Long, W. E. & Sons General Store Records, 1865-1971

Browse manuscript collections

Summary Information

Repository:
Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Creator:
W.E. Long & Sons
Title:
W. E. Long & Sons General Store Records
Collection No.:
SC 0218
Date:
1865-1971
Extent:
6 boxes, 2.31 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
English
Abstract:
The W. E. Long & Sons General Store Records, 1865-1971, primarily document the business activities of W.E. Long & Sons General Store in Rockingham County, Virginia. Records from the Mt. Clinton Post Office, predating W. E. Long's time as Mt. Clinton postmaster, are also included.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], [box #, folder #], W. E. Long & Sons General Store Records, 1865-1971, SC 0218, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

^ Top

Bio/Historical Note

Samuel Long (1821-1892) was the original owner of the Long Store. He worked primarily as a farmer and dry goods merchant, running numerous stores before moving from Shenandoah County to Rockingham County in 1868. In 1880, he bought the Hopkins Upper Mill on Muddy Creek and established the Chrisman general store and post office. His son, William Evans Long (1855-1926), was named postmaster of the Chrisman post office in 1881. Samuel Long also established another store around 1869 in Green Mount, Virginia. William E. Long was named postmaster of the Green Mount branch in 1889, and took over operations from J.W. Mauck. In 1892, Samuel Long bought A.B. Driver & Company in Mt. Clinton, Virginia, and changed the name to S. Long & Sons. At this time, William E. Long was also appointed postmaster of the Mt. Clinton post office. William E. Long and his brother-in-law, John B. Bowman (1844-1893) ran the Mt. Clinton branch of the store under the name Long & Bowman, until the death of Bowman in 1893. Upon the death of Samuel Long in 1892, William's sister sold her husband's half of the Mt. Clinton store to William for $2,500. The name of the store was changed to W.E. Long & Sons once William Long's children, specifically C. Edward (1887-1961) and Frank R. (1901-1958), reached maturity. The store operated under this name until it was turned over by William Long's sons to a nephew, Samuel Claude Long (1925-1988), who renamed the store S.C. Long & Sons in 1959. It remained under his name until his retirement in 1988 when it left the family's possession. A quick succession of owners succeeded S. Claude Long until the store was torn down in 1995. The Long family owned and operated the Long family store for roughly 95 years, managing to sustain a business through WWI, the Great Depression, and WWII.

^ Top

Scope and Content

The W. E. Long & Sons General Store Records, 1865-1971, primarily document the business activities of W.E. Long & Sons General Store in Rockingham County, Virginia. Materials include account books and ledgers, invoices and receipts, advertisements, billheads, correspondence, and documentation of expenses and sales related to the business dealings of W.E. Long & Sons. Records from the Mt. Clinton Post Office, predating W.E. Long's time as Mt. Clinton postmaster, are also included.

^ Top

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into six series:

Series 1: Invoices, Advertisements, and Correspondence, 1865-1955

Series 2: Purchases and Orders, 1893-1924

Series 3: Bank Ledgers, Expenses, and Sales, 1866-1971

Series 4: Long's Store Account Books, 1869-1921

Series 5: Long's Store Records, 1877-1929

Series 6: Mt. Clinton Post Office Records, 1879-1893

Generally, each series is arranged chronologically. Exceptions to this arrangement were made in order to keep like materials together within a series.

^ Top

Administrative Information

Revision Description

Updated physical housing and applied new collection number. April 2019

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Acquisition Information

Materials in this collection were donated by Scott Suter in 2001; purchased from Scott Suter between 2007 and 2008; purchased from Dusty's Antique Market (Ronald L. Fulk) in Mt. Sidney, Virginia in 2008; purchased from Rocky's Gold & Silver in Weyer's Cave, Virginia in 2009; and found as orphaned material in a Carrier Library filing cabinet in 2016.

Processing Information

This collection comprises numerous accessions related to W. E. Long & Sons General Store and the Long family of Mt. Clinton, Virginia. These accessions include 2001-0912, 2007-0419a, 2007-0419b, 2008-0311, 2008-1215b, and 2016-0501. Parts of this collection were previously cataloged as Long's Store Account Books (SC 4056) and Mt. Clinton Post Office Records (SC 4057).

In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in 2018-2019. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 5044. During this time, the collection was physically consolidated into fewer boxes and minor updates made to the intellectual arrangement. However, the overall intellectual arrangement of the collection was maintained.

Location

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL: https://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/

^ Top

Index Terms

Genre and Form

  • Ledgers (account books)
  • Shipping records
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Bills of sale
  • Promissory notes
  • Billheads
  • Invoices

Subject

  • Long, Samuel, 1821-1892
  • Long, William E., (William Evans), 1855-1926
  • Long, S. Claude, (Samuel Claude), 1925-1988
  • Long's Store (Green Mount, Va.)
  • Long's Store (Mt Clinton, Va.)
  • General stores -- Virginia -- Green Mount
  • General stores -- Virginia -- Mt. Clinton
  • Merchants -- Virginia -- Green Mount -- Records and correspondence
  • Merchants -- Virginia -- Mt. Clinton -- Records and correspondence
  • Postal service -- Virginia -- Mt. Clinton -- Records and correspondence
  • Postmasters -- Virginia -- Mt. Clinton -- Records and correspondence
  • Account books -- Sources
  • Business records -- Sources
  • Rockingham County (Va.) -- History -- Sources
  • Virginia -- History, Local -- Sources

^ Top

Bibliography

Dale MacAllister, "The William E. Long Family and Long's Store," 2008, https://dahjsg1f05sei.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/12160639/MacAllisteronLong.pdf (accessed April 18, 2019).

^ Top

Collection Inventory

Series 1: Invoices, Advertisements, and Correspondence, 1865-1955

This series contains invoices to the Long Store from other companies, showing that orders were paid for in full. Specific company invoices include: Harrisonburg Grocery Co. Inc. Exclusively Wholesale; Merchants Grocery and Hardware Co. (successors of Snell Grocery and Hardware Co.); Sears, Roebuck and Co.; Coca-Cola Co.; National Biscuit Co. (Nabisco); and the Standard Oil Co.

Companies also sent advertisements to the Long Store in order to try to persuade the store to buy their products. Specific company and agency advertisements include advertisements from the US Food Administration; Mishawaka Rubber and Woolen Mfg. Co.; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; and the Merchants Grocery and Hardware Co.

Correspondence includes letters and envelopes addressed to the Long Store from a variety of companies. Most of the correspondence thanks the Long Store for their business, provides information about backorders, includes contract letters, and personal correspondence. Companies that sent correspondence letters include: Miller & Yager General Commission Merchants, Superior Dairy Goods Moseley & Stoddard MFG Co., Darby Manufacturing Co., and R. P. Bayley & Co Importers of China & Glass.

All of these papers provide insight into the business transactions of the Long Store. The papers also show the types of products that the people of Mt. Clinton, Virginia were buying not only in everyday life, but also during the war years. The papers are organized chronologically and they are listed below in alphabetical order by company name.

There was a group of advertisements and letters found with materials from Series 3 which had been left in their original envelopes. The letters were taken out of the envelopes and placed in a folder. The letters were moved to Series 1 for convenience sake, and are all contained together in Folder 9, so they do not follow the chronological scheme of the other folders. One postcard from the State Normal School of Harrisonburg, Virginia, with seemingly no connection to the Long family, was found with the ledgers.

Title/Description Instances
Invoices, Advertisements, and Correspondence, April 1, 1865-March 31, 1899

C. L. Moor; Commonwealth of Virginia; David Taylor and Co.; Hellen Jatzeusteler; Heller Brothers and Co.; Jacob and Viert; Joseph Raish Loans; Long Store Ledger Page; Rockingham Register; R. P. Bayley and Co.; Smith, Ellet, & Co.; Stoneburner and Richards; Treasury of Rockingham County; Tucker and Co.; Wm. Devries & Co.; Young, Kimmell, and Diggs

box 1 folder 1
Invoices, Advertisements, and Correspondence, December 3, 1900-November 6, 1917

Baker and Company Groceries, Baltimore Bargain House, Baltimore Oil, Brand Shoe Co., Byers-Beery Grocery Co., Chesapeake & Ohio RR, C. J. Rice, Daniel Miller Co. Dry Goods, Edelen Bros. Commission, First National Bank, Harrisonburg Evaporating Co., Harrisonburg Grocery Co., Herb Medicine Co., J. G. Haldeman & Bros, Lynchburg Shoe Co., Miscellaneous, Mishawaka Woolen Manufacturing Co., N. K. Fairbank, Norfolk Western RR, Red C. Oil, R. M. Sutton Co., Snell Grocery & Hardware, Standard Oil, W. A. W. Davis Corporation

box 1 folder 2
Invoices, Advertisements, and Correspondence, February 15, 1918-September 17, 1918

American Snuff Co., Baltimore Bargain House, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Crystal Lamps Asst., Daniel Miller Co. Dry Goods, Harrisonburg Grocery Co., J. Frank Darling Co. Inc., J.W. Ould Company Inc., Merchants Grocery & Hardware Co., Red "C" Oil Manufacturing Co., Snell Grocery, Southern Railroad Co., US Food Administration

box 1 folder 3
Invoices, Advertisements, and Correspondence, December19, 1921-December 23, 1924

American Wholesale Corporation, B. F. Goodrich Rubber, Chattanooga Knitting Mills, City Produce Exchange, Daniel Miller Co. Dry Goods, Friedman-Shelby International Shoe, G. K. Andrews & Co., Harrisonburg Grocery Co., Imperial Ice Cream Co., J. M. Snell & Co., Merchants Grocery & Hardware Co., National Biscuit Company, Sternick & Bittman Butter and Eggs, Westel Seed Co., W. F. Berry & Son

box 1 folder 4
Invoices, Advertisements, and Correspondence, January 5, 1925-November 25, 1927

American Wholesale Corporation, Arbuckle Brothers, Barnhart Overall Company, B. F. Goodrich Rubber Company, Chas. King & Son Co, Inc., Daniel Miller Company, Edelen Brothers General Commission Merchants, Ehrmann Manufacturing Co., First National Bank, G. K. Andrews and Co., Harrisonburg Candy and Fruit Company, Harrisonburg Grocery Co., International Shoe Company, J. M. Strickler, John W. Eshelman and Sons, J. W. Ould Company, L.W. Gaines and Company, Merchants Grocery and Hardware Co., Mishawaka Rubber and Woolen Mfg. Co., National Biscuit Company, Proctor and Gamble Distributing Co., Richmond Hosier Mills, Southern Railway Company, Valley Supply Company, Virginia Cigar Company, Wetsel Seed Company

box 1 folder 5
Invoices, Advertisements, and Correspondence, February 18, 1928-December 12, 1928

American Wholesale Corporation, Barnhart Overall Co.; Burke & Price Insurance; Daniel Miller Co. Dry Goods; D. M. Ferry & Co. Seedsmen; E. W. Ross Ensilage Cutter & Silo Co.; Friedman-Shelby International Shoe; Harrisonburg Candy & Fruit Co., Inc.; Harrisonburg Grocery Co.; Hawkins Hardware Co.; H. M. Baucon & Sons; J. M. Strickler; John F. Birkmeyer & Sons; Merchants Grocery & Hardware Co.; Mishawaka Rubber & Woolen Manufacturing Co.; National Biscuit Co.; R. A. Brice & Son; R. G. Dun & Co.

box 1 folder 6
Invoices, Advertisements, and Correspondence, January 5, 1929-November 16, 1929

C. D. Kenny Co.; Daniel Miller Company; Harlin Bro and Co.; Harrisonburg Candy and Fruit Company, Inc.; Harrisonburg Grocery Co.; Hawkins Hardware Co.; International Shoe Company; Miscellaneous; Mishawaka Rubber and Woolen Mfg. Co.; R. A. Brice and Son; R. A. Brice and Son; R. A. Brice and Son; R. A. Brice and Son

box 1 folder 7
Invoices, Advertisements, and Correspondence, March 4, 1930-September 10, 1955

American Wholesale Co.; Bentley, Shriver & Co.; Bob's Food Products Co., Inc.; Butler Brothers; Daniel Miller Co. Dry Goods; Dixie Distributing Co.; E. J. Branch & Sons; Elkton Lithia Bottling Co.; First National Bank; Friedman-Shelby International Shoe; Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Inc.; Harrisonburg Candy & Fruit Company, Inc.; Harrisonburg Grocery Co.; Harrisonburg Livestock Market Inc.; Hartford Fire Insurance Co.; Henry S. King & Sons; J. F. Burkholder's Speech on World Peace; J. S. Denton & Sons, Inc.; Manbeck Bread Co.; Merchants Grocery & Hardware Co.; Miscellaneous Accounting; M. O. Showalter & Son; National Biscuit Co.; Ort Brothers Bakery, Inc.; Proctor & Gamble Distributing Co.; Rockingham Cooperative Farm Bureau, Inc.; Rockingham Tractor & Equipment Co.; Snow King Baking Powder Co.; Strietman Biscuit Co.; Virginia Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co.; Wm. Schluderberg- T. J. Kurdle Co.

box 1 folder 8
Invoices, Advertisements, and Correspondence, February 1, 1882-June 24, 1911

R. P. Bayley & Co Importers of China & Glass, Miller & Yager General Commission Merchants: invoice/envelope 2/2/1882, Miller & Yager General Commission Merchants: invoice/envelope 11/10/1882, Superior Dairy Goods Moseley & Stoddard MFG Co.: 4 ads/envelope ca. 1887, George G. McClintock Commission Merchants: receipt/envelope 8/2/1892, Darby Manufacturing Co.: envelope 8/25/1892, Edelen Bros Commission Merchants: invoice/envelope 3:30/1901, State Normal School Postcard: 6/25/1911

box 1 folder 9

^ Top

Series 2: Purchases and Orders, 1893-1924

This series contains purchases and orders in ledgers compiled during the lifetime of the Long Store. The series contains 23 ledgers in total. Some ledgers show what customers ordered from the store and others show what the Long Store purchased from other companies in order to fulfill the needs of their customers. The order ledgers show what customers wanted to buy as well as who the regular customers were. They show the relationship that the Long Store had with its customers. Once the orders were delivered and were paid for, the order was crossed out with a red "X," indicating that the transaction was complete.

The purchase ledgers show what the owners of the Long Store purchased in order to meet the demand of their customers. Most of these ledgers are labeled with a date, what was bought on that date, and how much the order cost. Most ledgers were not specific with what goods were bought, but were specific with the pricing. Purchases were mostly labeled as "Goods" or "Tobacco" showing the importance of tobacco in that it was given its own category. Other ledgers simply state the name of the company being ordered from, rather than listing all the specific goods themselves.

Title/Description Instances
Customer Order Ledgers 1-5, November 1899-April 1903 box 1 folder 10
Customer Order Ledger 1, November 1899-December 1899
Customer Order Ledger 2, April 1900-October 1900
Customer Order Ledger 3, October 1900-August 1901
Customer Order Ledger 4, April 1902-September 1902
Customer Order Ledger 5, September 1902-April 1903
Customer Order Ledgers 6-9, April 1903-June 1909 box 1 folder 11
Customer Order Ledger 6, April 1903-August 1903
Customer Order Ledger 7, June 1904-August 1904
Customer Order Ledger 8, April 1907-May 1907
Customer Order Ledger 9, April 1909-June 1909
Purchase Ledger Marker "To Goods" 1, April 1893-March 1904 box 2 Envelope 1
Purchase Ledger Marker "To Goods" 2, April 1904-December 1914 box 2 Envelope 2
Purchase Ledger with Specific Goods Listed 1, January 1906-January 1907 box 2 Envelope 3
Purchase Ledger with Specific Goods Listed 2, January 1907-January 1908 box 2 Envelope 4
Purchase Ledger with Specific Goods Listed 3, January 1908-January 1910 box 2 Envelope 5
Purchase Ledger with Specific Goods Listed 4, January 1910-1911 box 2 Envelope 6
Purchase Ledger with Specific Goods Listed 5, 1911-1913 box 2 Envelope 7
Purchase Ledger with Specific Goods Listed 6, 1913-1915 box 2 Envelope 8
Purchase Ledger with Specific Goods Listed 7, ca. 1915 box 2 Envelope 9
Purchase Ledger with Specific Goods Listed 8, 1917 box 2 Envelope 10
Purchase Ledger with Company Names Listed 1, April 1917-December 1919 box 2 Envelope 11
Purchase Ledger with Company Names Listed 2, July 1921-June 1922 box 2 Envelope 12
Purchase Ledger with Company Names Listed 3, August 1922-July 1923 box 2 Envelope 13
Purchase Ledger with Company Names Listed 4, August 1923-March 1924 box 2 Envelope 14

^ Top

Series 3: Bank Ledgers, Expenses, and Sales, 1866-1971

This series contains records of the expenses and sales of the Long family store, as well as ten bank ledgers. The majority are specific to the First National Bank of Harrisonburg, Virginia. These indicate expenses and sales of the store, including specific company or personal names to whom the store is paying off bills or from whom it is receiving payment.

There are also three ledgers that indicate expenses of the store. The first ledger appears to be expenses organized by specific person or business. The latter two are organized by types of goods, including groceries, tobacco, dry goods, drugs, etc. The orders appear to be crossed out once they were acquired.

There are two other larger ledgers in the series. The smaller of the two appears to document the weekly sales of the store. There are several other receipts and calculations relating to the profit of the store stuck in the pages of the ledger. These loose papers were left there in order to preserve original order and context. The larger of the two ledgers seems to be a system of credit from a store in Johnsonville prior to the existence of Long Family Store in Mt. Clinton, Virginia. Samuel Long was known to have stores in many locations, so it seems prudent to assume it was one of his stores before Mt. Clinton. As with the previous ledger, there are calculations and a few documents of correspondence stuck in between the pages. They were likewise kept within to preserve original order.

Title/Description Instances
Bank Ledger 1, April 1903-August 1905 box 2 Envelope 15
Bank Ledger 2, September 1905-January 1908 box 2 Envelope 16
Bank Ledger 3, January 1908-March 1910 box 2 Envelope 17
Bank Ledger 4, June 1912-August 1914 box 2 Envelope 18
Bank Ledger 5, August 1913-August 1914 box 2 Envelope 19
Bank Ledger 6, August 1914-February 1915 box 2 Envelope 20
Bank Ledger 7, February 1918-June 1921 box 2 Envelope 21
Bank Ledger 8, February 1918-June 1921 box 2 Envelope 22
Bank Ledger 9, July 1926-June 1927 box 2 Envelope 23
Bank Ledger 10, July 1932-March 1935 box 2 Envelope 24
Expense Ledger 1, April 1893-October 1900 box 2 Envelope 25
Expense Ledger (organized by type of good) 2, undated box 2 Envelope 26
Expense Ledger (organized by type of good) 3, 1901 box 2 Envelope 27
Weekly Sales (Large) Ledger, January 1919-December 1971 box 3 folder 1
Johnsonville Ledger, October 1866-March 1868 box 3 folder 2

^ Top

Series 4: Long's Store Account Books, 1869-1921

This series consists of nine books: one "road book" ostensibly from Long's Store in Green Mount, Virginia and three account books and five daybooks from Long's Store in Mt. Clinton, Virginia. Daybooks record purchases of general household goods and merchandise, such as eggs, butter, pens, pencils, shoes, yarn, chickens, roosters, sugar, dye, matches, hats, and shovels. Account books typically record customer accounts, transactions and balances over time, and do not record itemized purchases.

Title/Description Instances
Daybook (Book 1), December 1869-January 1871 box 4 folder 4
Account book (Book 2), August 1900-July 1903 box 6 folder 3
Daybook (Book 3), January 1901-August 1901 box 6 folder 2
Daybook (Book 4), November 1902-September 1903 box 4 folder 5
Daybook (Book 5), November 1905-May 1906 box 5 folder 1
Daybook (Book 6), June 1917-December 1917 box 5 folder 2
Account book (Book 7), August 1918-September 1921 box 6 folder 1
Daybook (Book 8), May 1921-November 1921 box 5 folder 3
Account book (Book 9), undated box 5 folder 4

^ Top

Series 5: Long's Store Records, 1877-1929

This series is a collection of receipts that document the business between small town merchant W.E. Long and commission merchants such as Miller & Roller, Washington, D. C.; Acker & Long Produce, Philadelphia; Standard Oil Company; Brand Shoe Co., Roanoke; and J. J. Underhill Fruit & Vegetables, Baltimore which he supplied with butter, chicken, and eggs. Among the local merchants are: Snell Grocery, Harrisonburg; Hoge & Hutchinson, Staunton; Merchants Grocery and Hardware, Harrisonburg; L. W. Gaines, Inc., Harrisonburg; Worthington Hardware, Staunton; and National Biscuit Company, Staunton. Bills document the variety of merchandise including shoes, fabric, sugar, and coffee that Long purchased to supply his own customers. Fifteen cancelled checks from the First National Bank Harrisonburg date to 1920. A folder of bank deposit slips, primarily from First National Bank in Harrisonburg, are included.

Title/Description Instances
Bills and receipts, 1877-1894 box 3 folder 3
Bills and receipts, 1895 box 3 folder 4
Bills and receipts, 1896-1899 box 3 folder 5
Bills and receipts, 1900-1922 box 3 folder 6
Bills and receipts, 1923 box 3 folder 7
Bills and receipts, 1924-1929 box 3 folder 8
Price lists, 1880-1924 box 3 folder 9
Bank deposit slips, 1896, 1921-1922 box 3 folder 10

^ Top

Series 6: Mt. Clinton Post Office Records, 1879-1893

This series consists of three record books from Mt. Clinton Post Office from 1879 through 1893. All three books are roughly the same size. However, Book One was received missing most of the front and back covers. Book Three was disassembled and boards discarded due to insect damage.

William E. Long was a postmaster at Chrisman, Virginia (1881-1887); Green Mount, Virginia (1889-1893); and Mt. Clinton, Virginia (1893-1897). William's father, Samuel, established and operated general stores and post offices in all three locations. It is unclear why the Mt. Clinton post Office records prior to William's tenure as Mt. Clinton postmaster remained in his possession. They are included in this collection due to their peripheral connection to Long.

Title/Description Instances
Record of Registered Matter in Transit (Book 1), September 1879-March 1883 box 4 folder 1
Record of Registered Matter in Transit (Book 2), April 1883-March 1888 box 4 folder 2
Record of Registered Matter Received and Delivered (Book 3), October 1884-December 1893 box 4 folder 3

^ Top