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William J. Long. It is fully a quarter of a century ago, in 1890, when William J. Long first became identified with what is now the State of Oklahoma. In that year he established a pioneer store at McGee, Indian Territory. His store was only one feature of his business interests in the territory, since he also looked after a large amount of stock and had some extensive interests in the cattle industry in this section, where he remained an active factor in business affairs for eight years.
Since 1898 Mr. Long has been one of the liberal and progressive business men of Paul’s Valley. There, too, he is accounted an early settler and assisted in organizing the Sullivan-Long Wholesale Grocery Company, an establishment with a successful record which in 1914 was sold to the Tyler & Simpson firm. In the same year, 1898, Mr. Long helped to organize the First National Bank of Paul’s Valley, and continued a director in that institution for eight years.
In 1902 he bought the controlling interest in the National Bank of Commerce of Paul’s Valley, and has since been its president. This bank was established in 1899 as a private bank, but for a number of years has been conducted under a national charter. In 1902 a handsome building at the corner of Main Street and Chickasaw Avenue was erected and furnished quarters for the bank and for other offices. Some items from a recent bank statement indicate the flourishing condition of the bank. Its capital stock is $50,000; surplus, $10,000; undivided profits, $20,000; and in the fifteen years of its business history it has paid large dividends to the stockholders. Its present officers are: William J. Long, president; W. G. Kimberlin, vice president; E. C. Gage, cashier; and Harry Hamilton, assistant cashier.
Up to twenty-five years ago Mr. Long was a Texan. He was born at Sulphur Springs, in Northern Texas, January 8, 1860. His family is of Scotch-Irish descent, and its representatives were among the pioneers of Maury County, Tennessee. His great-grandfather, John Long, was a Texas pioneer, having emigrated to Harrison County in that state from Maury County, Tennessee. He died in Harrison County. Mr. Long’s grandfather, Mathew Long, arrived in Texas in time to fight the Mexicans and Indians under the redoubtable Sam Houston. He was for many years a farmer and stock man, and died in Hopkins County, Texas, having been a native of Tennessee. P. H. Long, father of the Paul’s Valley banker, was born in Tennessee in 1831 and died at Sulphur Springs, Texas, in 1876. His parents had settled in Harrison County, Texas, in 1844, and he grew up in that section of Eastern Texas, and as a young man moved to Hopkins County, where he married Sarah McKnight, a native of Hopkins County. In Hopkins County P. H. Long followed business as a merchant. In 1861 he accepted the lot of his home state and enlisted in the Confederate army, and just before the close of the war was wounded and consequently was home on a furlough when hostilities closed. He was a democrat, a member of the Presbyterian Church, and a Royal Arch Mason. His first wife died at Sulphur Springs in 1861, and her only child is William J. Long of Paul’s Valley. For his second wife the father married Mary M. McKnight, a sister of his first wife. The children by that union are: Charles M., who is proprietor of a hotel at Ada, Oklahoma; Minnie M., wife of William Mann, in the real estate business at Dallas, Texas; Annie T., wife of Joe Prim, a merchant at Wynnewood. Oklahoma; and Emma M., deceased wife of R. B. Moreland, who is a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church and now resides at Sherman, Texas.
William J. Long, while growing up at Sulphur Springs, Texas, acquired a high school education. When only seventeen years of age he began his business career, being connected with a mercantile establishment at Sulphur Springs for two years. He then removed to Fairyland, in Hopkins County, and established a general store. This he conducted for ten years and then sold out. With this experience as a merchant and in general business affairs Mr. Long entered Indian Territory in 1890. He has since acquired a position that makes him one of the leading business men in the southern part of the state. he is widely known in banking circles, is a member of the Oklahoma Bankers’ Association and the American Bankers’ Association. He is a director in the Paul’s Valley Commercial Club and takes a part in every movement for the benefit of that city. In politics he is a democrat, and has served as a member of the council. He is a deacon in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and is affiliated with Valley Lodge No. 6, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of which he is past master; with Paul’s Valley Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; with India Temple of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine at Oklahoma City; with the thirty-second degree of Scottish Rite, in Consistory No. 1, Valley of Guthrie; and also with the Woodmen of the World.
In 1883 at Sulphur Springs, while just getting a foothold in business affairs, he married Miss Julia I. Hicklin. Her father, the late Richard Hicklin, was a farmer. To their marriage have been born four children: John R., in the furniture business and also a stockman at Paul’s Valley; Maud M., wife of Samuel Hewett, who is proprietor of a furniture store at Paul’s Valley; Edwin, a hardware merchant at Paul’s Valley; and Carlie C., who is in partnership with his brother Edwin.