From History of Texas Published in 1896
HON. ABEL LANDERS, prominently connected with public affairs in the early settlement of Hood county, was a native of Kentucky and reared in Tennessee, where he married Sarah Shipman. They had a family of 11 children, three of whom are now (1896) living, viz.: Christopher Lee and Robert, farmers in Erath county; and Elizabeth, wife of J.F. Nutt, one of the founders of Granbury, and now a leading merchant of this place.
Mr. Landers was reared on a farm in the early days of Tennessee and enjoyed but meager advantages for acquiring an education, but he was one of those positive and determined characters who rise in spite of adverse surroundings, and by much reading and far more observation he acquired a good stock of useful knowledge, enabling him to discern motives and press circumstances to most advantageous results.
He emigrated to Missouri about 1837 and located in Newton county, where he soon became identified with public affairs. He was first elected justice of the peace and so acceptably performed the duties of that office that he was next elected to represent his party in the legislature, and again twice re-elected, so faithful and unswerving was his fidelity to his constituents, and then elected to the state senate. In 1858 Judge Landers removed with his then large family and other relatives to Texas, settling on the west bank of the Brazos river, in what was then Johnson county. He bought a choice body of land and engaged in farming and stock-raising, and was soon after elected justice of the peace, and upon the organization of Hood county in 1867 he was elected its first county judge, serving for several years. During this period many vexed public questions came before him, which he disposed of without much regard for precedents which happened to stand in the way of reaching what he deemed just results and though the location of the county site at Granbury where it remains was most bitterly contested, yet his personal influence and efforts were so great that he succeeded in overruling all opposition and by a directness of purpose and methods of his own invention established the county site at this place in spite of several popular elections against it but finally in its favor. Subsequent events as well as public sentiment have fully attested the wisdom of his judgment.
Judge Landers was a man of the people but of great determination, often amounting to bluntness which in others would have been offensive, but not so in him. He was public-spirited; in politics a Democrat; in religion a “hard-shell” Baptist. His good wife died a few years after their arrival in Texas, and he about 1873, leaving in Hood and adjoining counties many descendants and collateral relatives besides friends of lifelong attachment who had emigrated from Missouri to Texas with him.
Source: History of Texas, 1896, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co.