Thursday, October 10, 2013

Back to Block 14

Block 14  Twin Tulips
Mary Wilson was 16 and living with her mother when she signed her block for Mary Criswell's quilt.  Mary Wilson then disappears from the census records.  She probably married but there isn't an easy way to trace her once her surname has changed.

I decided to follow Mary's siblings to see if there were any clues to Mary's timeline.  I used one of my favourite genealogical sites, and discovered the grave-site of her sister-in-law Elizabeth Wilson.  Included with a photo of the tombstone was this intriguing historical snapshot.

"Elizabeth was the mother of Martha (Ella) Long, wife of R. A. Long, the lumber baron, who started his Long-Bell Lumber Company in the small community of Columbus, Kansas.
She was a Quaker and a woman of great courage and foresight. She moved her nine children from Pennsylvania to the new and primitive town of Columbus, Cherokee County, Kansas following her husband's death in 1868."
Martha Ellen (Ella) Long nee Wilson

I googled 'R A Long timber baron' and was introduced to the R A Long Historical Society.

Robert Alexander Long grew up in Kentucky and migrated to Kansas as a young man. He tried his hand at a number of enterprises and failed at each.  R A Long spent one season making hay which he stored in timber sheds; the hay was cut at the wrong time and proved worthless.  Long consequently dismantled the sheds and sold the lumber at a profit.  Selling timber led to buying a sawmill, then a coal mine, then a railroad and the successes never stopped.

R A Long built his home Corinthian Hall in Kansas City Missouri.  It now houses the Kansas City Museum.

Corinthian Hall

R A Long also built Longview Farm, a model farm of 1,780 acres with 60 buildings, a chapel, a hotel and 175 employees.  Longview Farm was famous for its show horses.

Show Barn at Longview Farm

R A Long married Elizabeth Wilson's daughter Ella in 1876.  Their first child, a boy, lived for only a few weeks.  Robert and Ella Wilson then had two daughters, Sallie America and Loula.

Sallie America Long

Sallie America Long went to finishing school in Washington, D.C. and then went on a world tour.  She met and married Hayne Ellis, a naval officer, and established a home in Washington D.C.  When her husband died she returned to Longview Farm to live with her sister Loula.

Loula Long

Loula Long was a horsewoman.  She was one of the first women to compete against men in horse and carriage events. Loula was well known for the horses she bred at Longview Farm and for her hats.  She married Robert Combs lived with him and her children at the Farm.

Loula Long Combs driving Capitvation

I found the story of the Wilsons and the Longs fascinating, I hope you have enjoyed this brief glimpse into their amazing lives.

1 comment:

  1. What a fascinating story! My daughter lives in KC -- I will have to share this with her! Love the history behind the quilts.


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