Santa Clara County
SAMUEL LONGLEY. The circle of the 49ers who remained in California is gradually narrowing, and the majority of those who wielded a pick by day, and at night spent their time in the camps, have earned peace, either as members of the great silent brotherhood, or as occupants of some flower decked and sunlit home in the coast country, where they have laid down their implements of labor, and are taking a much needed rest. One to whom memories of the old days surge up with vivid distinctness, and whose industry has won a fair share of worldly profit, is Samuel Longley, an honored resident of Mountainview. Born in Shirley, Middlesex county, Mass., December 23, 1823, he is the sole survivor, and the youngest and only son in a family of four children born to Artemus and Desire (Hartwell) Longley, both representatives of old New England families, long identified with Massachusetts. The family occupation on both sides was farming, but notwithstanding this fact the children were well educated in the public schools, and Samuel took a course in the academy at Groton, Mass. His independent career began in 1838, when he found employment as a clerk in a general store, soon after turning his attention to school teaching in the district in which he was born.
The school teacher developed ambitions while training the minds of the rising generation, and in March, 1849, boarded a ship known as the Sweden, which was headed for California by way of the Horn. The long and perilous journey took five months to accomplish, and Mr. Longley at once went to the mines on the Mokelumne river, where disaster, both financial and physical, overtook him. Owing to illness from exposure he was obliged to return to San Francisco, where in time he engaged in a restaurant business which brought him in large profits. In 1855 he sold his restaurant and embarked in the wood and coal business at the foot of Market street, and in 1865 disposed of his yard and returned to Massachusetts. For a couple of years he ran a farm near Leominster and in 1867 engaged in a general merchandise business at his old home in Shirley. Success came his way, and he became one of the honored men of the community, remaining in the east until returning to California in 1885.
Again among the old familiar sights, Mr. Longley spent a couple of years in San Francisco, which had grown remarkably during his absence, and in 1887 removed to Ventura and managed an orchard for a year. In 1888 he became identified with Newburg, Ore., where he bought land and stock, and engaged in the cattle business for three years. In 1890 he purchased a home on Caldron avenue, Mountainview, lived there and engaged in the fruit business until 1902, when he sold his home and purchased property in San Francisco. A well balanced mind, and a large fund of practical common sense, has made Mr. Longley a factor of importance in the various communities in which he has lived. As long ago as 1846 he joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Shirley, Mass., and has since been identified with this organization. He has always been in favor of clean municipal government, and is a stanch upholder of Republicanism, in the interests of which party he has actively participated. He cast his first presidential vote for Fremont in 1856, and that same year was a member of the Vigilance Committee in California, serving also in the Second Company of Rifles as number one hundred and seventy-four. He became state representative from Shirley, Mass., in 1876, at the time when John D. Long was speaker of the house. In Shirley he filled other offices, among them postmaster and was chairman of the board of selectmen for many years, and otherwise contributed to the government of the town. At the present time he is engaged chiefly in loaning money, in which capacity he has rendered many a service to people temporarily embarrassed. Mr. Longley has been married twice, his first wife, formerly Elizabeth Hathaway, of Massachusetts, dying at an early age and leaving two children, Charles Mix and Mrs. Elizabeth Bickford. For a second wife he married Ellen H. Fay, who was born in Massachusetts, and who died in Mountainview in 1902, leaving five children: Samuel H., an attorney of Worcester, Mass.; Ellen, the wife of Rev. Robert Whitaker, now deceased; Frank B., identified with the Union Iron Works of San Francisco; John A., a teacher in the high school of San Francisco; and Mary, a teacher and assistant principal in Ferndale, Cal. Mr. Longley has evidenced high moral courage and practical ability throughout his long and useful career, and now, at the age of four score and one years, finds himself strong financially, and firmly established in the respect and good will of his fellow men.
Transcribed by Marie Hassard 11 November 2015.
ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 865-866. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.
ฉ 2015 Marie Hassard.