J. P. Long, an early settler and one of the substantial citizens of Clifford township, is a native of Pennsylvania. He was born in Mercer county, February 14, 1845, and is a son of John J. and Isabel (Griffith) Long, natives of Pennsylvania, the former of Irish and the latter of English descent. In 1855, when J. P. Long was ten years of age, the family left their Pennsylvania home and went to Schuyler county, Illinois, where they made their home until 1870 when they came to Kansas. When they came from Pennsylvania to Illinois they made the trip by boat down the Alleghany and Ohio rivers and up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to La Grange. When they went from Illinois to Kansas they drove overland, crossing the Mississippi between Quincy and Hannibal when it was at flood stage; they drifted down stream in the ferryboat for a distance of seven miles, landing at Hannibal. After coming to Kansas they remained in Montgomery for a short time, and the same year came on to Butler county. John J., the father, homesteaded a government claim in Butler county in 1870, and the following year, J. P., the subject of this sketch, homesteaded a claim in Clifford township, on section 30. He immediately proceeded to make moderate improvements and built a cabin which served as his home until 1876 when he built a substantial stone house which is still his home.

Mr. Long was married in 1877, to Miss Harriet Spencer, a daughter of J. W. and Mary (Stephens) Spencer. Mrs. Long was born in Connecticut, May 10, 1858, and her parents are also natives of that State. The Spencer family came to Kansas in 1872 and settled in Clifford township, near where the Long family lived. To Mr. and Mrs. Long have been born the following children: LeRoy, born October 3, 1878, died August 21, 1879; Mary, born January 15, 1880, died February 27, 1881; John J., born April 25, 1881, farmer, Butler county; Louis L., born January 13, 1883, resides on the home place; Margaret A., born September 25, 1884, married Charles T. Edwards, Marion county; Winifred, born March 2, 1887, married D. C. Ashenfelter, Butler county; Esther M., born October 9, 1889, married H. E. Hoss, farmer, Butler county; George P., born July 9, 1891, resides on the home place, and a son born in 1894, died in infancy. The wife and mother departed this life in February, 1894.

Like many of the other early settlers of Butler county, when Mr. Long came here, his financial means were limited, and he was compelled to make every effort to get by the early years of failure. After his crops were destroyed by the grasshoppers in 1874, he spent the following winter in Joplin, Mo., where he drove a team in connection with lead and zinc mines there. He returned to his Butler county farm in the spring of 1875, and prosperity gradually came to him; and for years he has been one of the substantial and well to do farmers and stockmen of Clifford township. His farm is wil[sic] improved with good buildings and is one of the fertile and productive farms of Butler county.

During the early days on the plains, Mr. Long endured many hardships and inconveniences. At one time he was caught in a blizzard and narrowly escaped being frozen to death, but fortunately reached the home of Charles Cain in time to save his life, but was not able to continue his journey homeward until the next day. Game was plentiful when he came here, and he has hunted buffalo just west of Wichita. He went on a hunting trip there in 1872, returning in about a week with a plentiful supply of buffalo meat. He did considerable freighting between Emporia and Old Plum Grove in the early seventies. It required five days to make the round trip between these points. He would camp by thew ayside, roll himself up in his blanket, and it was not an uncommon thing to find himself completely covered with snow in the morning when he awoke.

Mr. Long was affiliated with the Democratic party for a number of years, but recent research and investigation of political policies of different parties have convinced him that the policies and principles of the Socialist party are more in harmony with his personal views. He is an extensive reader and a close observer, and has been a student of men and events all his life.


Pages 755-757,