Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
VOLNEY J. LONG, who is now living
a retired life in Sprague, was born on September 7, 1819, in Fentress county,
Tennessee. His father, John Long, was born on September 28, 1775,
in North Carolina. In 1830 he moved to Morgan county, Illinois, and
in 1833 to Iowa, where he died on October 22, 1840. He was a first
cousin of General Andrew Jackson. The mother of our subject, Letitia
(Scott) Long, was born on October 16, 1781, in North Carolina, and died
August 8, 1865, in Warren county, Illinois. She was a cousin of General
Winfield Scott. Our subject left Tennessee with his father at the
age of eleven and drove ox teams to Illinois. When fourteen he went
with his father to Washington county, Iowa. Owing to the father's
sickness, Volney J. took a trip clear to Illinois to bring his mother and
shortly after his mother's arrival, the father died. The widow gathered
her little belongings together and took the trip back to Illinois with
ox teams and there remained until her death. Our subject being the
eldest, labored to support the family and remained at home until 1842,
then went to St. Louis where he joined a company sent out by the American
Fur Company. They went up the Missouri river to the last trading
post, then journeyed inland and trapped and hunted for twenty-three months.
They had many encounters with the Crow Indians and overcame other dangers
and hardships. Mr. Long rode from there on horseback to St. Louis
and then enlisted at Berwick, Illinois, in an independent cavalry for the
Mexican War. He was rejected on account of having dislocated his
arm, then he enlisted in the infantry and was rejected a second time.
Then he took his own horse and arms and joined the Texas Rangers.
He was in all the hard skirmishing and fighting of that famous organization
and after the war, returned to Illinois where he farmed. In 1856
Mr. Long went to California via Panama and two years later took a position
as second engineer in a Mississippi steamer. Later, he was on the
New Grenada, a Gulf steamer that plied to the West Indies. He returned
home to Iowa and in 1861 took a position as wagon train boss on the plains
and made twelve round trips in that capacity from the Missouri river to
Denver. In 1874 Mr. Long started to the Willamette valley, Oregon.
Later came to Walla Walla, and in 1880 settled in the vicinity of Sprague.
Since that time he has been one of the progressive men of Lincoln county
and has accumulated much property. He owns a beautiful residence
in Sprague and other property, besides farm lands. While he is retired
from active business, he is at this time deputy sheriff of Lincoln county
and a very competent man in that capacity. Notwithstanding the fact
that Mr. Long is eighty-five years of age, he has the strength of a man
not over fifty and moves with an agility and firmness that are truly remarkable.
He has no difficulty in mounting any steed and apparently is as robust
today as in the days when he traveled over the plains. His career
has been exceedingly remarkable and no doubt reminiscences of his adventures
would make a most interesting and thrilling volume. Mr. Long states
that the finest horse that he ever owned, is one that he stole from the
Crow Indians. He rode the animal from St. Vrain, far up in the Dakotas,
to St. Joe, in thirteen days and sold him the next day after landing for
one hundred and twenty-five dollars.
Mr. Long has seven sisters and two brothers.
All are deceased except his brother John L., who is now living on the old
homestead in Illinois that his father took in 1833. On January 19,
1848, Mr. Long married Miss Mary M. Napier, the daughter of Patrick and
Margret Napier, both now deceased. The father was born in Virginia
and died in Iowa, in September, 1849. To Mr. and Mrs. Long five children
have been born, Samuel M., Ophelia M., deceased, Mrs. Mary E. Baugh, Mrs.
Estella McGinnis, and Volney J. Those living are all at Sprague.
Mr. Long is a member of the Grangers and is a genial, whole-souled, progressive
man. Very few men of this world have a career equal to that of Mr.
Long and it is with great pleasure that we have been privileged to grant
an epitome of the same in this connection.
In June, 1903, a thousand dollars' worth of
horses were stolen from Mr. Long's pasture. Although he is a deputy
in the sheriff's office, the efforts he has been enabled to put forth together
with the sheriff and others, have not yet located the thieves or found