Category Archives: Long-Huston

Barney Zeigler the forgeman

Barney Zeigler first appears in the census in 1820, in Petersburg, Huntingdon County, with a wife and eight children. He must have come to Petersburg from somewhere else, but he has not been found in the 1810 census, even under different names like Barnabas, Barnet or Bernard. There are no early church records for Petersburg giving records of the death of his wife or the birth of his children. Fortunately, his daughter Sarah Zeigler Long lived to be 94 years old, long enough to have a state death certificate, which gives the names of her parents as Barney Zeigler and Fannie Kestler.

Barney was born about 1781. He is shown in the census for Huntingdon County from 1820 through 1860. Although the places were listed differently at different times, they were probably all the same place—the town of Petersburg, in the valley of Shaver’s Creek near Alexandria. In 1820 he was listed as Bernard Zigler, with a wife and eight children. In 1830 he was listed as Barnard Siglar, with his wife and still eight children. By 1840 he shown as Barnabas Zigler (which was probably his real name), with three children, but no woman over 30. His wife was probably dead by then. In 1850 he is still in Petersburg. He owned his own house, worth $500, which seems below average for the town, which seemed to have quite a few houses worth about $1,000.

Who is the Sarah Sigler living with him in 1850? She was about the same age as his daughter Sarah, but Sarah was already married to John Long by then. There could not be two daughters named Sarah. She was not a second wife, since both she and Barney were shown as single and because she was so much younger than Barney. She was most likely a widowed daughter-in-law who moved in to keep house for Barney. Since Jacob Ziegler was on the tax list for Petersburg until 1849 and not afterward, she may have been his widow.  Sarah was still there ten years later.

Barney was taxed in Petersburg from 1845 until 1867, but marked off the list in 1868. This must be when he went to live with his son Barney Jr in Johnstown, Cambria County. In the 1870 census he appears there, age 87. On December 30, 1876 Barney Sr died.  He was buried in Sandyvale Cemetery, Johnstown, Cambria County as Barnabas Zeigler. His date of birth was given as 1781, which may have been an estimate.

The one fact about Barney that we know for sure is that he was a forgeman. Petersburg was a small town on Shaver’s Creek, about three miles from Alexandria, dominated by the Juniata Forge. The forge was built just before 1800 by Peter Shoenberger, who also laid out the town streets and named it after himself. He reserved lots for a German church, Presbyterian church, English school and German school. Although these buildings were not erected at the time, they give a clue to the ethnic makeup of the workers whom he was recruiting. Shoenberg also kept the first general store and the first public-house (tavern). The early blacksmiths were Jacob Everly and Jacob Dopp; they did general work and work for the forge. Other early artisans were wheelwrights, saddlers, shoemakers, a glove-maker and two hatters. The earliest physician was Dr. Peter Sevine, who practiced until about 1816. He was followed by several different men until Dr. John McCullough came about 1832 and served for over twenty years.

The earliest church building in Petersburg was the Methodist church erected in 1846. Before then the Methodists met in the house of Calvin Wingart. The Mennonites met in the houses of the members, until in 1835 they built a log meeting-house in Porter Township. The Presbyterians did not build their church until 1854, but undoubtedly worshipped before then. There is an early burial ground near the mouth of Shaver’s Creek, now abandoned.

The dominant industry would have been the iron forge. The forges, scattered throughout Huntingdon County, burned charcoal to make pig iron to be shipped to the cities. At first it was shipped by horse-drawn wagon; later it floated down the Pennsylvania Canal. In 1875 the canal was damaged by a flood of the Juniata and many of the locks and bridges were washed away. By then the railroad was the obvious alternative.

A typical little town with an iron furnace included the mansion of the ironmaster and the modest houses of the workers. “Although the ironmaster was of higher social standing than his workers, all classes mingled freely on the iron plantations, buying goods at the same store and going to church in the same building.” There were different jobs in the forge: the founder (who managed the furnace), blacksmiths, carpenters, fillers (who loaded the charcoal and ore into the furnace), molders or guttermen, colliers (who made the charcoal), woodcutters, miners, teamsters. Since Barney was described only as a forgeman in the census, it is impossible to tell which job he performed.

The forgemen were very competitive. In December 19, 1816 the men of Tyrone Upper Forge proudly reported that they drew 12t. 7c. 1q. 4lbs. of bar iron in the preceding week, even though the forge had only three fires. Mr. Berry, the forge manager, asked the Huntingdon Gazette to publish this for the information of the men of Cove Forge.

Barney married his wife about 1805. Her name is only given in one record: the death certificate of Sarah Zeigler Long in 1910, which was many years after the death of Barney’s wife,  who would not have been personally known to her Long grandchildren. It was given as Fanny Kessler. Fanny may have been an English form of Fronica.

Children of Barney:

Sarah and Barnabus Jr are known to be children of Barney Sr from their death certificates. Jacob is presumed to be another son because he was in Petersburg at the right time, and because Barney Sr was known to have more children. There were other Zeiglers around in Huntingdon County, but none of them seem like a good fit for this family.

 Sarah, b. 1816, d. 1910, m. John C. Long of Williamsburg, Huntingdon County

Jacob, on the tax list for Petersburg from 1847 to 1849, 1 occupation

Barnabas Jr., b. May 14, 1822, d. July 23, 1913, m. 1847 Jane Wright (1829-1881), worked as a steelman.

Barney Junior had an interesting life and a narrow escape from death. Born in 1822 in Petersburg, he became a forgeman like his father. He married Jane Wright in 1847 at Petersburg, by a Methodist minister. He moved to Johnstown before 1860, when he appears in the census with his wife and four children. (They would go on to have two more.) He served in the Civil War, in the 192nd Infantry, which patrolled the Shenandoah Valley but saw no significant fighting. By 1870 Barney was back in Johnstown, the boss in the rolling mill.

In 1889 Barney Jr lived on Fairfield Avenue, Morrellville. This was northwest of the main part of the city, under the slopes of Laurel Hill. When the city directory listing was made, in April/May, there were two people living in the house, presumably Barney and one of his children. (Jane was already dead before then.) Two people were reported as living there after the disastrous flood. Barney survived, and in 1900 he was an inmate in the Soldiers and Sailors Home in Erie, a home for indigent and disabled veterans. By 1910, Barney Jr. was back in Lower Yoder Township, Cambria County, living with a son-in-law John Yocum and wife Elizabeth, age 56. Barnabus was age 87, widowed. He died in 1913 and is buried in Johnstown with his wife Jane.



Death certificates of Sarah Zeigler Long and Barnabas Zeigler Jr.

Records of the family of Johann Bernard Zeigler of Codorus Township, York County

Census records, 1820-1910

Findagrave records for Barnabus Sr and Jr

Simpson Africa, History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties, chapter on Logan Township

History of Mt. Etna Iron Furnace, online (source of the quote on the social classes)

Keith Koch, “Bellefonte—the Iron ‘Plantation’”, Bellefonte Secrets, July 2008, online

Huntingdon Gazette, Dec. 19, 1816, microfilm at Juniata College Library

Tax lists, Petersburg Township, Huntingdon County Historical Society

History of Cambria County, vol. 2, online

John the blacksmith and Sarah the innkeeper

Deep in central Pennsylvania, the lush valley of Morrison’s Cove stretches for twenty miles under the shelter of the mountains. It lies under Tussey Mountain to the east, and Lock and Dunning Mountains to the west. After the Revolution German families moved into the valley, drawn by its fertile soil and numerous streams. This land is far northwest from Philadelphia, so any early farmer who wanted to prosper had to find a market for his produce. In the early 1800s they sent wheat, corn, rye, peaches and apples on wagons over the steep mountain roads to local towns like Huntingdon. Sometimes they made the grains into whiskey or flour and sent by the barrel on wooden flat-bottomed arks down the Juniata River to the Susquehanna and then to Baltimore. The arks floated down the Juniata with the spring freshets and had no way of  navigating back upstream, so they were sold in the city for lumber and had to be rebuilt each spring. These early farmers had to be their own blacksmiths, carpenters and wagon makers in such a remote place.

Then iron ore was discovered in the Huntingdon County valleys and the economy boomed. Iron-masters like the Royers, the Stewarts, and Peter Schoenberger moved in and built iron forges and furnaces. Furnaces burned day and night to convert raw ore into useable iron. The valleys had almost everything the iron-masters needed: iron ore, water power, and expansive forests to provide the charcoal fuel. But it took skilled workers to man the furnaces, so they hired blacksmiths, wagon makers, forgemen—many from Lancaster County. These people brought a new mix to the valley. Many were Scotch-Irish Methodists, unlike the Germans who were often Lutheran or Brethren. Because of the timing, the religion, and the occupation, it is likely that our Long family of Morrison’s Cove were ironworkers.

In 1810 only one Long family was living in the north end of Morrison’s Cove, probably in the little town of Franklin Forge. The family included John Long, his wife, and their five children, two boys and three girls. We know some of the children’s names because the family needed help to pay for their schooling. (In those days the town paid for the education of children between five and twelve years old when their parents could not pay the fees.) In 1811 the town paid for three daughters of John Long – Catherine, Elizabeth, and Mary. The following year only Elizabeth and Mary were listed; perhaps Catherine was too old. In 1815 Daniel Long was on the list, probably a brother of the girls. By 1820 John Long was no longer living in the town. Perhaps he had died and his wife had remarried.  This might have been the family of John C. Long.

In 1811 John C. Long was born in the Cove, as noted in the Bible record made years later by his son David.  We know that he was a Methodist because my grandmother remembered stories about him. (The iron masters approved of the Methodist church because it kept the men from drinking too much and missing work. The keepers of the local stores disapproved because it kept the men from buying their whiskey.) We know he was a blacksmith from the 1850 census record. The iron masters employed many blacksmiths, who repaired the tools and furnace parts and shoed the horses and mules that plodded back and forth day and night carrying the iron ore, fuel, and finished pig iron. This was a skilled, specialized trade, and a blacksmith could make as much as $400 a year. Given the large family he was to have, John would need a good salary to support them.

In about 1832, when he was about 21 years old, John married Sarah Zeigler, the daughter of Barney and Fanny Zeigler. She lived in Petersburg, about 18 miles up the Juniata River. This was a full day’s journey over the abysmal roads of the time, “hardly more than broad paths through the forest”, so how did John meet Sarah? If he was working for the iron masters, as seems likely, they moved their workers around as needed. John might have been sent to Petersburg for a time, to work in the forge there. Barney was already there, supporting his family by working in the Petersburg forge. He was a German, probably born in York County, who moved up to Petersburg and raised his family there. (His son Barney Junior, also a forgeman, later moved to Johnstown and survived the great flood with his wife.)

John and Sarah married, settled in Franklin Forge, Woodberry Township, and started their family, one that eventually grew to twelve children, including three sets of twins. One of his sons followed John into the blacksmithing trade, while others were farmers, a stone mason, and a wagon maker. Some of the children stayed close to home, never moving more than twenty miles away, while others moved west into Kansas and Iowa. John must have been a good father; three of his sons named their first son John.

John and Sarah rented a house in Franklin Forge, far from her Ziegler family across Tussey Mountain. Who supported her during her frequent cycles of pregnancy and childbirth? Perhaps it was fellow members of the Methodist church in nearby Woodberry. Founded in 1800, it first met in the house of Jacob Akely, then in a brick church built in 1831. In 1841 John Long was listed as an exhorter; was this our John? The exhorters were not trained ministers and did not preach a sermon; they led the prayer services and encouraged people to lead godly lives.

Through the 1840s and 1850s John worked as a blacksmith, while Sarah kept the house and raised the children. The people who lived around them were a mixed group – carpenters, fence makers, laborers, farmers, boatmen, Daniel Royer the wealthy iron master, forgemen, teamsters, lock tenders. The laborers lived in modest houses, valued at $400 or so, while the wealthy farmers owned property worth thousands of dollars.

The boatmen and lock tenders were there because of the Pennsylvania Canal, which was built in the early 1830s. After the Erie Canal was finished in 1825, Pennsylvania feared it was losing business to New York, so the legislature authorized the construction of a series of canals to open up the center of the state for safer and cheaper transportation. The Juniata Branch of the canal had 86 locks and 25 aqueducts, ran parallel to the Juniata River between the Susquehanna and Huntingdon, then merged with the river west of Huntingdon. The canal boosted the economy for a while, but the canal era was short-lived, as the railroads made them obsolete by the 1850s. Each generation saw an innovation in transportation. While John’s sons became blacksmiths or wagon-makers, his grandsons were more likely to work for the railroads.

In the fall of 1860 or the spring of 1861 John and Sarah left the valley of Morrison’s Cove and moved across Tussey Mountain to Porter Township, Huntingdon County. They had six children still at home, and Sarah was pregnant with her third set of twins! It must have been a difficult move for her. Since the Juniata Iron Works was in nearby Alexandria, John might have been transferred by his employer. But it’s also possible that at age 50, John was getting too old to be a blacksmith. By the 1870 census he was listed as a farmer, owning his own land, with four children still at home. On December 11, 1878, three days before he died, John made his will. He left everything to Sarah, after her death to be equally divided among the children. He stipulated that if any of the children stayed home to care for Sarah they could keep an account of their expenses and charge these to the estate. This would encourage them to take care of her, since it would not count against their share.

John’s death left Sarah a widow, with a farm that she owned free and clear. Three of her sons – Abraham, Samuel and Wesley – had left for the Midwest and had families of their own. Her son Robert stayed on with her for a while to run the farm, while her daughter Jennie also lived with her. Sarah would survive John by over thirty years. She found a way to support herself and her family by opening a boarding house with her daughters Sarah and Jennie. The property, called the Park House Inn, was on the road northwest to Tyrone. It was a well-known local establishment. After Sarah died in 1910 at the age of 94, it was run for years by the two daughters.

John and Sarah are buried together at the Methodist cemetery in Alexandria, Porter Township. I have an old, yellowed picture that is probably of Sarah. Her hair is parted in the middle and pulled tightly back. She is wearing a dark dress with a high ruffled collar. Her protruding ears and square jaw line would be passed down to several of her grandchildren. Although her face is wrinkled with age, she is smiling at the camera, and at us.


John C. Long, b. 1811, Morrison’s Cove, Huntingdon County, m. Sarah Zeigler about 1832, died Dec. 14, 1878 in Porter Township, Huntingdon County, buried in Alexandria.

Sarah Zeigler, b. Nov 16, 1816, m. John C. Long about 1832, died Oct. 29, 1910 in Porter Township, Huntingdon County, buried in Alexandria.

Children of John and Sarah:

Abraham, b. Nov. 1832, d. 1908 in Jasper County, Iowa, m. Nancy Pursell, moved to Iowa, farmed there, named his oldest son John.

Joseph H, b. 1834, d. 1864 of injuries sustained in the Civil War, m. Caroline Snare [Note: some discrepancies in the census records for him.]

Elizabeth, b. ab. 1837, alive in 1850, no further record

William, b. ab. 1841, alive in 1850, no further record

Wesley Howe, a twin, b. Sept. 30, 1845, d. 1926 in Atchison Kansas, m. Lucy Boals about 1871, moved to Iowa, then Kansas, worked as a blacksmith. Had sons John and Bert.

Emaline, a twin, b. Sept. 30, 1845, alive in 1860, no further record

David, a twin, b. Nov. 13, 1849, d. 1932 in Tyrone, Blair County, m. 1882 Mary Elizabeth Huston. A wagon maker,  named his son John.

Sarah, a twin, b. Nov. 1849, d. age 91 on Sept. 14, 1940, unmarried, kept the Park House Inn at Alfarata Park, d. there, buried at Alexandria Presbyterian Cemetery

Samuel, b. Oct. 1851, m. Lydia Emma, lived in Iowa, Oregon, and Florida, a blacksmith and truck farmer, died in 1942 in Florida

Jane, b. Dec. 1856, unmarried, d. 1929 in Porter Township, buried at Alexandria Presbyterian Cemetery

Robert H., b. July 7, 1860 in Franklin Forge, a farmer, m. Katherine Riley, d. March 17, 1939 in Porter Township, buried at Alexandria Presbyterian Cemetery

Oliver A., b. July 7, 1860, d. in Alexandria on March 31, 1951; m. Mary Brandt, she died January 26, 1924 from a copperhead bite, both buried at Alexandria Presbyterian Cemetery

Note: In the census record of 1910, Sarah Zeigler Long said she had borne 13 children, of whom seven were alive. There is one missing from this list, who must have died before 1910.



Wiley & Garner, Biographical & Portrait Cyclopedia of Blair County

Federal census 1800 to 1940

Tax lists, in J. Simpson Africa, History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties

Isenberg family website

“Furnaces and forges”, PAGenWeb for Blair County

Keith Koch, “Bellefonte—The Iron Plantation”, Bellefonte Secrets, July 2008

Pennsylvania v. Espy, Huntingdon County Court of Common Pleas ruling

Obituary of Sarah Zeigler Long

Will of John C. Long

Family Bible of David Long, son of John and Sarah


Ancestry Family Trees

Research by Mimi Reed, Huntingdon County Historical Society

James Huston and Mary Grey

James Huston and Mary Grey were lucky to leave Ireland a few years before the start of the potato famine. They made their way to the rolling hills of Huntingdon County, which must have reminded them of the hills around Plumbridge and Gortin. There they married and started a family. Although they were not wealthy, they had enough money to invest in land out west in Illinois. Their luck perhaps ran out when James died when the youngest child was only two, leaving Mary to cope alone.

James was born around 1810 in Parish Bodoney, Tyrone County, Ireland, according to a record in the family Bible of his son-in-law David Long. Mary was supposedly from the same place. Perhaps they knew each other before immigrating. They came before 1844, and missed the start of the potato famine when the blight struck in September 1845. They were part of a large Scotch-Irish emigration to Pennsylvania which flowed continuously since the 1700s and provided many of the settlers of central Pennsylvania.

James and Mary were Protestants, and were married on May 4, 1844 in McConnelstown, a small town in Huntingdon County. They soon moved to Woodberry Township, Blair County, just across Tussey Mountain from McConnelstown, where James worked as a weaver. Did he work at the large woolen mill in Williamsburg there? They had two children by 1850, and soon added more. By 1860 they have moved to Walker Township, Huntingdon County, where they were farming.

James died on December 21, 1862; he was only 52. He was buried at McConnelstown Cemetery. Mary did not remarry, but lived with her oldest son Robert, a laborer. As the children grew older they scattered, and none stayed in Walker Township. Of the seven, only the two girls were known to have married, suggesting that the sons did not earn enough money to support a family.  Thomas, the twin brother of Elizabeth Huston Long, ended up in Mercer County, Illinois. When James died, the guardian of his estate petitioned the court for permission to sell real estate in Mercer County in order to settle the estate. Thomas would have been too young to buy that property, but perhaps there were other family connections that led him to settle there. The name Huston is too common among Irish immigrants to be sure.

Mary lived in Walker Township until 1885, when she was about 67. Then she moved in with her daughter Elizabeth and son-in-law David Long in Tyrone, when she lived until her death on March 16, 1892. She was buried in Tyrone cemetery, but apparently has no tombstone there.


James Huston, born about 1810 in Parish Bodoney, Tyrone County, Ireland; immigrated before May 1844; married Mary Grey on May 4, 1844 in McConnelstown, Walker Township, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania; died December 21, 1862; buried at McConnelstown Cemetery

Mary Grey, born about 1817 in Tyrone County, Ireland; married James Huston on May 4, 1844; died March 16, 1892 in Tyrone, Blair County, Pennsylvania; buried in Tyrone Cemetery (Grandview)

Children of James and Mary:

Catherine, b. June 21, 1846, died unmarried in Huntingdon in 1900

Robert, b. 1848, unmarried in 1880, living in the “far west” in 1892

Thomas, born Oct. 20, 1851 (a twin), living in Walker Township in 1870, in Alexis, Illinois in 1923, a miller, apparently unmarried; from his picture he had a rakish mustache.

Mary Elizabeth, born Oct. 20, 1851 (a twin), died May 25, 1923, married 1882 David Long, lived in Tyrone, Blair County; buried there

John, born 1853, no further definite record

James, b. 1856, living in Walker township in 1870, a stone mason, died before 1892 (possibly 1884)

Martha, “Mattie”, b. 1860, married Horace Caldwell about 1889, lived in Wilmerding, Allegheny County. Had a daughter Catherine who became a foster daughter to Elizabeth and David Long. Mattie died in 1905 in Joliet, Illinois.



Family Bible of David Long

Federal census records 1850 to 1880

Huntingdon County Orphans Court Dockets, on Ancestry

Huntingdon County marriages and deaths, Huntingdon County Historical Society card file

Tyrone Daily Herald, March 17, 1892 and 1923, on Ancestry

Pennsylvania Dept. of Health Death Certificates

Findagrave, Huntingdon County

Clark, History of Blair County

Township map of Walker Township, 1873, on the USGenWeb site

Burial records for McConnellstown, Huntingdon County PAGenWeb site







Elizabeth Huston Long

Known as “Elizabeth”, Mary Elizabeth Huston was a twin, the middle child of seven, in a family that immigrated from Ireland before the potato famine. The family was relatively poor, and only two of the seven children grew up to marry. She herself only had two children, a relatively small family for the time, but she had a comfortable life as the wife of a respected citizen of Tyrone.

She was born in 1851 in McConnellstown, a small town in the rolling countryside of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Her parents had moved there from Woodberry Township, Blair County, where her father James had worked as a weaver, possibly in the woolen mill in Williamsburg. In McConnellstown he made a living as a farmer, while raising his family. When Elizabeth was a teenager she went to work as a servant in the household of Charles Hamer, close to where her family lived. Another nearby family was that of John C. Long, a former blacksmith who turned to farming, and whose son David would grow up to marry Elizabeth. Before they were married, David went west to Kansas and Nebraska and used his carpentry skills to build bridges, while Elizabeth worked as a servant in the household of Charles Hatfield, a dry goods merchant in Alexandria who had two small daughters. In October 1882 David was back and he and Elizabeth were married in McConnellstown.

They soon moved to Tyrone, and David went into business for himself as a wagon maker. He built a house on South Lincoln Avenue, and they started their family with the birth of Mary Ella in September 1883, followed in 1887 by the birth of John Warren. David and Elizabeth later took in a niece, Catherine Huston, the daughter of Elizabeth’s sister Mattie Caldwell. Catherine became a foster daughter to them, and probably lived with them until her marriage.

Elizabeth was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Tyrone. She died in May 1923, suddenly of a heart ailment, leaving her husband David and the children to survive her. She was buried at Eastlawn Cemetery in Tyrone, where David would be buried next to her less than ten years later.


Mary Elizabeth Huston, born Oct. 20, 1851, Woodberry Township, Blair County, married David Long, October 26, 1882, died May 25, 1923, buried at Tyrone.

Children of David and Mary Elizabeth:

Mary Ella Long, born Sept. 12, 1883 in Tyrone, married Emerson F. Wade on May 26, 1908 at Alfarata, died Oct 13, 1925 at Pottstown, Chester County. Had five sons with Emerson Wade.

John Warren Long, born July 11, 1887, married Ada LaPorte on Oct 30, 1913 in Philadelphia, worked as a clerk for the Pennsylvania Railroad, lived in Tyrone, died Aug 21, 1943. Had four sons with Ada LaPorte.

Catherine Elizabeth Caldwell (foster daughter), born May 18, 1900, in Wilmerding, Allegheny County, daughter of Samuel “Horace” and Mattie (Huston) Caldwell, married Hubert Woodring in 1919 in Cumberland, Maryland. Catherine apparently died young, between 1923 and 1932.



Recollections of Ada L. Long and Harry H. Long

Letter from John W. Long to Mary Ella Wade, June 26, 1923.

Family Bible of David Long.

Federal census records, 1870 to 1930.

Obituary of Mary Gray Huston, Tyrone Daily Herald, March 17, 1892.

Obituary of Elizabeth Huston Long, on Ancestry.

Obituary of David Long, on Ancestry.

Pennsylvania Department of Health death certificates.

Huntingdon County Marriages, Huntingdon County Historical Society

David Long the wagon maker

When David Long died at the age of 82, he had been a respected citizen of Tyrone, Blair County, for over fifty years. After his adventure in the west as a young man, building bridges, he came back to Pennsylvania to marry a local girl, settle down, and start a family. But he enjoyed telling about his experience in the west for years afterward.

David was born in Franklin Forge, Huntingdon County, on November 13, 1849. He had a twin sister Sarah and at least ten other sisters and brothers (and one robust mother, Sarah Zeigler). His father John C. Long was a blacksmith, who probably worked in the iron forge at Franklin Forge. Sarah Zeigler’s father Barney was also a forgeman.

When David was eleven years old his family moved to Porter Township, Huntingdon County, across Tussey Mountain from Franklin Forge. His father took up farming there, close to the Huston family of the widow Mary and some of her children. Perhaps this is when David met Elizabeth. By 1870, when he was in his teens, David was apprenticed to a coach-maker, Joseph Piper. David lived with the Piper family in Alexandria, a small town on the road from Huntingdon to Tyrone, on the Juniata River. At the same time, in 1870, Elizabeth Huston, his future wife, was working as a servant in the household of George Hamer in Alexandria.

David was apparently not ready to settle down to a life building carriages. He headed west and spent some time as a carpenter building bridges in Kansas and Nebraska. He did not stay there, but came back to his family and to Elizabeth. They were married in 1882 at Huntingdon by a Methodist minister. They moved to Tyrone, where David built a house on South Lincoln Avenue and set up in business as a wagon maker. They started their family, with a daughter Mary Ella born in 1883 and a son John Warren born in 1887. They attended the Methodist Church. In 1892 Elizabeth’s mother Mary died; she was living with them at the time of her death. Around  1900 they took in a niece, Catherine Caldwell, the daughter of Elizabeth’s sister Mattie, who died in 1905. Catherine became a foster daughter for them, and probably lived with them until her marriage to Hubert Woodring.

When John was married, in 1913, David built an adjoining house for John and his family. David lived in the house down the hill, while John lived up the hill. They later swapped, since the lower house had more land for a garden (useful for John’s family of four sons).

By 1920 David worked as a mechanic, transferring his skills as automobiles supplanted horse drawn wagons in Tyrone. He was still in business for himself. In 1923 Elizabeth died suddenly of heart failure. David stayed in his house, eating most of his meals with John’s family. If he did not come down, they sent food up to him. He also stayed close to his sister Sarah, and spent several months with her before he died. (She never married and kept the Park House Inn at Alfarata Park, up the road from Alexandria.) David died in August 1932, and was buried with Elizabeth at Eastlawn Cemetery in Tyrone. His obituary called him a quiet, unassuming, home-loving man, who “took particular pride in relating his experiences” in the west.


David Long, born November 13, 1849, Franklin Forge, Blair County, married Mary Elizabeth Huston Oct. 24, 1882 at Huntingdon, died August 7, 1932, buried at Tyrone.

Mary Elizabeth Huston, born Oct. 20, 1851, Woodberry Township, Blair County, married David Long 1882, died May 25, 1923, buried at Tyrone.

Children of David and Mary Elizabeth:

Mary Ella Long, born Sept. 12, 1883 in Tyrone, married Emerson F. Wade on May 26, 1908 at Alfarata, died Oct 13, 1925 at Pottstown, Chester County. Had five sons with Emerson Wade.

John Warren Long, born July 11, 1887, married Ada LaPorte on Oct 30, 1913 in Philadelphia, worked as a clerk for the Pennsylvania Railroad, lived in Tyrone, died Aug 21, 1943. Had four sons with Ada LaPorte.

Catherine Elizabeth Caldwell (foster daughter), born May 18, 1900, in Wilmerding, Allegheny County, daughter of Samuel “Horace” and Mattie (Huston) Caldwell, married Hubert Woodring in 1919 in Cumberland, Maryland. Catherine apparently died young, between 1923 and 1932.



Recollections of Ada L. Long and Harry H. Long

Letter from John W. Long to Mary Ella Wade, June 26, 1923.

Family Bible of David Long.

Federal census records, 1870 to 1930.

Obituary of Mary Gray Huston, Tyrone Daily Herald, March 17, 1892.

Obituary of Elizabeth H. Long, on Ancestry.

Obituary of Sarah Elizabeth Long, 1940.

Obituary of David Long, on Ancestry.

Pennsylvania Department of Health death certificates.

Huntingdon County Marriages, Huntingdon County Historical Society