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Archie W. Long. Of the men who have contributed to the business importance and civic development of the various thriving communities of Kansas, one the value of whose services may not be gainsaid is Archie W. Long, of Manhattan. A resident of this city for nearly a quarter of a century, he was for a long period identified with the milling interests here, and now has large oil holdings and directs his energies toward the development of his interprises connected with that industry. If he has been a contributor to the business development of the community, he has done even a greater service in the line of civic advancement, for it was during his term in the mayoralty chair that Manhattan’s present excellent street and sewerage systems were inaugurated.
Mr. Long is a native of West Virginia, born at Ravenswood, Jackson County, March 17, 1872, a son of George W. and America E. (King) Long, who still reside at Ravenswood, where their sons were reared. The family is an old and respected one of the Old Dominion State, and an interesting bit of its history is found in the fact that the paternal grandmother of Archie W. Long, a native of Culpeper County, Virginia, as a young lady of fourteen years of age, in 1822 was a guest at a reception held in honor of LaFayette, the French friend of America and patriot general. George W. Long has long been engaged in blacksmithing and wagonmaking at Ravenswood, and from him his son inherits a decided mechanical turn of mind.
Archie W. Long was given a public school education, and as a young man learned the milling business in all its branches. At the age of nineteen years, he left the parental home to begin the battle of life for himself and went to North Dakota, where he remained for two years, engaged in milling. In August, 1892, he came to Manhattan, Kansas, where he has since resided and where he has risen to a high position in business and political affairs. On locating at Manhattan, he became the founder of the Manhattan Milling Company, with which he continued to be identified until 1903 and then disposed of his interests. Subsequently, for ten years, he was a member of the Long-Barner Milling Company, retiring from the milling business in 1913. For two years thereafter, he was engaged in farming, and March 1, 1915, turned his attention to the oil industry. His business ventures have been attended by gratifying success.
In matters concerning the public welfare, Mr. Long has always manifested a commendable spirit. In politics he is a democrat, and has always been active in the councils of his party in Riley County, taking the lead in political campaigns and bearing much of the burden of losing fights, his party being in the minority in the county. He was twice the candidate of the democrats for the Kansas Legislature, but, although on each occasion he made a credible race, was unsuccessful of election, and, in fact, made the campaigns without any great hope of overcoming the great republican majority. In the city of Manhattan, however, he has been more successful. He was elected a member of the city council for one term, and, later, was sent to the mayoralty chair for one term. As the chief executive of the city administration he rendered acceptable and important service, as after years have witnessed. During his administration many excellent measures were inaugurated and carried through to a successful issue, even against the strongest opposition, chief among which were sanitary and street improvements. The city, at the time he went into office was without sewerage, and Mayor Long installed a sewerage system and improved the water works toward the end of raising the sanitary conditions of the city to the highest standard, now the pride of Manhattan. No less commendable and important was the stand he took in the matter of street improvements, which he undertook and successfully carried out. Street improvements then and subsequently made have made Manhattan one of Kansas’ cities of best improved thoroughfares, thus adding not only to the comfort and convenience of its people, but to civic beauty and sanitation. Mr. Long is a thirty-second degree Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine.
In 1903 Mr. Long was married to Miss Laura Engel, a daughter of the late Carl Engel, a pioneer and for years a highly respected citizen of Manhattan, where Mrs. Long was born, reared and educated.