Definite distinction and assured prestige have been gained by Chester I. Long as one of the representative member of the Kansas bar, and his influence in public affairs had been wide and potent, as indicated by the fact that he was elected to the United States Senate from Kansas and had been a recognized leader in the councils of the republican party in the Sunflower State. He is engaged in the practice of his profession in the City of Wichita, had honored Kansas by his character and achievement, and is eminently entitled to recognition in this history.
Mr. Long was born on a farm in Perry County, Pennsylvania, on the 12th of October, 1860, and is a son of Abraham G. and Mary Long. His father was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1812, and was a resident of Daviess County, Missouri, at the time of his death, in 1891, the major part of his active career having been marked by close and effective association with the industry of agriculture. His ancestors came from Germany and located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in the early part of the eighteenth century. He continued to reside in his native state until 1865, when he removed with his family to Daviess County, Missouri, where he developed the old homestead farm which was his residence until his death. His widow passed the closing period of her gentle and gracions life at Broken Bow, Nebraska, where she died in the year 1898, her birth having occurred in Perry County, Pennsylvania, in 1813. Of the nine children the subject of this review is the youngest and of the number only three others are now living.
Chester I. Long was a lad of about five years at the time of the family removal to Missouri, and he remained on the old home farm until he had attained the age of fifteen years, when he gave evidence of having profited fully by the educational advantages that had been afforded him, for he assumed the honors and prerogatives of a youthful pedagogue and did successful service as a teacher in the rural schools during the winter terms, the while he passed the intervening summers in advancing his own scholastic training. In 1880 he was graduated in the Kansas State Normal School at Paola, and thereafter he continued his work as a teacher for three years. He then went to the City of Topeka, where he began the study of law in the offices and under the effective preceptorship of the firm of Peck, Johnson & McFarland. With characteristic assiduity and earnestness he applied himself to his technical reading, and two years later he was admitted to the bar at Topeka. Since 1885 he had been engaged in the practice of his profession, and he had long held precedence as one of the able and representative members of the Kansas bar. During the national campaign of 1880 he made an excellent reputation as one of the effective speakers for the republican. In 1889 he was elected to the State Senate, and in the ensuing legislative session he had the distinction of being the youngest member of that body. In 1892 he was the republican nominee for Congress in his district, but though he made a vigorous and effective canvass his defeat was compassed by normal political exigencies. At the time of the historic legislative war in Kansas in 1893, Mr. Long was retained as one of the attorneys for the Republican House of Representatives, and in this connection he prepared a brief from which extensive quotations were made by Chief Justice Horton, of the Supreme Court, in making his decision in the case. In 1894 Mr. Long was again nominated for Congress, and on this occasion he recorded a distinctive victory at the polls. Notwithstanding the sentiment in his district for the free coinage of silver at the ratio of sixteen to one was overwhelming, yet he followed his own convictions and courageously voted against the financial heresy on the 14th of February, 1896. The result of this action on his part was exactly what he had antioipated, for in the ensuing election the voters of his district failed to return him to his seat in Congress. In 1898, however, he was again elected, and in the following session of Congress his speech on the Porto Rico Tariff Bill gained to him a national reputation. He proved also an effective and uncompromising advocate of reciprocity with Cuba. In the second session of the Fifty-sixth Congress he was active in the fight that kept Kansas from losing one of its representatives in Congress. In 1902, there came further and more distingnished popular estimate of the character and services of this able legislator, in that he was re-elected a representative in Congress. He resigned as a representative in Congress for in 1903 he was elected to the United States Senate for a term of six years. He continued his zealous services as a member of the Senate until the 4th of March, 1909, and made an admirable record in the Upper House of Congress.
On the 13th of February, 1895, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Long to Miss Anna Bache of Paola, this state, and they have two daughters, Agnes and Margaret. He had always been a republican, and in 1908 was one-of the Kansas delegates at large to the National Convention. In the timehenored Masenie fraternity, Mr. Long had received the thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. Upon his retirement from the United States Senate Mr. Long resumed the practice of the law, and in 1911 he broadened his field of professional endeavors by establishing his home at Wichita, where he had since built up a large and lucrative general practice.