Benjamin Long

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Benjamin Long
Mayor of Dallas, Texas
In office
1868–1870
Preceded by George W. Guess
Succeeded by Henry Ervay
Personal details
Born Benjamin Lang
(1838-03-07)March 7, 1838
Zurich, Switzerland
Died June 23, 1877(1877-06-23) (aged 39)
Dallas, Texas, United States
Resting place Greenwood Cemetery, Dallas, Texas
Nationality Swiss-American
Spouse(s) Eugenia Devleschondere
Children Benjamin Long, Jr., Annie Long, Mary Long, Eugenia Long, Lucia Long
Occupation Grocer

Benjamin Long (March 7, 1838 – June 23, 1877), native of Switzerland, immigrant, grocer, was mayor of Dallas in 1868–1870 and 1872–1874.

Biography[edit]

Benjamin Lang was born March 7, 1838 in Zurich, Switzerland. He married Eugenia De Vleschondere, an immigrant from Belgium, on 25 March 1862 in the home of Jacob Nussbaumer in Dallas, Texas. They had one son and four daughters.[1]

He emigrated as part of the La Reunion Colony, a utopian community. That colony failed in part because most of the settlers were skilled craftsmen rather than farmers. Many of the settlers moved into east Dallas. It was then that he changed the spelling of his name to Long.[2]

During the American Civil War, he supported the Union, but moved to Mexico to avoid becoming involved in the hostilities. Following the Civil War, he was appointed mayor of Dallas by the military government in Austin for the term 1868 - 1870. He became a naturalized citizen in 1869. He resigned as mayor in April 1870 to return to Switzerland where he encouraged immigration to Texas. He was re-elected for a two-year term 1872 - 1874, but was defeated for re-election in 1874.[1][3]

Long provided funds for the right of way for the Texas and Pacific Railway and helped to secure land for the construction of the depot during his second term in office. He also built an artificial recreation lake, Long's Lake.[4] He was a member of the Tannehill Lodge #52 A.F. and A.M.

On June 23, 1877, Benjamin Long was shot by a patron of a Dallas saloon who had not paid his bar bill. He was interred at Greenwood Cemetery, Dallas, Texas.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ohan, Christopher."Ben Long: The Politics of Dallas's Practical Utopian." Legacies. A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Vol. 14 (Spring 2002), No. 1, p. 4-11.
  2. ^ Proud Heritage II: Pioneer Families of Dallas County. Dallas County Pioneer Association, p. 150 - 151.
  3. ^ 1870 Dallas county, Texas census. NARA Publication M593, Roll 1581, P. 423A
  4. ^ Cook, George. "Hidden in Plain Sight. The Story of Long's Lake." Legacies. A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas. Vol. 22 (Spring 2010), p. 4-14
  5. ^ "Murder Rampant." The Dallas Daily Herald. June 24, 1877, p. 1