Biography - Isaac Longenbach

ISAAC LONGENBACH. It is something to climb the white summit of life where one can look over the far reaching years that span so much of — feeling shall we say? — the feeling of intense gladness or sorrow that the youth experiences, the modified pleasure or pain of middle life and the retrospective of old age. It seems to Mr. Longenbach, about whom this sketch is written, that his seventy years are a panorama spread out before him, picturing, not only his own life, but the events that are making history. Located comfortably on his farm on section 20, Pickaway Township, Shelby County, he is enjoying the autumn sunset of life. Universally esteemed, his friends will notice with pleasure his portrait on the opposite page and will read with interest the following paragraphs.

The gentleman of whom we write belongs to a family whose interests are closely identified with the pioneer history of Ohio and Illinois. His grandfather, Balsom Longenbach, came to this country in the early part of the present century and settled in Somerset County, Pa., where he spent the remainder of his life, passing away while yet in middle age. Before leaving Germany, which was his native land, our subject's grandfather had married a German lady, who died at an advanced age in Pennsylvania. Our subject's father, Jacob Longenbach, was a native of Pennsylvania and was one of a large family. He spent his early years as a frontiersman and was a soldier in the War of 1812, serving as a scout for the Continentals. He was thrown among the Indians a great deal and learned their language and habits. While acting as a scout he had to hide in the timber and lived on acorns and roots for days at a time. Later he became a farmer and was united in marriage with Miss Eleanore Shope, a native, like himself, of Pennsylvania, but of Irish parentage.

After marriage Jacob Longenbach and his wife removed to Fairfield County, Ohio, at a very early day, cutting the timber off the land where the city of Lancaster now stands; there they lived for a long time in the woods and among the Indians. He finally sold his place and moved into the wilds of Pickaway County, Ohio, where they purchased and improved one hundred and sixty acres of wild woodland. Later the family sold this place and purchased a second farm in the same locality, where the father spent his last years, dying when about sixty-two years of age, about 1835. His wife survived him many years, passing away on the old farm in Pickaway County, Ohio, after reaching three-score years and ten. She was a good woman and a loving helpmate.

Our subject is the youngest of eight children, six sons and two daughters, who all lived to be men and women with families of their own. Our subject and one brother, Solomon, now a retired farmer in Nevada, Mo., who has reached the age of seventy-three years, are the veterans of the family, although other members of the family have lived to a good old age. Mr. Longenbach, the subject of this notice, was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, December 17, 1821, and was reared to manhood in his native place, where he celebrated his majority.

Isaac Longenbach set up a home for himself in 1852, making mistress of it Elizabeth Cole. The lady, like her husband, is a native of Pickaway County, Ohio, being there born in 1835. She is a daughter of Richard and Hannah (Burwell) Cole, natives of Pickaway County, Ohio, but come, it is thought, of Scotch ancestry. When quite advanced in years Mrs. Longenbach's parents came to Shelby County, and here Mrs. Cole died at the age of seventy years. Later Mr. Cole died while making his home with his daughter in South Dakota, at seventy-six years of age. Both were members of the Methodist Church.

After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Longenbach made their home for a few years in Pickaway County, Ohio, whence, in 1856, they removed to Illinois, coming hither by teams and camping out on the way. They located in Pickaway Township, where Mr. Longenbach pre-empted a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 20. The land was entirely unbroken, and here our subject and his wife began their pioneer experience, and here have ever since made their home. Mr. Longenbach has since added to his purchase and has erected good buildings upon his land. He has made a comfortable fortune by hard work and wise investments.

Mrs. Longenbach died at their home February 27, 1873, being then in the prime of life. She was a member of the German Reformed Church, a true wife and a kind neighbor. She was the mother of ten children, of whom the following are yet living: Jacob, Mary E., Eliza A., Sarah J., Agnes A., A. Lincoln, Isaac W. and Emma H. Jacob look to wife Nancy Schwartz; they own and reside on a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in this township. Mary is the wife of John Pinkston, a farmer and landowner in this township. Eliza married Edward Mathias and they live on and own a farm here. Sarah is the wife of Franklin Shride; they are fanners here also. Agnes is the wife of Matison Stivison; they own one hundred acres of land in Todd's Point Township. A. Lincoln took to wife Ellen Neal and is a farmer in this township. Isaac, whose wife was Hattie Brinke, is also a farmer in this township. Emma H. is the wife of Andrew Fletcher Shride; they make their home on Mr. Longenbach's farm.

Our subject is a Republican in his political preference, having been an adherent, of that party since Lincoln's time, and having supported the Union in its hours of adversity by influence and means. He has filled almost all the local offices in the gift of the township, and is honored by all who know him.

Extracted 27 Sep 2020 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 720-722.

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