The subject of this biographical sketch, is descended from German ancestors on his father’s side, the progenitor of the family settling in the County of Limerick, Ireland, about the commencement of the 17th century. In that county our subject was born, August 7, 1836, his parents being Thomas and Margaret (Farrel) Long. His father who was an agriculturist, died in the old country in 1847; his mother is still living there. Mr. Long was educated in part at the national school at Shanagolden; came to Canada in 1850, with his wardrobe carefully done up in a small cotton handkerchief, and without an overcoat or under clothes for the following winter; apprenticed himself to a merchant at Mono Centre, County of Simcoe; at the end of three years (1853) went to Buffalo, N. Y., and finished his education in one of the graded schools; returned to the County of Simcoe, and took a situation in a store at Nottawa village in the township of Nottawasaga, and held it for four years; and in 1857 moved to Collingwood, and took charge of the mercantile business of Messrs. Buist and Melville.
In the autumn of 1858, Mr. Long commenced the mercantile trade for himself, taking his brother, John Joseph Long, into partnership in 1866. At Collingwood they have a dry goods and clothing store and adjoining it a grocery and provision store, and are also engaged in pork packing and steam boating. They have likewise a store and flouring mill at Stayner, in the same county, and a braneh store at Thornbury, in the County of Grey. Their merchandising and milling business in the aggregate amounts to about $400,000 per annum. They are among the leading business men in the County of Simcoe, and their energies and careful management have been crowned with brilliant success.
Mr. Long was in the town council of Collingwood from 1864 to 1870 inclusive; and was elected to the Ontario Legislature for the West Riding of Simcoe in 1875, and re-elected in 1879, and is an earnest worker in that body. His politics are Liberal Conservative; in 1877
he was President of the Collingwood Conservative Club, and is a man of much influence in the party as well as in the community generally.
His religion is Roman Catholic, and he has always maintained an excellent character. His correct, moral and business habits, and strict integrity have made him many friends, and have been no drawback to his success.
May 13, 1861, Miss Ann Patton, of Collingwood, was married to Mr. Long, and she is the mother of thirteen children, only six of them now living.
Mr. Long was for some years a director of the Lake Superior Navigation Company, leaving that position in 1874, and since 1877 has been a director of the Georgian Bay Transportation Company. He is a thorough going, public spirited, plucky man, pushing ahead in every enterprise to which he puts his hands, and his fortunate ventures placed him years ago in very comfortable, not to say independent circumstances. He recognizes the good hand of Providence in giving health and prosperity, and is grateful, no doubt, for the improvement of his wardrobe made in the last thirty years.