Renowned geologist and husband of Seattle’s one and only female mayor, Henry Landes was born in Carroll County, Illinois, in 1868. He earned two B.A. Degrees, one from the University of Indiana and the other from Harvard, where he also earned his Masters Degree in 1893. While attending the University of Illinois, he met history and political science student Bertha Knight, whom he later married.
In 1895, the newlyweds moved to Seattle, where Henry would work as a professor of geology at the University of Washington. He went on to become the University of Washington Geology Department Chairman. In 1901, legislature established the State Geological Survey and chose Professor Landes as our first state geologist. From 1907 to 1908, he served as the first president of the Mountaineers, an outdoor recreation club. From 1914 to 1915, he served as president (acting) of the University of Washington.
Meanwhile, the mother of his three children ran the household, headed several women’s groups, and got involved in local civic affairs. When commenting about his wife’s decision to run for City Council in 1922, Landes remarked, “…in principle, there’s no difference between running one home and a hundred thousand.” When his wife was elected mayor of Seattle in 1926, she became the first woman to head the government of a large American city.
After serving as president of University of Washington, Landes became the dean of the College of Science, where he remained until 1934, when he became vice dean of University College. Landes was leading a geology study tour in Asia when he became ill. He died in Seattle on August 23, 1936. His final resting place is marked by a large boulder, fitting for a dedicated geologist, at Memory Glen in Evergreen Washelli’s Memorial Park.