neighbors were Warren Hubbs and George Cornish.

Percy Land at Carnegie Hall, New York City, 1911

Thursday Evening, June 15, 1911 at 8:30 a musical by the pupils of Mme Dora Wiley-Tennis of 128 W 97th Street was presented in the Chamber Music Hall of the Carnegie Building in New York City. Percy Land sang Ambrose's "The Shoogy Shoo" (four lessons) and Faure's "The Palms" (fifteen lessons) both in the second part of the program .

Dora Wiley was an America soprano and was the Prima Donna of the Haverly Opera Company in 1883.

Photo courtesy of the Smithtown Library C Ball Spring 2006. Donated by Helen Land February 1993

Percy is forth from the left in the back row.

Percy Land New Car 1912

Central Islip November 1912 - Percy Land purchased a touring car.

He had a car in 1911 - there are pictures of the cars at Percy's Cars

Percy Land in Glen Cove, 1914

The Long Islander, Friday, February 13, 1914

"Percy Land who is doing carpenter work at Glen Cove spent the weekend with his family here."
By the inception of the 20th century Glen Cove was the home of many wealthy industrialists who built sumptuous mansions near the water.

Percy Land, February 19, 1914

Hauppauge - Percy Land lost his valuable collie dog, Echo.

Percy Land 1915 census

June 1, 1915, Islip, Wheeler Road, Percy A Land 30, born Canada, contractor, Meta Land 29, Amold Land 6, Helen Land 5, Allen Land 2,

There were chicken farmers on either side of them.

Percy Land - 1915

May 1915 Contractor Percy A. Land was to build a cottage at central Islip for M. Week.

December 1915 Contractor Percy A. Land was in charge of a large addition on the Mores Benstock porperty at Central Islip.

Percy Land in the 1917 Draft Registration Records

Percy Arnold Land registered for the 1917 Draft on September 12th. The registration included the following information.

Percy Arnold Land, living in Hauppauge, New York, age 33, born June 8, 1895, occupation, carpenter for Stevenson American at Camp Upton in Suffolk, New York, next of kin, wife, Meta Land, physical discription, medium height, medium build, brown eyes and brown hair.

To see pictures of Camp Upton go to Percy and Meta where They Lived and Worked

Percy Land to Philadelphia 1917

The Long Islander, Friday, November 30, 1917

"Messers. Percy Land, Floyd Sanford and F. C. Courier have gone to Philadelphia where they have employment."
Floyd Sanford was a Smithtown plumber. F. C. Courier was a painter. He was also Percy's brother-in-law - he was married to Percy's sister, Ethel.

Percy's grandmother, Lydia Law Land, lived in Philadelphia. She was the mother of Percy's father, Law Land. He also had aunts, uncles and cousins in Philadelphia. He surely must have made contact with these relatives while in Philadelphia. In fact, his aunt, Polly Land Wooler (AKA Mary) later visited Smithtown at least three times: In 1929, 1934 and 1942. She stayed with Percy in 1934 and 1942. See Lydia Law Land

The January 4, 1918 edition of the Long Islander indicated that the three men returned to Hauppauge to spend the holidays with their families.

Other articles in the Long Islander around this time indicate that Smithtown men were going to Philadelphia to work in the shipyards.

Helen Land said that Percy worked at Hog Island during WWI.

American International Shipbuilding Corp., Hog Island, PA 1917-1921 (Owned by New York Shipbuilding's WWI corporate parent American International Corporation. Built in just 10 months under shadow of scandal. Laid its first keel Feb. 12, 1918. Luncheon sandwiches eaten by workers became known as hoagies. Built 122 ships. Site now occupied by Philadelphia International Airport.)"

Delaware River Shipyards

In February 1918 President Wilson ordered an investigation into "alleged waste and estravagance in the construction of the Government's Fabricating shipyard at Hog Island, Philadelphia" February 15, 1918 New York Times.

World War I, know as the Great War, started in Europe in 1914. The USA entered the war in April 1917. The Selective Service Act was passed in May 1917 allowing the government to draft soldiers for the armed services. The war was over November 11, 1918.


View of Hog Island shipyard near Philadelphia, showing the forest of derricks rising from its fifty shipways. At the end of the World War, 35,000 persons were at work and 180 ships were in the corse of completion.

Collection of Maggie Land Blanck, June 2012, unknown publication and date
Hog Island, Noon time reading the news Jan 1918.

Image from the Library of Congress

Hog Island

Image from the Library of Congress

Camp Upton, 1918

March 29, 1918 The Long Islander

"The Messers. Percy Land, George Fowler, and F. C. Courier are now employed as carpenters at Camp Upton."
Camp Upton was located in Yaphank, Long Island. The US did not have a large standing army when it entered the first World War. Consequently there was a need for new camps at which to train soldiers. Camp Upton

To see some images of Camp Upton go to Percy Land and Meta Petermann Where They Lived And Worked on Long Island

Property - 1919

In October 1919 - Percy A. Land of Hauppauge bought the Sarah Blydenburgh estate on the Old Country road formerly occupied by C. L. Blydenburgh.


In addition to singing in New York in 1911, Percy wrote at least two songs he took the trouble to have copyrighted. He also is noted in the local paper as having sang solos on several occasions.

Percy's copyrighted songs:

  1. HERE COME THE YANKEES: words and music by P. A. Land [of U. S.] [18088 © 1 c. Sept. 27, 1918; E 432619; Percy A Land, Central Islip, N. Y.

    Musical compositions: Part 3, Part 3 By Library of Congress. Copyright Office, Second half of year 1918.

  2. Will You Always Think Of Me: words and music by P. A. Land [of U. 8.] [21645 © 1 c. Nov. 29, 1918: E 437486; Percy A. Land, Central Islip, N. Y

    Catalog of copyright entries: Musical compositions, Part 3 By Library of Congress. Copyright Office

The July 21, 1916 Long Islander noted that the Smithtown Ebony Minstrels entrained in Assembly Hall July 21 and 22. Soloists included Ruth Land and Percy Land.

The January 3, 1923 Long Islander commented on the "Home Gathering" of the Presbyterian Church on December 29th where a "interesting" lecture was given on life in the Philippines by missionary Dr. MacLaughlin and "Percy Land gave a fine vocal solo."


It is really impossible to know for sure who Meta and Percy's friends were. Percy came from a large family and many of the times he and/or Meta were mentioned in the local newspapers it is related to family events. However, Percy is mentioned a number of times with Floyd Sanford.

Floyd Sanford

Floyd Rockwell Sanford was born January 5, 1884 in Hauppague to Author and Mary Sanford who were farmers. Floyd Sanford was listed in the 1930 census as a plumber.

Floyd and Percy played baseball together on the Hauppauge Field Club team in 1907-1909.

In 1911 Percy's brother-in-law, Frank Courier, moved into the "cottage recently vacated by Floyd Sanford on the Smithtown road."

Floyd and Percy were officers in a young men's club formed in Hauppauge in 1915:

"The young men of this vicinity have hired a large room in the William H. Grace house and met there Saturday evening for the purpose of forming a club, to be know as the Hauppauge Social Club. The following officers were elected: President, George W Fowier, Vice President, Floyd Sanford: Secretary and Treasurer, Percy A Land. Sergeant-at-Arms, A. H. Wills. A pool table and other amusements have been installed. The clubroom will be open each evening with regular meetings twice a week.

The Long Islander, February 19, 1915

Floyd and Percy went to Philadelphia to "work" together in 1917. See above.

In 1926 the Phi Kappa Fraternity held an informal dance in the Assembly Hall on June 29. The patrons were Mr. and Mrs. J Evans Crane, Mr and Mrs. Percy Land, Mr and Mrs Wheeler Germond and Mr and Mrs. Floyd Sanford.

Floyd Sanford was married to Constance Grace. Constance was the sister of Victoria Grace who married Clarence Land.

Percy Land, Frank Courier and Floyd Sanford are all buried in the Methodist Cemetery in Hauppauge. Yankee Cemetery.com Hauppauge United Methodist

Percy and Family in the 1920 Federal Census

The 1920 census list the family of Percy Land living on Wheeler Road in Islip, New York in a rented house as follows:

  • Percy, head of household, age 34, immigrated in 1896, naturalized in 1903, born in Canada, occupation carpenter, contractor.
  • Meta, wife, 34 years old, born in New Jersey.
  • Arnold, son, age 11, born in New York.
  • Helen, daughter, age 10, born in New York.
  • Allan, son, age 7, born in New York.
  • Edgar, son, age 4 years and 3 months, born in New York.

The census was taken in mid March 1920.

Move from Wheeler Road to North County Road, 1920

"REAL ESTATE Smithtown Branch - Howard B Arthur has sold his property known as Green place to contractor Percy A Land" - February 20, 1920, The Long Islander.

"Hauppauge - Percy A Land is moving his family from the Clock house to a newly purchased home in Smithtown" - May 14, 1920, The Long Islander

"Hauppauge - Mr. Boyle and family of Central Islip have rented the Willard Clock place, recently vacated by Percy A Land" - July 23, 1920 The Long Islander

A 1915 map of Central Islip shows the Willard W Clock property. As near as I can determine, it was situated at what is now where the Worker's Compensation Board offices are at the corner of Rabro Drive and Wheeler Road.

A 1917 map shows the Authur property AKA 101 North County Road - the house in which the Land family remained until Meta's death in 1973.

See more on Percy and properties he owned below.

See 101 North Country Road, Smithtown.

1915 map of Smithtown, showing the property of D Arthur. The darkest line is North County road. The properties from left to right of Nissequogue Road are: The Presbyterian Cemetery, Wm L'Hammodieu and D. Arthur. The property of D Arthur shows three buildings: the house, the Barn and the shop.

Percy Land as Listed in the 1924 Lewis Historical Biographies

The Lewis Historical Publishing company Volume V for the Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens and the Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York 1609-1924 by Henry Ishan Hazelton included the following biography of Percy A. Land,

"Percy A. Land, of Smithtown Branch, Long Island, was born at Toronto, Canada, on June 8, 1885, the son of Law and Elizabeth (Sykes) Land. When he was six years of age Percy A. and his parents moved to Detroit, Michigan, and the boy received his education in the public schools there. After his schooling he leaned the carpenter's trade and he and his parents moved to Long Island, in 1895. They went to live at Hauppauge, and then Smithtown, Long Island, where Percy A. Land worked at the carpenter's trade and finally became an independent builder and contractor. He started in that business in 1911 and worked up a large and lucrative connection and is widely and favorably known. He has now given up the building business, and has bought a tract of land opposite St. James' (Long Island) depot, and is sub-dividing it into business and building lots, and will also start a lumber, hardware, and material business. Mr. Land is a Republican in politics, and a member of the Woodmen of the world.

Mr. Land married, on January 18, 1908, Meta Peterman, and they have four children: Arnold, Helen, Allen and Edgar."

Percy Land and the Livingston Estate, Lloyd's Harbor

According to both Helen Land and Bud Land, Percy worked for six years on the Livingston Estate on Lloyds's Neck overlooking the Long Island Sound. Percy picked up his crew every morning in a bus.

According to Bud, Percy build a house with 38 rooms and dairy barns, stables, dog kennels, an 8-car garage, a beach cabana, cottages for the horseman, dairymen, and gardener's buildings. Bud said Mr. Livingston owned railroads.

Lloyd's Neck is north west of Huntington. Gerald M Livingston was listed as owning an estate in Lloyd's Neck in an article in the Long Islander dated June 24, 1921.

Livingston apparently bought the property in 1919.

"Another instance was the sale of the former E. Louis Meyers property on West Neck, Huntington, comprising 100 acres, with remodeled farmhouse, trout ponds, and frontage on Lloyd's Harbor. This was held at $250,000 and was sold in a trade to some New York bankers for an elevator apartment house. These men resold the country estate within twenty days at a price under $125,000 to Gerald Livingston, who obtained an unusual bargain."

New York Times February 10, 1919.

Gerald Moncrieffe Livingston was born in Minnesota in 1883. He was a New York Banker and one-time president of the New York Stock Exchange. New York Social Diary

I do not know what years Percy was working on the Livingston Estate. There is a photo of Percy and Arnold next to a "Speed Wagon" truck. Based on Arnold's age I believe it dates to around 1922. I found an image of a very similar truck on the Internet; said to be a 1922 Speed Wagon" made by REO. This does not necessarily date Percy's employment in Lloyd's Harbor.

Gerald M Livingston died in 1950. The Livingston estate remained in the possession of his widow until 1968 when it became the home of Friends World Global College.

Percy Building in Central Islip, Hauppauge, and Smithtown

According to Bud Land, Percy built houses and stores in Central Islip, Hauppague, and Smithtown.

One of the pictures that Helen gave me is very faded, but it shows Percy with his crew in front of a store he had just finished building. Helen identified this building as the Donaldson Store. This photo can be viewed in the Land photo album. See below.

Percy and Property in Central Islip, Hauppauge, and Smithtown

According to the Suffolk County Records Office the following real estate transactions occurred in the name of Percy Land.

  1. On September 22, 1919

    "in consideration of One dollar ($1.00) lawful money of the United States, and other valuable considerations paid by the party of the second part"

    "ALL that certain tract or parcel of land with the buildings and improvements theren (sic), situate, lying and being at Hauppauge, in the Town of Smithtown, County of Suffolk, and State of New York, bounded North by land of E. Morris; East by land of George McCrone; South by the highway running along the town line between Smithtown and Islip; and west by land of A. Turak. CONTAINING two acres (2) more or less."

    See map below.

  2. On the 16th of April 1920 Percy bought from Howard and Ada Arthur for "consideration of the sum of Five ($5) dollars lawful money of the United States and other good and valuable considerations"

    Three tracts of land along the "highway" from Smithtown Branch to St. James. The first and second parcels each contained one acre "more or less". The third parcel contained five acres "more or less".

    This is the property that included the house at 101 North Country Road where the Land children grew up and where Meta Land lived until her death in 1973. The house on North Country Road was built by Mr. Green after 1873. The second owners were the Arthurs from whom Percy bought the house.

  3. On December 31, 1924 Percy bought the property in St James formed by the triangle of Moriches Road, Lake Avenue and the Long Island Railroad tracks and that included the hardware store and lumberyard. I don't completely understand the documents relating to this puchase.

    It appears to me that he agreed with Alfonsa Monahan, the former owner, to buy this entire triangle of land for $27,000 and that she held the mortgage and released different parcels of the land over a period of two years. Nothing is really spelled out in any of the documents. The first document was dated December 31, 1924 and is referred to in the later documents. The December 1924 document outlines the land as described above. Subsequent Deeds, with fees ranging form $1 to $10, are dated March 27, 1925, April (no date) 1925, August 24, 1925, April 19, 1926, August 13, 1926 and November 11, 1926 and include descriptions of parcels within the triangle of land outlined in the December 1924 Deed.

    Bud Land said Percy bought the Monahan farm in Saint James. At some point Percy had both a lumberyard and a hardware store on this property. Bud Land said he, Bud, owned and ran the hardware store from 1939 to until he married Agnes in 1942. Bud said his father gave him the store in exchange for insurance money that Bud got from a burn injury. According to Bud Percy needed the money to pay the taxes on the property. When we were kids Bud told us his father gave him the hardware store because he couldn't afford to send him to college. After Bud had the stroke in 1986, he told the version of the insurance money. There may been some truth in both stories.

    St James - Percy Land, owner of the Monahan tract, has the map of the survey of said property showing lots and proposed roads hung in Robert Elderkin's Meat Market"

    The Port Jefferson Echo, March 12, 1925.

    Looks like he was planning on developing the property in some way.
  4. On September 22, 1926 Percy bought from Adolph and Elizabeth Harnish for the "consideration of Ten (10) Dollars, lawful money of the United States and other valuable considerations " "lots numbers Two (2) and Three (3)" on the "Map of River lots situate at Smithtown ". This area was known as Smithtown Landing.
    "The dimensions of said lots taken together are as follows, viz: 100.46 feet wide on Road from Dock to North Shore Turnpike, 1001.26 feet in rear on River, 135.84 feet deep on the southeasterly side, and 11.40 feet deep on the north westerly side be said dimensions more or less".

It would be interesting to know what the "other valuable considerations" were for these various real estate purchases.

The Long Islander indicates several other transaction:

  • November 7, 1919

    Real Estate, Smithtown

    Isaac H. Blydenburgh and ors (others) to Percy Land 2 acres more or less n. -. highway adj land of E Norris, Haupauge
  • Mr Brink has purchased the Percy Land property in the east part of the village. July 7, 1922, The Long Islander.

1917 Becher Hyde Map courtesy of the Smithtown Library Long Island Room, November 2005

A 1917 Map of the area shows the property that Percy bought in 1919 on what is now Town Line Road just east of Hauppauge Road and the intersection of Rte. 111 (Wheeler Road). It is the property with the arrow to C. H. Blydenburgh. On the other side of Mrs. N Mc Crone was the property of L. Land.

1915 map showing the Monahan property that was bought by Percy Land in 1924

Surprise Party for Meta, January 1917

"Several of Mrs. Percy A. Land's friends gave her a surprise birthday party Thursday afternoon of last week. At the close of the afternoon dainty refreshments were served."

The Long Islander January 26, 1917

New Years 1920 in New York and Brooklyn

"Percy A Land enjoyed New Year's with relatives in New York and Brooklyn'

The Long Islander, January 2, 1920

Mary Land Weidenkeller and her husband were stationed at Governor's Island in January 1920. Percy's brother, Joe Land, was living in Brooklyn in 1920.

Percy Elected Assistant Chief of the Smithtown fire Department, 1921

Percy joined the Smithtown Volenteer Fire in March 1921. In December 1924 Percy Land was elected assistant Chief of the Smithtown Volunteer Fire Department.

Percy and Family with Law and Elizabeth to Toronto 1924

Smithtown - Mr. and Mrs. Percy Land and family, together with Mr and Mrs. Law Land, are enjoying a motor trip to Toronto, Canada, their former home."
The Lands lived in Toronto for about 10 years from about 1880 to about 1890. Percy was born in Toronto. Elizabeth Sykes Land had family in Canada.

To see images of this trip go to Land Family Trip to Canada 1924

Percy Land 1925

June 1, 1925, Smithtown, Percy A Land 39, born US, lumber dealer and contractor, Meta Land 37 [?], P. Amold Land 1-, M. Helen Land 15, Allen ? Land 12, Edgar L Land 9

1926 The Long Islander January 22

"Dorothy and George Coombs who have been staying with Mrs. Percy Land in order to attend high school here will rejoin their parents in Bay Shore and will attend high school there after regents week."
Why were Dorothy and George Coombs staying with the Lands?

The censuses reveal nothing that would show any connection between the Lands and Coombs. George F Combs born in New York state in 1875 was the son of Alexander, mason, and his wife, Rachel. George F Combs marred Ella. They had Rachel, Sarah (Saddie), Ella, George, Gertrude, Margaret, Georgia and Doris. The family lived in Brookhaven and George Sr. worked at the Water Company. George Jr born circa 1907 was not listed with them in the 1920 census when he would have been only 13 years old. Was this an omission or was he living somewhere else?

George Coombs graduated from the Forestry school at Syracuse the same year as Arnold Land.

1926 The Long Islander June 25

"The Phi Kappa Fraternity is planning to hold an informal dance in the Assembly Hall on Tuesday evening June 29. The patrons and patronesses are Mr. and Mrs. J. Evans Crane, Mr. and Mrs. Percy Land, Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler Germond and Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Sanford."


J. Evans Crane was the Supervisor of Smithtown in 1912. The 1920 Census indicates that J. Evans Crane was born in Iowa circa 1878. In 1920 he was living on Maple avenue and was listed as a builder and a carpenter.

Wellington Wheeler Germond. In the 1930 Census Wheeler Germond was listed as a dairy farmer on Hauppague Road in Islip. The Germond family were buried in the Methodist Church yard in Hauppauge. Hauppauge United Methodist Churchyard Smithtown, Suffolk County, Long Island, New York

In the 1920 Census Floyd R. Sanford born circa 1884 was living on Hauppauge Road in Smithtown. He was listed as a plumber. He was the husband of Constance Grace Sanford. Constance Grace was the sister of Victoria Grace Land, the wife of Percy's brother, Clarence.

1928 New York Times

"Mr. and Mrs. Percy Land of Smithtown will celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary tomorrow night with a party."

Notes of Social Activities in New York and Elsewhere — Long Island

New York Times January 17, 1928

According to the local newspapers they had a celebratory party at their house on Wednesday evening January 18th, 1928.

Long Islander, February 3, 1928

High Winds Cause Accidents

The extremely high winds with visited Long Island the latter part of the week caused two freak accidents here. The first occurred at the lumber yard run by Percy Land when the gale blew the roof from one of the large buildings and carried it to the railroad tracks near by, where it held up trains for several house while a ---- of workmen worked to remove it.

The second accident was at the Thomas Roulston Store where a plate glass window blew out shattering glass over the sidewalk.

Long Islander, April 13, 1928

" Arnold Land the son of Mr. and Mrs. Percy Land of this village has had the honor of being elected as a member of the Freshman Crew at Syracuse University where he is a student in the School of Forestry."

1928 Smithtown Phone Book

Land, Percy A, Smithtowwn Branch

1928 Smithtown Phone Book Transcriber: Kathy Then

Trips to Washington, D.C.

In the fall of 1928 and the beginning of 1929 Percy's, sister Edna Land Weidenkeller, was ill an recovering at the Walter Reed Medical Ceneter in Washington. Percy and other relatives made several trips to Washinton to visit. See Mary Edna Land Weidenkeller

Long Islander, August 30, 1929

"Mr. and Mrs. Percy Land and family have returned from an auto trip up state. Arnold Land, their son, who has been passing the summer at Cranberry Lake, N. Y. has also returned home."

1930 Census

On North Country Road, Smithtown Branch:

  • Percy A Land, head, own $15,000, age 44, married at age 22, born English Cananda, immigrated 1892, proprietor lumber
  • Meta H Land, wife, age 44, married at age 22, none
  • Arnold Land, age 21, none
  • Helen Land, age 20, none
  • Ellen Land, age 17, none
  • Edgar Land, age 15, none

May 1930

"Mrs Sarah Juergensen* returned to her home in Toronto after spending some time as the quest of her cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Percy Land."

Long Islander Friday, May 09, 1930

* The name was actually "JENKINSON".

Sarah Wright Jenkinson was the daughter of Mary Sykes and William Wright. Mary Sykes was Elizabeth Sykes' aunt. Elizabeth Sykes Land's father, George, was Mary's brother. So Sarah Wright and Elizabeth Sykes were first cousins. Elizabeth Sykes and Law Land had lived in Toronto before moving to the States and Elizabeth Sykes Land returned to Toronto several times over the years to visit her relatives. Elizabeth Sykes Land died in February 1930.

1930, Christmas the Long Islander

"Miss Helen Land and Arnold Land arrived home Saturday from Syracuse University to spend the holidays with their parents Mr. and Mrs. Percy Land"

February 1931

Meta had a reunion in Smithtown of some of her old Hoboken friends. See Meta's Friends from Hoboken


On December 18, 1931 the Smithtown Branch High School put on the Senior play "Oh Kay", a three act mystery comedy. The playbill includes an ad for Percy A Land, St James, Long Island, Tel 535, Lumber, building Materials - Complete Line Sherwin-Williams Paints

1933 Silver Wedding Anniversary


Mr. and Mr.s Percy A. Land of Smithtown celebrated their silver wedding anniversary with a family reunion last evening. Mrs. Land is the former Meta Petermann of Hoboken, N. J. Mr. Land was born in Toronto, Canada and went to Smithtown when 13 years old. Their sons and daughter are Arnold Land, Miss Helen Land, Allen Land and Edgar Land. Mr Land is a member of the Smithtown Board of Education.

Allen and Helen Have an Accident in Percy's Car, August 1934

While rushing to the scene of another automobile accident the car of Dr. Theodore Gallup, 35 of Smithtown Branch was involved in a head on collusion with a "Chrysler owned by Percy A Land" both cars were wrecked. Sr. Gallup had lacerations and a fractured ankle.

Allen Land, 21, who was driving the car received two painful cuts on his arm. Helen Land, 19, his sister, was cut on the legs and about the face. William Seaver, 26, "the third occupant" of the Chrysler Allen was driving was the most seriously injured of the three". He was taken to the hospital. None of the injuries were critical. Brooklyn Eagle and Sayville, New York August 24, 1934

Percy Land on the Smithtown School Board, 1931-1935

According to the newspaper article of 1935 Percy was on the School Board for four years. I cannot find an article about when he was first elected to the Board of Education in Smithtown. However, he was "re-elected" in August 1932. He was elected president of the board in 1934. His term expired in July 1935 and he was not re-elected.

"Percy Land Defeated

At the school meeting Tuesday evening some 500 people were present. Percy Land, president of the Board of Trustees for four years was defeated for re-election as trustee by Emil Schelp"

Long Islander, July 12, 1935

Hardware Store and Lumber Yard in St James

Percy advertised PAINT AND BUILDING MATERIALS - PAINT AND HARDWARE - Valspar - Lake Ave. St James

Meta in the Women's League, Garden Club, Bridge

Through the 1920s to the mid 1930s Mrs. Percy Land is mentioned numerous times in connection with the Ladies Auxiliary, Women's' League and Bridge Parties.

Hard Times

The Wall Street stock market crashed in October 1929 causing 12 years of economic hardship known as the Great Depression. Percy and family appeared to have weathered the beginning of the depression. They were able to send Arnold and Helen to the University of Syracuse. Arnold graduated in 1931 and Helen graduated in 1934. Family stories say Allan attended Syracuse but had to drop out for financial reasons.

Bud Land said that Percy was land rich and cash poor during the depression. Bud also said that Percy had monies owned him that he was not able to collect on.

Some articles in the local papers indicate that Percy was having financial difficulties by 1932.

September 30, 1932

Percy A Land had a lien against W. Austin Commerdinger for $250.13. In 1930 Walter Commerdinger was owner of a grocery store on Lake Ave, "Smithtown".

November 25, 1932

Percy A Land had a lien against Rachel Halpert owner and Marlyn Margolis, contractor for $53.

February 17, 1933

Percy A Land had a lien against Ruell Holding Corp., owner and Eugene Kramer, contractor for $59.33

March 24, 1933
Percy A. Land had a judgement against Michael Signorelli for $99.98

October 13, 1933
Kelley Plasterboard Co had a judgement against Percy A. Land for $131.57
April 06, 1934
Kelly Plasterboard judgement against Percy A Land satisfied for $133.92
April 20, 1934
The Sherwin Williams Co had a judgement against Percy A Land for $144.22
November 01, 1935
The Sherwin-William Co. judgement against Percy A Land was satisfied for $141.22

March 27, 1936
David P Seaman judgement against Percy A Land was satisfied for $76.10

Mary Wooler visits from Philadlphia, 1934

Mary Land Wooler (aunt Polly) visited Percy and Meta in April 1934.

Polly was Law Land's sister. She visited again in the early 1940s. There are pictures of her grand daughters with my mother and her sisters.

Arnold and Helen at Syracuse

Arnold Land and Helen Land both graduated form Syracuse. See Arnold and Helen

Percy and Meta attended the graduation of Arnold from the School of Forestry in June 1931. George Coombs of Bay Shore, who had lived with them, graduated at the same time.

Long Islander, July 35 or 36

"Mr. and Mrs. Percy Land of N. Country Road have been entertaining their son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Land of Chippawa Falls, Minn. where Mr. Land held a supervisory position of a lumber camp."
Note: I found this article on a web site that no longer comes up. It is not listed on Suffolk Historic Newspapers, MLB 5/19/11.

1940 Census

North County Road, Smithtown Branch, Land, Percy, 54, born Canada, owner lumber yard, Meta, 54, born New Jersey, Helen, daughter, 30, born New York, librarian, public Library, Edgar, son, 24, born New York, helper lumber yard

Allen age 27, and Mary age 22 were listed on Prospect Street, Smithtown Branch Ed 157 clerk grocery

1942 WWII Draft Registration

Percy A. Land, Smithtown Branch, age 56,, born Toronto, Canada, June 8, 1885, wife, Meta Land, employer, Smithtown Highway Department, Height 5'11" weight 210 brown eyes gray hair ruddy complexion

December 1945


Ralph Kaplan, proprietor of the Smithtown Pharmacy, and Percy Land, a foreman in the Smithtown Highway Department, will appear before the Smithtown Town Board this morning to give their versions of an incident which brought a stiff letter of complaint from Mr. Kaplan and a demand that charges be filed against the highway employee.

The pharmacist's letter recited remarks allegedly uttered by Mr. Land during an altercation caused by Mr. Kaplan's delay in moving his car from where he had it parked on Main Street, so that highway workers could continue with the job of removing the snow from Smithtown's principal business thoroughfare.

Mr Kaplan informed the town board that he told Mr. Land at the time that he intended to make him "eat" his words, claiming that they were not only profane and insulting, but had a pronounced racial bias. Furthermore the highway forman threatened to punch him in the nose., Mr. Kaplan declared, all because he finished waiting on a customer before going out to move his car.

Long Islander, December 28, 1945

Death of Percy Land

Percy died on May 10, 1950 in Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson. His will reads,

PERCY A. LAND, of Smithtown Branch, Suffolk county, New York, do make, publish and declare my last will and testament in manner as follows;
  1. I order that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid.
  2. I give, devise and bequeath all my real and personal property to my wife, Meta H. Land to have and to hold as long as she may live, and what is left at her death to be devided (sic) equable among my four children Arnold, Helen, Allen and Edgar.
  3. I hereby appoint my wife, Meta H. Land, executrix of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills. AND my said wife, executor shall not be required to give any security as executor. IT is my wish that she shall not be hampered in any way in the conduct of trust imposed upon her or in the settlement of my estate.
IN WITNESS (illigible word), I have hereto subscribed my name this 28th day of July 1938.

The witnesses: Arnold Land and Allen Land.

Percy A Land, Birth Date: 1885, Age at Death: 65, Death Date: 1950, Burial Place: Hauppauge, Suffolk County, New York, USA, Hauppauge Rural Cemetery

Find a Grave

Obit - May 12, 1950:

Percy A Land, born in Toronto, Canada on June 8, 1885 passed away on May 10, 1950, at the age of 64. The son of Law and Elizabeth Land, he came to Hauppauge in 1900 and was employed in the building & contracting business and later in the lumber and hardware business in St. James. In recent years he was the foreman of the Smithtown Highway Department.

He was a member of the Presbyterian Church Choir and the Smithtown Choral Society. He was also a member of the Woodmen of the World, and a former president of the Smithtown School Board, former Assistant Chief of the Smithtown Fire Department.


Percy was a man of quite unassuming value to the community, and was selected because of his ability without regard to politics for the position he held

The township of Smithtown, besides his family, suffer an irreplaceable loss."

Service on Friday May 12 at the Smithtown Presbyterian Church.

Death of Meta Petermann Land

Meta died on January 5, 1973 at age 87 in St Johnland Nursing Home, Kings Park. She was buried in the Methodist Cemetery in Hauppauge.

Her will was pretty much a form will signed on June 30, 1950 shortly after Percys death. She appointed Arnold and Helen executors of her estate. All the hosehold effects and furnishings were left to Helen. The rest of the estate was devided equally between the four children: Arnold, Helen, Allen and Bud.

Among Helen's papers was a prayer card with the Twenty-third Psalm and Meta's name and date of death printed on the top. Taped to it was the following obituary from Newsday,

Land, Meta H., on Jan. 5, 1973, age 86, of Smithtown, L.I. Beloved wife of the late Percy A. Land. Dear mother of Miss Helen Land, Arnold Land of Smithtown, Edgar Law Land of Madison, N.J., and Allen Land of Chevy Chase, Md. Also survived by 13 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Religious services Monday, 11 AM at the O. R. Davis Funeral Home, Smithtown. Interment Hauppague Rural Cemetery, Hauppague, L.I. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Organ Fund of the First Presbyterian Church of Smithtown will be appreciated.
She died at St. Johnland Nursing Home. She had been active in the Senior Women's League and the First Presbyterian Church of Smithtown and the Smithtown Garden Club. In lieu of floweres it was requested donations in her name be made to the Organ Fund of the First Presbyterian Church of Smithtown. Meta Land, born January 18, 1886, died January 1973, Suffolk County, NY. SS#090-28-1526.

The Children of Percy and Meta as Adults

Click on the photo for more information about Arnold Land Click on the photo for more information about Helen Land and for her notes on the family genealogy.

Click on the photo for more information about Allen Land Click on the photo for more information about Bud Land

The Photo Album

To view the Land photo album (which also contains the post cards), click on the tintype of Percy and Meta

If you have any suggestions, corrections, information, copies of documents, or photos that you would like to share with this page, please contact me at maggie@maggieblanck.com

Photos of Friends and Relitves of Percy and Meta Land

Photos of Law Land and Elizabeth Sykes Land

Connection to All Land Related Pages, Images of places they lived, ancestors and relatives in England, Canada, Philadelphia and much more

Law Land & Elizabeth Sykes
Clarence Land
Adelaide Land Moseley
Ethel Land Courier
Mary Edna Land Wiedenkeller
Ruth Land Wiedenkeller
Joseph Land
Norman Land
J. Berend Petermann, father of Meta Petermann
Meta Petermann
Annie Petermann Wulpern
Pictures of Smithtown
Pictures of Hauppauge
Hauppauge Field Club
Long Island Maps

If you wish to use any of the images or information on this page please feel free to do so provided that you give proper acknowledgement to this web site and include the same acknowledgments that I have made to the provenience of the image or information. Thanks, Maggie

© Maggie Land Blanck - page created 2004 - latest update, September 2020