Charles D. Long biography

CHARLES D. LONG, county and district clerk of Haskell county, Texas, was born near Statesville, Iredell county, North Carolina, January 15, 1862. The Longs are of English origins. William Long, the grandfather of Charles D., moved from Virginia to North Carolina, where he operated a large plantation and owned many slaves, and where he spent the rest of his life. He died in that state in the spring of 1884, at the age of ninety-six years. His second wife was a Robinson, a native of North Carolina. The maternal grandmother was an aunt of Adli [Adlai] H. Stephenson [Stevenson], ex-vice-president of the United States. She married John Neill. Thomas S. Long, son of William and father of Charles D., was born in Catawba county, North Carolina. He was the owner of Long’s Ferry on the Catawba river, a few miles above what was known as Old Bealty’s Ford. Like his father, he became the owner of the ferry in connection with farming operations. At the age of twenty-one he married in Iredell county, Miss Rosana Camilla Neill, a native of the same county and a daughter of John Neill. The Neills were of Scotch origin and were early settlers of North Carolina. Both John Neill and William Long were saddlers by trade and worked at the same when young men, making their start in life in that way. In Thomas S. Long’s family were then children, the eldest and the youngest being daughters. Most of them are still living and are widely scattered: J. W. C. Long resides in Statesville, North Carolina, of which town he is postmaster; Mrs. Mollie J. Blackwelder, Hickory, Catawba county, North Carolina; T. W. Long, M. D., Newton, North Carolina; A. P. Long, Chamberlin, South Dakota, where he is engaged in the cattle business; C. D. Long, the subject of this sketch; Andrew T. Long, a First Lieutenant in the United States navy, at present on the cruiser Dolphin; Frank J. Long, general manager of a large carriage factory at Birmingham, Alabama; L. S. Long, deceased, formerly a resident of Haskell, Texas; and Gretta N. Long, of Catawaba county, North Carolina. The parents of this family died in 1884, the father at the age of fifty-two and the mother at fifty-four years.

Charles D. Long was reared a farmer boy. When he was about twelve years old the family moved across the Catawba river into Catawba county, near a little town of the same name. He received his early education in a log school house and later for a time attended Rutherford College in Burk county, North Carolina. At the age of twenty he came to Texas, landing in January, 1883, at Abilene, then a new town composed largely of tents. From there he came to what was then known as the L. I. L. ranch, owned by M. O. Lynn, on the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos river, in what is now Haskell county. There young Long procured work on the ranch at twenty-five dollars a month. Among the cowboys there at the time were Polk Berryhill, the “boss” of the ranch; Bob and Frank Wilfong, John Lynch, John Humphries, M. S. Shook, Bud and Charlie Jowell, Luke Lynn and a number of others, usually twenty-five to forty men. Mr. Long remained with Mr. Lynn that year and later bought a bunch of cattle. Afterward leaving the cattle with others on the ranch, he made a trip into Mexico in a company with Pat Saunders, with a herd of cattle owned by Saunders, with Jack Bess as “trail boss,” there being in the party thirteen all told. On his return to Texas Mr. Long resumed work on the Lynn ranch and remained there as long as he was in the cattle business. During this time he saved his wages and invested the same in cattle, accumulating a bunch of two hundred head, which he sold in the spring of 1886 before quitting the L. I. L. ranch.

In the meantime, on the 13th day of January, 1885, Haskell county was organized. Mr. Long assisted in the organization and at the election in 1888 he was chosen clerk. The first mail route established here was from Albany to Haskell, with two deliveries a week. This was in 1884. In the winter of 1886-7 a daily line was established from Haskell to Anson and connected them with the line over to Abilene, while the Albany-Hassell route was discontinued. Mr. Long, on the establishing of this daily line, drove the stage from Haskell to Anson, and made the round trip every day for twelve months. At the end of this time he was elected county and district clerk of Haskell county. He served two years, from November, 1888. At the following election by J. L. Jones by six votes. After this Mr. Long was engaged as assistant bookkeeper in the state treasurer’s office at Austin, where he remained until, in 1893, under President Cleveland, he received the appointment of postmaster at Haskell. Under McKinley’s administration he was succeeded by Captain B. H. Dodson and was retained as his deputy. On leaving the post office Mr. Long engaged in farming on land of his own on Wild Horse Prairie, which he called “Lone Hackberry” from which a tree of that name on it and which is still standing, it being the only natural growth tree on that prairie. In November, 1900, he was again elected to the office of county and district clerk, the position he now fills.

It is shown by the above that Mr. Long has been in close touch with the affairs of Haskell county since before it was a county, and in social as well as business circles he has figured prominently. He was made a Mason at Haskell in March, 1889, and has since advanced through the various degrees of the order up to and including the Mystic Shrine. Also he belongs to the Odd Fellows, having filled every chair in the subordinate lodge of that order, and he is a Knight of Pythias and a Woodman of the World. Since 1893 he has been identified with the Methodist Church.

Mr. Long was married in Haskell, September 1, 1886, to Miss Addie Rogers, a native of Tarrant county, Texas. At the same time and place were married their most intimate friends, W. B. Anthony, now receiver in the Land Office at Austin, and Miss Mollie J. Hills, the ceremonies being performed by J. H. Wiseman, a young Methodist preacher who has since become prominent as a minister in western Texas. The cause of the double wedding was the four contracting parties did their courting in the same room and asked for their wives’ hands in marriage at the same time and place. The minister made a joint marriage; all parties standing up before him at the same time. Mr. and Mrs. Long have had six children, three sons and three daughters, namely: Werther B., Charles Buford, Roger Neill (deceased), Effie N., Burnice A. and Mary. They also have an adopted child, Brevard S., a son of Mr. Long’s deceased brother, L. S. Long, whose wife died shortly after his death, and they took him into their home when he was eighteen months old.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 533-534.