Portrait: Bedford County Courthouse
HON. JACOB H. LONGENECKER, of Bedford, Pa., President Judge of the Sixteenth Judicial District, was born in Huston township, Blair County, on September 17, 1839, son of John and Elizabeth Longenecker. His paternal grandfather, David Longenecker, was a native of Lancaster County. Removing to what is now Blair County, he there engaged in farming during the remainder of his life.
Judge Longenecker received his education in the common schools and in what was then Allegheny Seminary at Rainsburg, Pa. During the latter part of his course he taught school in winter and went to school as a student in summer. Shortly after the Civil War broke out he left everything and enlisted in Company D of the One Hundred and First Pennsylvania Regiment. Upon the organization of the regiment he was made Sergeant-major. After a considerable period of service in that capacity, he was made Second Lieutenant, and still later Adjutant of the regiment. He fought at Williamsburg and Fair Oaks, in the seven days' campaign with McClellan, in the retreat across the Peninsula, and in skirmishes in the neighborhood of Suffolk, Va. He was subsequently in the campaign of General Foster into the interior of North Carolina; also in the battles of Kinston and Goldsboro, and in a number of minor engagements in the eastern part of the State. Taken prisoner with his command at the siege of Plymouth on April 20, 1864, he was sent successively to Andersonville, Ga., Macon, Ga., Savannah, Ga., Charleston, Columbia, S.C., and Charlotte, N.C. At the last-named place he managed to escape, but his liberty was of short duration. He was recaptured, and was sent toWilmington, N.C., where, on March 1, 1865, he was exchanged. Coming to Annapolis he there received, on March 14, an honorable discharge, under an order of the War Department, owing to the reduction in numbers of the command. Shortly after his return home he became a student in the law office of the Hon. Samuel Steele Blair, of Hollidaysburg, and after some time spent there he entered the Albany Law School, from which he was graduated in 1866, and was admitted to the bar of New York State. Returning to Pennsylvania, he formed a partnership with Hon. Samuel L. Russell, at Bedford, under the firm name of Russell & Longenecker, that continued from April 1, 1867, to September, 1891, when the death of the senior partner caused its dissolution. This firm had an extensive practice and did a large amount of important business. Judge Longenecker was elected to his present official position on November 6, 1891, and his term began on the first Monday in January of the succeeding year. He had previously held a number of important political offices. In 1869 and 1870 he occupied a seat in the legislature, where he served on the judiciary and other committees. For some years he was a member of the Town Council and School Director. In 1882 he was elected to the Pennsylvania Senate, and served on the Judiciary Committee of that body and on other important committees. From February, 1877, to November, 1890, he filled the position of Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth; and from the last-named date to January 20, 1891, he was Secretary of the Commonwealth. The Judge was one of the organizers and the first vice-president of the First National Bank of Bedford. Judge Longenecker married Nannie Rebecca, daughter of Hon. Samuel L. Russell, and has three sons - Samuel R., Ralph, and Charles.
He died September 23, 1916, Bedford County.