Chester I. Long, lawyer and former United States senator, was born on a farm in Perry county, Pennsylvania Oct. 12, 1860, a son of Abraham G. and Mary Long. His father was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in 1812, and died in Daviess county, Missouri, in 1891. His mother was born in Perry county, Pennsylvania, in 1813, and died at Broken Bow, Neb., in 1898. Chester is the youngest of nine childrenfour of whom are still living. William C., lives at Stanberry, Mo.; Sarah Ann White lives at Broken Bow, Neb.; and Mary Ellen Rogers lives at Norcatur, Kan. The ancestors of Mr. Long came from Germany in the early part of the eighteenth century and settled in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. In 1865, Abraham Long removed with his family from Pennsylvania to Daviess county, Missouri, where he followed farming until his death as above mentioned.
Chester I. Long was reared on the farm until he was fifteen years of age, attending school as opportunity offered and by his studious habits he acquired the rudiments of a good English education. At fifteen he started out to make his own way in the world and to secure a better education. The next year he began teaching school, following that occupation in winter and going to school in the summer. In 1880, he graduated in a normal school at Paola, Kan., and continued teaching for three years when he entered the law office of Peck, Johnson & McFarland at Topeka, and two years later was admitted to the bar. Soon after his admission, he located at Medicine Lodge and opened a law office. He succeeded in building up a good practice there in the same way that he has succeeded in whatever he has undertakenby his thoroughness and energy. From boyhood he has been interested in public affairs, and it may be said that his political career began in 1876, when as a sixteen-year-old boy he carried a torch in a Republican procession. In the campaign four years later, and also in the campaign of 1884, he was on the stump making speeches for the Republican candidates. He was elected state senator in 1889, and was the youngest member of the senate at the ensuing session. While in the legislature he adopted the plan, which he has ever since followed, of giving every public question a careful investigation before acting upon it, and then steadfastly maintaining his position. In 1892, he was nominated for Congress against Jerry Simpson, and although he reduced the latter's majority he was defeated. When the legislative war of 1893 came on, Mr. Long was one of the attorneys for the Republican house, his associates being David Overmyer, W. H. Rossington and T. F. Garver. Mr. Long prepared a brief of the case which was quoted from, extensively, by Chief Justice Horton in the decision which settled the difficulty. In 1894, he was again nominated for Congress and this time was elected. He entered Congress in December, 1895, and was assigned to a place on elections committee No. 2, before which were tried two contested cases. The masterly manner in which he handled these cases showed that he was capable of holding a better committee appointment and four years later led to his securing a place on the ways and means committee. About the time he entered Congress the dogma of the free coinage of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1 swept the country. Knowing that the sentiment in favor of free coinage was overwhelming in his district, he voted against free silver on Feb. 14, 1896, saying that he "would rather vote on the right side and go out of Congress than to vote on the wrong side and he elected." He was defeated for reëlection in 1896, but was again elected in 1898, and at the ensuing session was appointed a member of the ways and means committee as already stated. While on this committee the question came before Congress as to whether the government should have the right to collect customs duties on imports from its recently acquired insular possessionsin other words, whether "the constitution followed the flag." Mr. Long devoted a great deal of time to the subject, and his speech on the Porto Rico Tariff Bill gave him a national reputation. He also helped to make the fight for reciprocity with Cuba. In the second session of the Fifty-sixth Congress he was active in the fight that kept Kansas from losing a representative in Congress. In January, 1903, Mr. Long was elected United States senator for a term of six years and served until March 4, 1909. The most important legislation to come before the senate during this period was the railroad rate bill; and he considers his work in connection with what was known as the Hepburn bill as the most important and beneficial to Kansas of all his accomplishments while in public life. Mr. Long was one of the delegates at large from Kansas to the Republican national convention in 1908, and was a member of the committee on resolutions. He is a Thirty-second degree Mason of the Scottish Rite. Upon his retirement from the senate he resumed the practice of law at Medicine Lodge, but in 1911, removed to Wichita, where he is engaged in active practice of his profession. Since he began his career as an attorney he has been employed in a number of important cases, and he frankly admits that, while he appreciates the honor conferred upon him by the people in electing him to Congress, he derives more pleasure from the practice of law than from the turmoil of a political life. On Feb. 12, 1895, Mr. Long married Anna Bache of Paola, Kan,, and they have two daughtersAgnes and Margaret.Pages 402-404 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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