James Stockton "Jim" Longley (1859-1938)

Son of Campbell Longley & Sarah Ann Henry

md. Elvira Ann Draper (1862-1928)

Campbell Longley's second-youngest son, James Stockton "Jim" Longley, was featured in an article, "In His Brother's Long Shadow," by Wayne Spiller in True West magazine, Jan.-Feb. 1972, describing how he admired his older brother William Preston "Wild Bill" Longley. When Bill was charged with the murder of Wilson Anderson (which he stoutly denied in the letter quoted herein), Jim was charged with complicity. Bill was convicted; Jim was acquitted. However, after Bill's execution, there were people who wanted to take their grudges against him out on Jim, or just wanted the fame of killing Bill Longley's brother. Jim was forced to become even more alert to possible danger and to practice his markmanship and speed. Later a friend is quoted as saying of him, "Jim Longley has nerves of steel. With his six-shooter he could hit a half-dollar target at ten paces shot after shot."

Jim was described as dashing, dark-haired, black-eyed. While farming near Florence in Williamson Co., TX, Jim was a deputy sheriff. About 1883 he and wife Elvira "Vie" Draper moved to Voca, near Brady, McCulloch Co., TX. There in 1888 he was elected constable of his precinct. In 1890 he ran for Sheriff, but withdrew to support his friend, the incumbent. Later the family moved to Hamilton County. He died in 1938 at Lometa, Lampasas Co., TX, where his brother Alex lived and their father Campbell had died in 1907.

James Stockton Longley's oldest daughter Mary Emelia Longley Hooker (born 1882) and I corresponded in the 1960s, but the following letter she wrote in 1943 to her youngest sister Rose Masterson and husband Neill (during World War II) was quoted in "In His Brother's Long Shadow" by Wayne Spiller in True West Magazine, Jan-Feb, 1972.

 Letters from Mary Amelia Longley Hooker (1982-1983)

Daughter of James Stockton Longley (1859-1938)

Son of Campbell Longley (1816-1907)

MARY AMELIA LONGLEY HOOKER -- when we corresponded in 1960s; she resided in Colorado City, TX. She was born on 31 Jul 1882 at Florence, Williamson Co., TX (at home of Elvira's parents). She m. 1st MILTON CRANFIELD on 30 Jun 1901 TX. She m. 2nd L. C. or J. C. HOOKER on 26 Jun 1928 TX. She died in May 1983, Colorado City, TX, at age 100; buried beside two sisters in the Longley plot, IOOF Ceme., Lometa, TX, near their parents and Campbell Longley.

 Colorado City, Texas, March 15, 1943

My dear Rose and Neill:

I hope this reaches you on your birthday -- tried to write yesterday, but had company.

Rose, I remember how Mama and Papa always remembered your birthday and would speak of it all day on March 17th, and Papa never failed to remember and speak of it as long as he lived.

I remember as well as if yesterday how late one evening Mama sat on the front step, and we were all playing around and Papa was cutting up wood -- the big chips he was making! -- and Mama said to him as he came up to the door, "Jim I'm sick. You'd better take the children to Auntie's [her aunt Ellen Richardson] and get her or Grandma Stewart to come." I can't remember very much about Auntie's house, only it was not very far there. Then sometime in the early morning I heard Uncle Matt [Richardson] say, "So they have a new baby girl at Jim's," and I could not sleep anymore. Later they took us home and we could hardly wait to get there to see the new baby.

Mrs. Poe -- "Aunt Liney Poe" -- met us in the yard and said she found you in a hollow stump, and she ran and ran after the doctor through the bushes and brush and spread out her hands and said, "See where I scratched my hands," and they were all scratched up. Now I wonder how she really had scratched them. You know she was a "midwife." Later Mama had "child bed fever," they called it then, and Papa had two doctors in with Mama. I think now that the woman's infected hands may have caused that, and it's a wonder Mama ever got well -- way out there in that primitive settlement. They had Dr. Jodie McKnight and Dr. Wilson with Mama. Dr. McKnight is head doctor now at the Carlsbad Sanitorium near San Angelo, Texas. I remember he was the handsomest man I ever saw.

He had a sweetheart then named Lindy Lemons. Mama was always talking about how pretty they danced together. Once all the young people "stormed" Mama and Papa and came to the dance. They had musicians with them. I remember the fiddlers, and how pretty the music sounded, and how they all laughed and had such a good time. Mama and Papa danced too -- it was mostly waltzing -- and I can see Jodie and Lindy waltzing now, so smooth and even, and how good looking he was, and how pretty and pink-cheeked and bright-eyed she was, with brown curly hair. I can't remember much about the others, only how happy they were.

I think they took along 12 inch planks and put them down on nail kegs to make benches all around the floor, and the floor was new. Now I think they knew that floor was new, and those young folks wanted to dance on it . . .

Now in this war-torn world I wonder if people can ever be as hapy and carefree as they were that night. They had no idea then of war as it is today. But people are strange animals. In such peace as the world enjoyed then they had to get into something, so they formed mobs. Our peace there was shattered by a mob, and we left that lovely settlement that to my childish mind was Eden then. The good neighbors Mama had, and wild cows and wild hogs, the rivers and creeks full of the finest fish on earth, and the fine gardens and fine fruit, and the good yam potatoes, and the finest hams ever cured -- wild honey and deer and kraut in barrels, and all the rich milk and butter, and the Sunday meetings and Camp meetings, and a little red rock school house where Claude and I started to school, and where they had the community Christmas tree, and that little town of Voca where we bought candy and sardines and salmon and flour. They had a big old mill where we took the corn for meal. And Brady and Brownwood were the big towns, and Mama and Papa took wool and pecans to sell, and all of us and Uncle Matt used to go thrash and gather up the big pecans on the San Saba River and on Lost Creek. I will never forget those towering pecan trees, and Papa and Uncle Matt climbing up in the trees, and walking the limbs and thrashing with a long pole, so nimble and quick, laughing and singing. I can see them yet, and Mama and all of us picking up those fat pecans.

Then they would build a fire and cook meat on a stick, and bake potatoes and bake biscuits in a dutch oven -- coals on the lid -- and have onions and some dessert brought from home, and coffee boiled in a can. That was the best eating! Most times the dessert was ginger cakes and cookies that Mama had baked the day before. The cookies were "tea cakes" with sugar sprinkled on top. Mama made the finest.

 Then they would go fishing -- all gather at some home on the creek or River, and the women and children all stayed in the house putting the children to sleep in "trundle beds" and pallets -- and the men set trot lines and fished all night. I remember them coming up from the creek in early morning with big fish -- sometime big enough to have a rail run through the gills and carried on the men's shoulders, fish tails dragging. Then the cooking came -- out in the yard, and how I wish for some of tthat golden brown fish today.

They would rob wild bee trees and come in with great pans and buckets of golden honey, and they also had tame bees (bees in a hive), and when a crowd would come or some of the kinfolks from Florence, Papa would put a net over his head and get a smoke on a stick and "rob the bees."

We had time for so much. They killed their own fat beeves and divided up among the neighbors, and then the neighbors would kill and divide, too. They dried strips of beef on a rope or on the roof, and we ate dried beef. And was it good! We cut up peaches and dried then, and Mama made fried pies, and they raised the biggest juiciest watermelons -- and had chickens to kill anytime . . .

Mama milked those cows in a big rail pen, and all us kids had tin cups. We stayed outside the pen and beat the cups on the rails, and Mama would come get our cups and milk them full of warm milk, and foam was on top. I can smell that milk now.

People traveled in wagons -- some ox wagons -- very few buggies, and the women and girls often rode horseback, and wore long black riding skirts, and they came to see Mama when you were born. Every woman in the neighborhood came, and when you got big enough to take visiting, Mama put you in a little play wagon and pulled you, and Bert and Claud and I walked. When you got to be two or three she put us all on "Old Morgan" and led him, and sometimes she rode "Old Salt" and led Morgan and us all a-visiting. Then I remember her hitching up the horses to the wagon and going to Voca, and there the wagons and horses were all hitched around, and the stores had broad, high false fronts, some with a little porch out front, some with only a plank sidewalk.

They had big picnics and political speeches, bucking horses and whiskey drinking. On the other hand the best camp meeting anywhere.

And Mama's yard and all her neighbors' yards had phlox, hollyhocks, and the ground was covered with moss -- red, white, yellow, pink, and striped.

Mama would dress herself up as pretty as she could, and all her little girls. She curled her hair and did the same for us, and in the summertime she hade us all white dresses and had pretty ribbon sashes and bows in our hair, and she had a pretty dress all the time. When she and Papa went to Church they were the prettiest couple there and had the sweetest singing voices. I could tell their voices from all the rest, even from outside the Church. I'd get out to get a drink sometimes. Water in big barrels in the shade. And now I'll never hear two voices as lovely as theirs on this earth again . . . and their voices have floated away as all those things I've written of will never return.

Now you can know how life was when and where you were born. And life for your mother and father and your sisters was sweet and young and good. You were a loved little sister . . .

I just wonder how Mama used to keep us all clean and dressed as well as she did, for she made every stitch of our clothes from the skin out, and worked buttonholes and put buttons on every garment, and for herself too, and made all Papa's clothes but his Sunday suits, and washed and ironed every garment herself, and made her own soap, and ironed with those old flat irons, and scrubbed all the floors and kept the beds so clean, and made every quilt we had, and cooked every meal we ate. She was good to all her neighbors and went to see them, and took us all to Church if she could go -- and they did go always when we were young.

And she kept up in her reading, and she knew the Bible and world events and geography. We were born of a wonderful woman -- our mother.

Now I've got to close this, wishing you happiness through the year, and in the future years . . . .

Love from MARY

Mary wrote a letter at age 81 to her cousin James Posey Alford in Gonzales, transcribed in 1965 by Doris Ross Johnston's mother, Mrs. Reta Wilks Ross, from the original written by Mrs. Mary Longley Hooker, daughter of James Stockton Longley, son of Campbell Longley:

Colorado City, Texas
July 30, 1964
Mr. James Posie Alford ?

My Dear Cousin Posey as my good Grandfather Longley spelled his brother's name.

In Grandfather's records, It gives Posy Longley b. 1829 d. in Paul's Valley, Okla, 1896.

We know one of Posy's grandsons, Major Orbra Longley. He was located in Lubbock for awhile during WW 2. The meeting with my brother Herbert was by accident. My brother walked up to Orbra's back, slapped him on the back and said, "Hello Buck!" Herbert said "My name is Longley too." So they traced their kinship from them on they were very close. Orbra's wife had a little girl while they lived at Lubbock. They named her Bonnie Lillian for Herbert's wife. Orbra was transferred to San Antonio and on to Europe. He spent a long time in Germany. They had a nice family of little children in Lubbock. Since that, the children have grown up and married.

I was so very glad to get your letter.

In the records I copied of Grandfather Longley's, he gave Mary as one of his sisters. I know he had a sister who m. an Alford.

We have met many of the Alfords and loved them all, because they were half Longley in the grandmother and grandfather families, and that Grandmother could have been "Martha Elizabeth" as Ida Alford always said. Now that "Mary" was born 1822, died 1866. Grandpa had a Mary, Martha, Elizabeth and a Callie. Grandpa's records were far from complete. He did not say to whom his brothers and sisters married.

Here is all I copied from the family Bible. Now owned by Uncle Cam's son Leon Longley of San Saba, Texas.
Caleb (Cale) Longley b. Sevier Co. Tennessee in 1815.
Wm. B. 1820.
Preston b. 1818.
Mary b. 1822 - d. 1866. This must be "Mary Elizabeth." Grandpa was old when he wrote these records. He could have mixed that up with his daughter "Mary."
George W. Longley: b. 1824 - d. 1844.
Caroline Longley: (Aunt Cal she was m. 5 times) We met knew and loved cousin Mat Singleton Johnson in Caldwell in Burleson Co., where she died in 1897. We were there for her funeral. We surely loved her. She was Aunt Cal's daughter by one of the husbands. Aunt Cal was a real character, full of wit, fun and spunk, and they told us really beautiful.
Posy Longley b. 1829 d. in Paul's Valley, Okla 1896.
Cale Longley was John Longley's Grandfather. Uncle Bill was named for William and Preston Longley, "William Preston Longley." We never knew Uncle Bill, but our father and Grandfather Longley told us so much about him, and his varied life.

I do hope you get your Grandmother down as a Longley for I Know that she was.

I have that letter from Mrs. Henderson wrote to my sister Mrs. Jack Blackshear in Houston. She didn't know as much as I know of all the Longleys, as she is the baby of our family. I am the oldest child and remember a lot of the things they told me.

I've not written Mrs. Henderson [Posey Alford's mother-in-law], for my sister Claudia who lives with me has been seriouisly ill. She was taken to hospital with a bad heart attack. 3-1-1964, was there 24 days. I locked my house, went and spent day and night in hospital with her. Since then she has not been too well. For the past 4 or 6 weeks she has suffered with a kidney infection, but is much improved now.

Mrs. Henderson's letter was written Mar. 23, and I've had my hands and heart full of anxiety, so not much writing.

This sister of your mother-in-law being in Georgia surely is near a nest of Longleys and Alfords. I have letters written by Mr. T. M. Longley in Jan. 1918. He was son of John Longley, the youngest son of William, a brother to Joseph Longley. My great grandfather William Longley and his son Joseph were in Revolutionary War.

Also I have a letter from F. P. Longley, written Oct. 31, 1931 telling me of his father and himself. They were both lawyers. F. M. Longley's letter head was "Longley and Longley" Lawyers in La Grange, Georgia. F. M. Longley compiled family records. F. P. (Frank) Longley's letterhead was "F. P. Longley - attorney at Law," La Grange, Ga. I don't know whether he is still living, but his father had passed away. At one time his father was Circuit Judge there, went to his grave full of honors and years.

I am helping Mrs. Roger Matthews in Monette, Mo. Get up Longley records. She says she has traced "William Longley" born in Virginia, and thinks she may get something back of this (him). Inclined to think Wm's father is one James Longley.

I am also helping a cousin in Hileah, Florida, Mrs. Martha Draper Gilbert. She is getting records on Drapers. They are my mother's people.

I'm behind on both, as I'm writing a Record on Longley and Draper for my brother H. J. Longley of Lubbock. I started them the first of the year, and they are (Wm. & Joseph or Joel) (were your grandfathers too maybe) snagged on my neglect. When I do get all the Longley Records finished from Wm. down, I'm sending to Herbert in Lubbock. He will send to his son Jerry in Los Alamos, N. Mex. Jerry will use machine and make many copies for relations. I will include you with a Longley Record.

Please be patient. I try but get no where. I guess I'm plain lazy, but I just don't know it. You squeeze out time and come to see my sister and me. We will talk you down telling "Longley tales." Besides we just want to see you Posy - for you are Longley kin and we love all of them.

I have 3 sisters in Houston. Mrs. Blackshear, Mrs. Berta Standefer, and Mrs. Rose Masterson. Also a nephew Dr. Will. B. Longley and his sister Mary Longley. Mary lives with Dr. Longley to care for his children (2). Neill's wife has passed away. Mary was there in Houston University, and she stayed on with Neill. Her home is Andrews, Texas with her father D. B. Longley, her mother and brother John (soon 17).

Now I've tired you out and perhaps left you feeling vacant as far as records are concerned. If I live, you will get the records.

Remember we love our Longley Kin. We are proud of each one.

Your far off cousin
Mary L. Hooker
638 Elm, Colorado City, Tex.
How is Aunt Ida?
Our father was James Stockton Longley, born Washington County, 1-21-1859.

 James Stockton Longley, his wife Elvira (Draper), and their daughters Mary, Rose, and Claudia are buried in the Longley plot, IOOF Cemetery, Lometa, Texas, near his father Campbell Longley. Next to the Longley plot are three Stockton graves, relationship unknown, but apparently family friends so admired as to name a son after them.




 James Stockton Longley's son Dewey Byron Longley's tombstone in Andrews, TX



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