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Plumas County








            In these days of congested automobile traffic, complicated by thoughtless and reckless drivers, the highway patrolman plays a very important and essential part in preserving some measure of regard for traffic rules and public safety.  This position in Plumas County is being filled in a very creditable and satisfactory manner by Captain William S. Long, whose record has gained for him the respect of those who know him.  He was born at Red Bluff, Tehama County, California, August 14, 1895, and is a son of James W. and Frances (Pitts) Long, both of whom are representatives of old pioneer California families.  His paternal grandfather, Joseph R. Long, crossed the plains from Missouri in about 1852 and became an extensive cattle and sheep raiser near Red Bluff.  He died in 1914, at the age of eighty-four years.  The maternal grandfather was drawn to California by the lure of gold in the early ‘50s and crossed the plains from his home in Michigan, traveling with the typical ox team and covered wagon of that period and establishing his family in the Golden State.  His daughter, Mrs. Frances Long, died in 1915, at the age of forty-eight years, and is survived by her husband, who is now sixty-seven years old and a successful cattleman at Red Bluff.

            William S. Long, who is the eldest of seven children born to his parents, attended the public schools in the vicinity of Red Bluff, completing his studies in the rural grammar school in the old Sheldon district at Ball’s Ferry.  His first work was in the cattle business with his father, and he was so engaged when the United States entered the World War.  He at once enlisted in the United States Navy and went to San Diego, where he was in training for three weeks, after which he was sent across the continent to Leon Island, Pennsylvania, where he was at once assigned to duty in the transport service.  He was appointed machinist’s mate on the United States Steamship Saetia, on which he made two successful trips across the Atlantic.  While on the return trip, after taking across two loads of soldiers and when one hundred and twenty-five miles east of Atlantic City, New Jersey, his ship was torpedoed and went down in twelve minutes.  He was saved by means of a life raft, being picked up by a tramp steamer which landed him safely at Cape May, New Jersey.  After that he was assigned to the United States Steamship Newport News, a supply ship, and sent to Constantinople.  After discharging its cargo there, the ship set sail for San Francisco, at which port Mr. Long was honorably discharged on September 4, 1919, after nearly two and one-half years of service.  During that period he visited Havre, Brest and Bordeaux, France; Ponliac and Gibraltar, Spain; Constantinople, Turkey; Ismid, in Asia Minor, and Deringi.

            Immediately after leaving the navy, Mr. Long went to work in the oil fields at Fellows and Taft, California, as a mechanical engineer, a line of work which appealed to him, as he had been from boyhood interested in machinery.  He followed that profession until 1925, during which time he was employed by the Associated and State Consolidated Oil Company, and also by the Rieger Iron Works at Taft.  On July 1, 1925, he was appointed a state highway patrolman, in which capacity he served until June 11, 1928, when he was promoted to the rank of captain and assigned to Plumas County, where he has served to the present time.  He resides at Quincy and cooperates with the sheriff of Plumas County, making his official headquarters in the sheriff’s office.

            On January 3, 1920, at Sacramento, California, Captain Long was united in marriage to Miss Reita Cameron, of Red Bluff, whose father, Edward Cameron, was a member of one of the pioneer families that locality.  She was educated in the public schools and high school at Red Bluff and the State Teachers College at Chico, and had five years’ experience in teaching prior to her marriage.  Captain and Mrs. Long have become the parents of three children:  Robert C., Beverly Joyce and Douglas S.  The first named, Robert, was drowned April 14, 1931, at the age of nine years, together with a companion, Robert Stewart, aged ten, the two boys falling into a lumber mill pond at Quincy.

            Captain Long is a Republican in his political views.  He is a member of the American Legion at Quincy, to which post he demitted in 1926 from Mount Lassen Post, No. 167, at Red Bluff, of which he is a past commander.  He also belongs to La Societe des 40 Hommes et 8 Chevaux and to the State Highway Patrolmen’s Association.  Since coming to Quincy, Captain Long has won a host of warm friends, who recognize his sterling qualities and the very capable manner in which he is filling his present responsible position.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 375-377. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



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