By Esther DeAguero Welp

Last edited in 2010

[Jacob] “Beard was certain that George Long knew more about this section of the country than any other man. I have often asked questions with a view to puzzling Mr. Long’s memory but never succeeded in doing so. When did I come here, when did others come, how we come; he answered every question of any series correctly and gave correct dates. If you had desired full history of this country during Long’s lifetime he could have given it all.” George Long File: Miscellaneous Manuscripts at The Trinidad Museum

For many months, I have thought about including the Long family in the Century Families of Las Animas County, Colorado. To write about them is not an easy task for me for I am well aware of the political controversy regarding the Taos Rebellion, but I feel the story of the Long family needs to be told.

To my deep regret, I did not grow up speaking Spanish. My father wanted us to excel in school and not go through what he went through as a young orphaned boy in Colorado. As a small child my memory drifts back to family gatherings at my grandmother Esther Long Kimball’s home, and visits to my aunt Bernice Long Simpson in Sopris, Colorado and in Pilar in Northern New Mexico, in the warmth of aunt Marina Romero’s colonial kitchen, by flickering kerosene lanterns, soft murmurs of spoken Spanish and laughter of wonderful stories that were told. I was on the fringe of my own culture and did not realize the rich wonderful heritage I was losing out on.

In 1977, prior to a move to Darmstadt, Germany, my husband and I took our children to the Trinidad Museum. For the very first time, I saw photographs of my great-great grandparents, George Horace Long and Juana Maria deHerrera. I also purchased three books, “Trinidad, Colorado Territory”, by Morris Taylor, “Bent’s Fort”, by David Lavender and “Out of the Depths”, by Barron Beshoar, and my long journey began.

George Horace Long was the son of Benjamin Long and Sarah Eddins who were married on December 10, 1804 in Madison County, Virginia. Both parents were descendents of early colonial families of Virginia. George Horace Long was born in Madison County, Va. in 1805. The family followed their pastor and their church to Kentucky where George was raised; and, in 1833 just prior to the westward expansion, he arrived with a pack train from Kentucky with William Sublette; and it was in the pristine beauty of Taos that George Horace Long decided to make his home; and on the 1st of January 1840, he took Juana Maria de Herrera as his bride.

According to “Origins of Colonial Families of New Mexico”, by Fra. Anjelico Chavez; the following paragraph appears on page 424:

“George Lony (Long), a stranger, married Juana Maria Herrera, March 9, 1840, M-40, Taos). He had been previously baptized on Jan.1, as “Jorge, formerly Oracio” (Horace) 34 years old and a native of the “City of Kintoque,” the son of Benjamin Lony and Sara Evern (B-51 Taos).”

Our subsequent research has revealed a previous marriage for Juana Maria deHerrera; Reel 32, AAST, Frame 0945; Jose Maria Valdez (b. 1 Sept 1814 in Ranchos de Taos; d. 3 Apr 1838) m. Juana Maria Herrera (b. 12 Jan 1821, Santa Fe; d. unk.) at the church in Taos on 18 June 1836, daughter of Juan Anacleto Herrera (b. 1 May 1789 in Santa Fe, d. unk.) and Encarnation Cordoba (b. 26 March 1798, Santa Cruz, d. unk.).

Jose Maria and Juana Maria Valdez, had a son named:

Jose Gabriel Valdez, (b. 1837, d. unk. Taos in GHL family in 1850 NM Census as a 13 year old)

George Horace Long became prominent in the official life of the prefecture of Taos. In 1840, records list his occupation as a vinatero (distiller) a tavern keeper and an American citizen and by 1846, he is referred to as a naturalized Mexican citizen. In 1847 two American soldiers visited him with information that the American forces were coming to invade the Territory. He informed his friend, Governor Charles Bent of the information. As history has shown, within a few weeks Governor Charles Bent was scalped and many American and Spanish citizens who had befriended the Americans were killed by an angry mob protesting American rule. According to Long family tradition, George Horace Long hid in a horno (outdoor oven) during the killing. After the rebellion George Horace Long was one of the Taos citizens who was on the Grand Jury trying those charged with crimes leading to and during the uprising. After the insurrection George Horace Long purchased Simeon Turley’s Mill in Taos and remained there until the move to Long’s Canyon, now submerged under Trinidad Lake, which was formed when the Purgatory River was dammed to create a water reservoir for the city.

About the first of April of 1861, George Horace Long and his wife, Juana Maria deHerrera and their children along with an entourage of several families from Taos (Aragon, Arguello, Bent, Garcia, Labbe, LaCroix [LaCrue], Mitotes, Moguez [Teofilo Moguez, a sixteen year old boy was also a godson to George Long] Montoya, Ocana, Sanchez, Suazo, Tafoya, Trujillo, Valdez and Vigil), came to the Valley of the Purgatorie and settled six miles above Trinidad at the mouth of what became known as Longs Canyon (Longsdale).

George “Oracio” Long was physically and mentally active during his lifetime; it is not surprising that he was influential in the political life of Las Animas County and in 1866 became the first Probate Judge of that county. And in 1874 George Horace Long, his son-in-law, George W. Thompson and Daniel Taylor incorporated the Trinidad and San Juan Wagon Road Company.

George Horace Long was an adventurer during his lifetime; he bridged two cultures by becoming a Mexican citizen during Mexican rule and establishing a home and family with Juana Maria. He was fluent in Spanish and it is evident he was at home in both cultures. When New Mexico became a territory in 1850, he again aligned himself with his country of birth and became active with the new government. He was born in the beautiful countryside of Virginia and raised in Kentucky. He lived during an exciting and turbulent time in Taos and upon his move to Trinidad he lived continuously on his ranch at the Mouth of Long’s Canyon until his death, that occurred March 28, 1876, in the beautiful mountains around Trinidad, among his family and friends. It is not known when Juana Maria died.

The Long family has been a part of Trinidad and surrounding areas since 1861. To this day, there are descendents of George Horace Long and Juana Maria deHerrera who still live in Trinidad. One would be his great-grand grandson, Carlos Arthur Long, who is descended from Jose Emanuel de la Luz Long, the son of George and Juana Maria Long and Maria Crescencia Martinez [the daughter of Jose Leonides Martin (b. 8 Aug 1840, in Taos; d. 8 Jan 1860 in Taos, Territory of NM and Maria de la Luz Trujillo (Galvez)]; b. 4 February 1846 in Taos; d. unk.). Other descendents live throughout Colorado and in Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Washington and Canada, Budapest, Hungary, and Hawaii.

The children of George and Juana Maria Long are as follows:

Julian Sostemos Long, b. 26 April 1837, bap. 6 Dec 1840, Taos*, d. 7 May 1847, Taos

Carlos Long, bapt. 4 June 1842*, Taos; d. 1842

Maria Guadalupe, bapt. 3 Nov 1843*, d. 22 July 1908; bur Trinidad Catholic Cem.
1st m. Alfredo Bent*** 13 Aug 1857 in Taos, Territory of NM, b. 2 Feb 1837, murdered; 9 Dec 1865 (by a man called “Greek George” aka George Constintine born in Greece but lived in Smyrna, Turkey; Santa Fe New Mexican; Dec 22, 1865). Alfredo was the son of Gov. Charles Bent and Ignacia Jaramillo.

2nd m. George W. Thompson, 14 January 1867 in Taos, Territory of NM*** b. 12 December 1837; d. 31 Aug. 1910; bur. Trinidad Masonic Cem.

Jorge Long, bapt. 13 June 1846, Taos*; d. 5 July 1926; bur. Longs Canyon Community Cemetery; re-interred in Carpios-Longsdale Cem. Trinidad, Co.
1st m. Maria Martin, on 26 Dec 1866, Trinidad, Co****
2nd m. Agapita Fernandez, abt. 1873 in Taos, Territory of NM**
3rd m. Mollie (Mary E.) Thompson Walden on 17 Apr. 1883; b. 1860, Benton Ark.*****; d. before 1898
4th m. Louisita, in 1908**

Jose Emmanuel de la Luz Long, bapt. 1 Jan 1852*, Taos Territory of NM, d. 14 April 1928 in Bear Canyon, Co, bur. in Longs Canyon Cem and re-interred in Carpios-Longsdale Cem.
m. Maria Crecencia Martinez, 16 November 1874 at the Mouth of Longs Canyon, Co.; b. 1862 in Taos; d. 16 Aug 1927, St. Thomas, Co, bur. Longs Canyon Cem; re-interred in Carpios-Longsdale Cem. *

Maria Serafina Long, b. 7 Jan 1853, Taos, Territory of NM; * d. 12 Sep 1925, bur. Calvery Cemetery, in Los Angeles, Ca.
m. Jose Merced Simpson, b. 24 Sep. 1850, Ft. Barclay, Territory of NM; murdered; Dec. 1890 in Riley’s Canyon; bur. Long Family Cemetery re-interred Carpios-Longsdale Cem. son of George Semmes Simpson and Juana Suaso.

Maria Benseibel Long, bapt. 13 Aug 1857, Taos, Territory of NM*

Abel Long, b. 1859, Territory of NM**

Benito Long, b. 4 June 1855, Territory of NM, * d. 8 Jan 1928; bur. Longs Canyon Cem. Re-interred in Carpios-Longsdale Cem. Trinidad, Co.
m. Margarita Ritz*****, b. abt 1873, d. 15 Feb 1928, Trinidad, Co

Ambrocio Long, b. 1856, d. 16 Aug. 1927 Trinidad, Co; Wyoming, Albany; 1900 Census lists Ambrosia as a sheepherder. **

Maria Rebecca Long, b. 1 Jan 1867, in Trinidad, Co; entered the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati on 20 July 1883 as Sr. Mary Cornelia, SC; d. 3 Dec 1906 in Cincinnati, Oh; bur. At Mt. St. Joseph on the Ohio – Section A; Row 3; Grave 39W. Archivist, Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, dated; 8 Jan 2007.

**Source – calculated from U. S. Census records
***Taos Marriages Book 1. Jan 1848 to Jan 26, 1885
****Holy Trinity Baptismal Registry
*****Holy Trinity Marriage Registry; Court House Records

The research on the history of the Long family was obtained through seven of the Long family descendents, who are: Diane Barnes, Jan Brannon, Carlos Long, Catheryn Valenzuela, Laurel Webb, wife of Mike, my brother Michael DeAguero and myself and especially to our late mother, Catherine Kimball. Since I started this project we have been in contact with four more Long descendents. Because of time and chance that separated our families so many years ago, we have been able to bridge that distance for a common goal, through a modern tool, the Internet and most recently DNA.
Esther DeAguero Welp