JOHN W. LONG.
If it be true and we have good authority for it being a fact that one's environment has an influence upon character,
then the men who have had the fortune to pass their lives in the midst of the movements which have brought about
the rapid development of this section may well be expected to show independence, enterprise, and practical sagacity.
In the life of this well known merchant of Florida, Henry county, we find these qualities manifested in an unusual
degree, his success being based upon a prompt and judicious use of opportunity.
Mr. Long was born August 12, 1859, in Flat Rock township, Henry county, Ohio, a son of John and Caroline (Greyhast)
Long, who came to this section from Stark county, Ohio, at an early day. The father, who was born in Hessen Darmstadt,
Germany, in 1818, was a shoemaker by occupation, and for some time after his removal to this section followed his
trade in Florida, Henry county, where he also conducted a grocery. Later he purchased a farm about three miles
south of the village, but after five years of agricultural work he returned to Florida, and from 1865 to 1872 was
engaged in shoemaking. He then became interested in a grocery business which he carried on until his death, March
2, 1877. His wife, whose birth occurred in Germany in 1827, still lives, and resides with her daughter, Elisabeth
Tuttle; John W. is the fifth in the family of nine children four sons and five daughters: Augustus (deceased),
Louisa, Elizabeth, Caroline (deceased) John W., Frank P., Mary, Wilhelmina, and William.
Our subject's education was begun in the common schools of his native township, and in 1879-80 he attended a commercial
college at Hillsdale. Michigan. Although he was only seventeen years old when his father died, he took charge of
his mother's interests, especially in connection with the grocery business, while pursuing his studies at Hillsdale.
On completing his course of study he purchased his mother's share in that business, and formed a partnership with
W. S. Brubaker; but two years later he purchased the latter's interest, becoming the sole proprietor. In 1883 he
took another partner, Mr. A. Tuttle, with whom he continued until April, 1889, when he again became the owner of
the entire business by purchase. In 1883 they engaged in the grain business, which Mr. Long also purchased, and
he now carries on both lines of trade with marked success. In 1892 he bought an additional elevator at Okolona;
in 1896 he built one at Stanley, Ohio, and at present he operates the three, doing a prosperous business, the volume
of which may be inferred from the fact that from January 1 to July 1, 1897, he handled three hundred and ten cars
Notwithstanding his business cares, he has taken an active part in local politics, as a member of the Democratic
party. In 1882 he was elected clerk of Flat Rock township, and this office he held until March, 1888, when he resigned.
Later he was chosen township treasurer, and served two terms, being reelected in the fall of 1896. He is prominent
in local affairs of a nonpolitical nature, and socially is identified with the National Union, the B. P. O. E.,
Defiance Lodge, and with the Masonic fraternity, having reached the Thirty second degree.
On October 12, 1882, Mr. Long was married in Texas, Ohio, to Miss Hattie S. Durbin, who was born August 8, 1858,
a daughter of William and Mary Durbin, well known residents of Texas. The following children have blessed this
union: Richard H., Lewis O., William D., Carl F. (who died July 17, 1893, at the age of five and a half years),
Mabel M., Vernia F., John W., Jr., Earl E., and Hattie S.
Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern, Ohio
Including the counties of
Defiance, Henry, Williams and Fulton
Published by: J. H. Beers and Company
Northwestern, Ohio Biographies
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