JACOB W. LONGFELLOW. - A widely known and highly respected citizen of Wyandotte county, Kansas, Jacob W. Longfellow, of Bonner Springs, has filled various offices of trust, and has been an important factor in advancing the business and agricultural interests of this section of the state. Coming from substantial New England stock on both sides of the house, he was born May 2, 1841, in Aroostook county, Maine.
Charles Longfellow, his father, was born in Washington county, Maine, May 28, 1812, and was there a tiller of the soil during his earlier life. Migrating with his family to Kansas in 1855, he took up a land claim in Douglas county prior to the running of lines. He afterwards got a clear title to the land, and on the fine farm which he improved from its original wildness carried on general farming, making a specialty of raising cattle and wheat. During his early residence in that state, he took part in the exciting scenes that occurred, and during the border troubles was one of the volunteers that crossed the line into Missouri in order to prevent General Price from entering Kansas, and while thus employed had a hair-breadth escape from death, his horse being shot from under him. He lived to a venerable age, dying on his home farm in Douglas county, Kansas, in 1909. He was a stanch Republican in politics, and although frequently solicited to accept public office persistently refused all such honors, preferring to devote his time and attention to his farm and his family. He married Mary Day, who was born in Washington county, Maine, and died on the home farm in 1896. They were the parents of six children, namely: Mrs. Lucy F. Dougherty, of Douglas county, Kansas; Daniel P., who was killed in the army; Jacob W., the special subject of this sketch; Mrs. Augusta A. Dunn, living in Southington, Connecticut; Leonard N., of Greenwood county; and Mrs. Sadie A. Albaugh, of San Antonio, Texas.
Spending his boyhood days on the home farm, Jacob W. Longfellow became familiar with the three "r's" in the district schools of Aroostook county, Maine, and after coming with his parents to Kansas, in 1857, attended the public schools of Lawrence. Soon after the breaking out of the Civil war, ere attaining his majority, he enlisted in Company D, Second Kansas Volunteer Infantry, which saw active service in southwest Missouri, and at the battle of Wilson Creek he was wounded. Returning home at the close of the war, Mr. Longfellow assisted on the farm for a time, afterward being engaged in the transfer business at Lawrence, Kansas, for a few years. Coming from there to Kansas City, Kansas, he was for seventeen years connected with a large wholesale grocery.
In 1896 Mr. Longfellow was elected sheriff of Wyandotte county, and after holding the office four years settled on his farm near Bonner Springs, and was there pleasantly and profitably employed in the care of his three hundred and twenty acres of land until 1910. Disposing then of his estate, he moved to Bonner Springs, where he has since lived retired from active business responsibilities. A Republican in politics, he is interested in local affairs and is an ardent supporter of beneficial enterprises. In the spring of 1911 he was a candidate, on the Citizens' ticket, for mayor of Bonner Springs.
On November 8, 1866, Mr. Longfellow was united in marriage with Sarah A. Davis, of Illinois, and to them five children have been born, namely: Charles I., of Kansas City, Kansas; Jacob H., of Los Angeles, California; Fred D., of Kansas City, Kansas; Harry S., of Long Beach, California; and Stella, who died in infancy. An adopted daughter, Mrs. Lena S. Platter, is living in Colorado, near Steamboat Springs.
Mr. Longfellow stands high in the Masonic order, in which he has taken the thirty-second degree. He is a member and past master of the Blue Lodge; a member and past high priest of Wyandotte Chapter, No. 6, Royal Arch Masons, of Kansas City, Kansas; a member and past eminent commander of Ivanhoe Commandery, No. 21, Knights Templar, of Kansas City, Kansas; and belongs to Abdallah Temple, A. O. N. M. S., of Leavenworth, Kansas.
Mr. Longfellow of this sketch is a second cousin of the famous poet, Henry W. Longfellow.
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