Lee County Biography



For many years Lafayette Long has been closely and prominently connected with agricultural interests of Lee county and is today the owner of a fine farm of two hundred acres on sections 24 and 18, May township. He was born upon a farm about one mile from his present place of residence April 29, 1849, and is a son of John E. and Elizabeth (Moore) Long, the former of whom came from Pennsylvania in 1846 and settled on a farm in May township. He was a pioneer in that locality and upon his arrival found nothing but a wilderness of prairie land. He broke and cultivated the tract which he took up and became in the course of years one of the best known and most highly respected residents of the locality. He died May 7, 1889, at the age of sixty-seven, and was long survived by his wife, who passed away September 23, 1913, being over eighty-eight years of age. She lived to be one of the oldest white women in that part of Lee county.

She and her husband were married in Pennsylvania, March 6, 1815, and became the parents of six children: Austin, who died in infancy; Mary, now the wife of R.L. Smith, of Fort Williams, Canada; Lafayette, the subject of this review; Lucinda, who died in infancy; James M., who passed away January 11, 1886, at the age of thirty-three years; and Joseph W., whose death occurred May 9, 1887, when he was thirty-one years of age.

Lafayette Long acquired his education in district school, attending until he was twenty years of age. He afterward worked as a monthly laborer for six years and at the end of that time purchased one hundred and sixty acres of his present farm. He has since added to this and has now two hundred acres, lying on sections 21 and 18, May township. He engages in mixed farming, raising grain and keeping forty head of cattle and a number of horses and hogs.

Mr. Long is a republican in his political beliefs and is connected fraternally with the Masonic lodge and chapter. The success which he has attained in his farming operations is entirely due to his own industry and enterprise and places him among the men of prominence and worth in his locality.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.



The consensus of public opinion places William P. Long among the leading and representative citizens of Amboy, where he is engaged in the live-stock business with stock yards near the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. He has here been located since 1906, and is a well known factor in the business circles of this part of the county. For almost sixty years Mr. Long has resided in Lee county, having been brought to the west during his infancy. He was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, August 15, 1852, and comes of Scotch-Irish ancestry, his parents being James L. and Margaret J. (Blair) Long. The father brought his family to Lee county in 1854, settling on a farm in Sublette township, when the land could be purchased at a dollar and a quarter per acre. The price indicates its condition, not a furrow having been turned or an improvement made upon the tracts which could be bought at that price. Mr. Long, however, soon converted his farm into rich and productive fields and became known as one of the prominent men of his county. He took an active interest in all measures relating to the public good and his labors were far-reaching and beneficial. At the time of the Civil war he aided in soliciting for bounty. He died in 1871 at the ago of forty-five years and was buried in the Peterson graveyard in Sublette township. The mother now resides with her son, William, at the advanced age of eighty-three years. It was while assisting a friend to drive hogs into a car on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad that Mr. Long fell between the cars and Was killed. In his death the community lost one of its worthy and representative citizens, who is yet remembered by the older settlers.

Through much of the period of his boyhood and youth William P. Long spent the winter seasons attending the district schools and throughout the remainder of the year he assisted in the farm work. Being the only son of the family, he took charge of the farm following his father's death and for a long period successfully carried on agricultural pursuits.

He is still the owner of valuable farming property including about four hundred acres. That his methods of developing his crops were practical is indicated in the generous harvest which he gathered and which returned to him a gratifying annual income. Mr. Long, since coming to Amboy in 1906, has been engaged in the live-stock business and annually handles a large amount of stock, shipping many carloads from this point each month. he is one of the directors and stockholders of the Lee County Fair Association and has done much to stimulate pride among the farmers and stock-raisers of the county in holding before them high ideals of their work and showing them what can be accomplished both in tilling the soil and in raising fine stock.

Mr. Long was married in Sublette, Illinois, May 1, 1878, to Miss Ellie M, Ayres, a daughter of Henry and Anna Ayres, pioneer farming people of the county, who have now passed away. Mrs. Long died May 30, 1908, leaving two children: Joe, a civil engineer residing in Springfield. Illinois; and Leon R., a mining engineer now in Ecuador, South America, where he is engaged in railroad construction. Mr. Long is well known as a representative of the Masonic fraternity, holding membership with the Lodge and Chapter of Amboy. In politics he is a republican and is serving as road commissioner of Amboy township. His position upon any vital question, political or otherwise, is never an equivocal one. Ho stands fearlessly for what he believes to be right and as the years go on his worth as a public-spirited man and one whose labors are of practical value is more and more widely acknowledged.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.

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