Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Spotlight on an Abilene Resident: R.J. Long

Views of the Past is currently featuring brief biographies of former Abilene residents. These photographs and biographies were recently featured in an exhibit at the Jeffcoat Photography Studio Museum. Even if you are not from Abilene or do not know these people, these stories are invaluable since they paint a portrait of small town life. Both the photograph and text of this post are courtesy of the Jeffcoat Photography Studio Museum. The following was written by Bill Jeffcoat about R.J. Long (1880-1939):

R.J. Long came to Abilene from Miltonvale, Kansas, where he had been a druggist and worked for C.L. Brown in the utility business in the stock department. Somewhere along the line, he saw the handwriting on the wall that things were not going well (with the business), told Brown so, and handed in his resignation. Brown begged him to stay but to no avail.

R.J. then started his own investment business on Broadway; remodeled the building with his office upstairs and retail firms on the ground floor. Long Investments had the back part of the second floor.

With the Wall Street crash of 1929, and following the bankruptcy and death of C.L. Brown, investments were not easy to sell in a little town like Abilene.

R.J. married Mary Forney, daughter of J.K. Forney of the Belle Springs Creamery, and they had one son, Loraine.

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