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Delaware County, Iowa

 Biography Directory


Joseph Long


Delhi Township


      JOSEPH LONG, one of the oldest and wealthiest farmers of  Delhi township, Delaware county, and at one time probably its largest landholder, was born in North Carolina, September 13, 1811.  His father, Frederick Long, born August 12, 1782, was also a native of the "old North State," whence he emigrated in the latter part of 1811, to Wayne county, Ind. 


      By occupation he was a farmer and also a blacksmith, and withal a wealthy man, being able to donate to each of his children eighty acres of land. He was a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he was a class leader, and was most instrumental in causing a church edifice, belonging to that denomination, to be built ten miles north of Peru, Ind., by furnishing largely of his means and labor. In this faith he died in 1870, universally respected by the citizens of Wayne county. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Rachel Star, and whom he married June 21, 1802, was also a native of North Carolina, and was born December 15, 1775. Like her husband she was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church, was charitable, kind and motherly, and departed this life, with full trust in her religious belief, September 9, 1835, the mother of seven children, born in the following order: Sarah, born March 29,1803, died in infancy; Elizabeth, born March 1, 1805; John, born April 25, 1807; Anna, born November 11, 1808; Henry, born March 31, 1810; Joseph, the subject of this sketch, and James (deceased), born February 2, 1815.

      Joseph Long was but four weeks old when he was taken by his parents to Indiana, where he passed his early days in attending the district school during the winter season, and assisting on the home farm during the summer in picking brush, rolling logs, and in making himself otherwise generally useful. This early training strengthened his muscles and developed in him an early manhood, so that on the seventh of July, 1831, when not twenty years of age, he married Miss Nancy Hunt, who was born in Wayne county, Ind., May 14, 1815, and who, to gladden his home, brought forth six children, viz.: Elizabeth, who unfortunately died in 1839, when but four years of age; William and George, now residents of Delaware county, Iowa; Leander Lafayette, living in Harrison county Mo.; Isaac N., a dairyman of Marshall county, Iowa, and Sarah, who died in August, 1879.  Mrs. Long having been called to her last rest, Mr. Long, on July 28, 1853, took for his second wife Miss Martha Whitehead, who was born in Indiana September 13, 1827, and to this felicitous union have been born five children, as follows:  Belle, now Mrs. Petlon; Eugene, in Story county; Thyrsa Maria, who died March 11, 1863; John Francis, deceased; and Anna Alice, at home.

      After his first marriage Joseph Long took possession of the eighty acre farm given to him by his father, and on this he resided until his removal to La Porte county, Ind., where he bought a farm on which he lived about eighteen years; thence he moved to Lee county, bought another farm which he occupied one year only, and from there came to his present home in Delhi township, Delaware county, Iowa, which home he had prepared for the reception of his family before bringing the members thereof to his newly found paradise. Comparatively wealthy before he came here, his business habits were not abandoned, but he continued to add to his fortune by his excellent management until at one time he was the possessor of over one thousand eight hundred acres of choice land, but this immense acreage he has divided up with a son, retaining for himself three hundred and twenty acres only, not that he has any special need of even this number of acres, having now retired from active business pursuits, but because his busy brain requires something with which to employ itself.

       In politics Mr. Long is a republican.  For many years he has been an active member and liberal supporter of the Baptist church, and his walk through life has shown the sincerity of his belief and won the esteem of all who know him.

~ source: Biographical souvenir of the counties of Delaware and Buchanan, Iowa; Chicago : F. A. Battey, 1890. Page 412-414-353; LDS microfilm #985424

~ contributed by Thom Carlson