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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM H. LONGSDORFF, M.D., a successful practitioner of the medical profession, an honored veteran of the Civil war, a progressive and public-spirited citizen, of Camp Hill, Cumberland county, was born in that county March 24, 1834, of German descent.

Henry Longsdorff, his grandfather, came in an early day from Germany, locating in Cumberland county, Pa., on land two miles west of Mechanicsburg, purchased from the William Penn estate.

Adam Longsdorff, son of Henry, was born in Silver Spring township, Cumberland county. His educational advantages were limited, and on reaching manhood he engaged in farming in his native township. In 1844 he was elected sheriff of the county, serving three years. Returning to Silver Spring township at the close of his term of office, he died at the age of fifty-one years, just six months afterward. He married Mary Senseman, who was born in Cumberland county, daughter of John and Hannah Senseman, and of the children born of this union only Dr. William H. is yet living. The mother died at the age of eighty-five years.

William H. Longsdorff remained on the old homestead in Silver Spring township until he was fifteen, except during his father’s term as sheriff, when the family lived in Carlisle. He entered Dickinson College, and at the end of three years’ study there, having determined to enter the medical profession, he placed himself under the instruction of Dr. Dale. In 1856 he was graduated from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, and in 1857 from the Pennsylvania Dental School. His first location for the practice of medicine was in Bellevue, Neb., but after about a year there he went to Denver, Colo., then a mere hamlet of three or four cabins and less than fifty men. He spent something like a year and a half practicing medicine and prospecting, and then returned to Cumberland county. In August, 1861, he became first lieutenant of Company I, 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry, and was afterward promoted until he attained the rank of major. He was discharged Jan. 19, 1864, with both legs broken at the ankles. During his enlistment the Doctor participated in some eighty engagements, among them being the hard-fought battles of Perryville, Ky., and Chickamauga, Ga. Returning to Cumberland county after his discharge, he entered upon a general practice of his profession, and built up a large clientele, continuing thus actively engaged until 1881, when he was elected county treasurer for a term of three years. When he went out of office he located in Carlisle, where he soon reached the front rank of successful physicians. In 1897 he made a lengthy visit to the New England States, and on his return to Pennsylvania located at Camp Hill. The following year he erected his present comfortable residence, where he and his family dispense a liberal hospitality.

On April 7, 1857, Dr. Longsdorff was married to Lydia R. Haverstick, daughter of Benjamin and Lydia (Mylin) Haverstick, old settlers of Cumberland county. To this union came the following children: Harold H., a physician practicing in Penn township; Ernest, who died in 1881, aged twenty-one years; Zatae L., who is married to Dr. A. G. Straw, and living in Manchester, N. H., where she is practicing her profession, having graduated at the Woman’s Medical College in 1890; Hildegarde H., of Carlisle, where she is practicing medicine, having graduated at the Woman’s Medical College in 1891; Jessica W. D., who also took a course in medicine, now married to Rev. H. R. Bozorth, and living in Downingtown, Pa.; and Persis M., who is married to E. W. Sipple and living in Montrose, Susquehanna county. All of the children graduated from Dickinson College, where all alike were distinguished for their high grade of scholarship. All are members of the Presbyterian Church. Politically Dr. Longsdorff has always been an uncompromising Democrat, and it was as a representative of that party that he was elected treasurer, an office he filled with such signal ability that he won high praise from men of all parties. He has also served as township auditor and school director. Whatever responsibility he accepts, he endeavors faithfully to shoulder it well, and he is one of the most useful citizens in his town.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

View additional Cumberland County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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