Edward J. Lander came to Grand Forks in 1883 and shortly after his arrival founded E. J. Lander & Co. This business dealt with land investments, mortgage loans, and property management. Lander also had large stock holdings in the Grand Forks Transportation Company, the Western Investment Company, and the Shaw Poster Advertising Company. He was a founder of the Grand Forks Building & Loan Association as well as the Grand Forks Commercial Club, the forerunner of the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce. Lander was very active in civic affairs, including the Metropolitan Opera House, the Oratorio Society, the Fair association, the Red River Valley Immigration Bureau, the Pioneer Club, and the Kiwanis. He was an avid gardener who grew prize-winning flowers.
Edward J. Lander married Jessie King Krause in 1894. The couple had one son, Miles, who married Mariam Yoder in 1948. Miles and Mariam had two sons, Edward and Robert. Upon Robert’s death on 23 December 2015, the E.J. Lander Papers became available for public inspection.