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Milam County, Texas

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J. E. Longmoor

SOURCE: History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties. (Chicago, IL: Lewis, 1893), p. 641 & 643.

J. E. Longmoor, cashier of the First National Bank of Rockdale, Milam county, was born in Kenton county, Kentucky, January 14, 1854. He was reared in his native State and West Virginia, in the schools of which he received his early education, finishing in the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington, Virginia. In 1874 he came to Texas, and the year following located at Rockdale, which has since been his home.

For eighteen years he has been connected with the banking interests of this place. He began his career as a banker here in the usual way, taking the position of bookkeeper in the private banking house of Tracy & Brother, and holding such preferment until that house went out of existence. Then for six years he was bookkeeper and for eight years manager of the Rockdale bank, when, in January 1890, in company with a number of the business men of Rockdale, he organized the First National Bank of this place, of which he became cashier, and has since held this position.

The First National is the only bank that Rockdale now has, the Rockdale bank, the pioneer institution of the town, having gone into voluntary liquidation on January 1, 1892. For some time before the movement that resulted in the organization of a new bank here took any definite form there had been noted among the merchants and business men of the community a growing demand for better banking facilities, and the present bank was the practical response of a few of the more enterprising men of the place to this demand.

The bank was organized with a paid-up capital of $75,000. This was subscribed for in varying amounts by the principal mercantile firms of the town, and the bank started off propitiously. Its progress since has been all that was anticipated. Its average deposits have risen from nothing to $100,000 annually, reaching as high as $125,000 during the cotton season. It has declared a dividend of five per cent semi-annually, and it numbers among its patrons all of the business men of Rockdale, with a fair share of the larger farmers and stockmen in the western and southern part of Milam county. Its facilities and equipments are ample, and it enjoys, to the fullest extent, the confidence of all classes of citizens.

For this condition of things it is indebted in a large measure to Mr. Longmoor, who has given to its affairs his unreserved attention since it first opened its doors for business. Mr. Longmoor's experience has been such as to qualify him in an eminent degree for the successful discharge of his duties in this position, while his reputation as a man is beyond reproach. He is well known to many of Texas' leading bankers and monied men, among whom his standing is of the first rank. He assisted in organizing the Texas State Bankers' Association in August 1885, and was elected Secretary in 1892 and re-elected in 1893. He has always taken an active interest in the banking and monetary affairs of the State, and he read before the Bankers' Association at Waco in 1892 an essay on the subject of country banks and cotton buyers, for which he received many flattering encomiums, both for the soundness of the views expressed and for the literary merits of his paper.

Mr. Longmoor has manifested an equal interest in matters of concern to the locality where he lives, giving such aid as his means would allow, and lending his personal efforts to the promotion of all enterprises calculated to stimulate the industry of his town and county and further its general welfare.

To say that he is a Kentuckian is equivalent to saying that he is, at least to some extent, somewhat of a politician. He has been a delegate to the usual number of county and district conventions, and was also a delegate to the Democratic State convention held at Houston in August 1892, that nominated Governor Hogg for a second term, and was an active and enthusiastic supporter of the Governor, as well as the rest of the State ticket throughout the late heated campaign. He has served as a member of the Democratic committee of Milam county, and was president of the Rockdale Democratic Club. He is the treasurer of Lodge No. 307, Knights of Honor, of Rockdale, and a member of the uniform rank of the same order in the United States Commandery No. 1, this being the first chartered order of this kind in this degree in the United States.

December 20, 1877, Mr. Longmoor married Miss Bessie Joynes, daughter of Colonel J. R. Joynes, then residing in Rockdale, but originally from Virginia, in which State Mrs. Longmoor was born and reared, coming of old Virginia ancestry. An account of her parentage appears in the sketch of Solon Joynes, her brother, elsewhere in this volume.

Mr. and Mrs. Longmoor have had born to them four children: Hugh W. Longmoor, J. Earle Longmoor, Stanley A. Longmoor and Grace Longmoor.

Mr. Longmoor's parents were natives of Kentucky, the father, Hugh P. Longmoor, having been born in Boone county, that State, in 1824, and the mother in Mason county in 1827. They were reared and married in their native State. The father served in the Mexican war and in some minor expeditions against the Indians, but never sought any high military or civil honors. He was trained for a banker and was engaged for some years in early life in banking, but, having a natural taste for studies in physics and chemistry, he turned his attention while yet a young man to the investigation of the natural resources of his native State, and in time became an oil refiner and producer of wide repute. This was before these products had elicited the interest of scientific investigators or excited the cupidity of money-makers. The process of producing and refining and the methods of distribution were yet in their infancy. Mr. Longmoor did a vast deal toward developing the coal fields of Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. He had a large circle of friends and business associates in these three States, and he died greatly lamented by them. His death occurred in 1878, and his remains were buried at Covington, Kentucky, where rest those of his parents. He met with a reasonable degree of financial success, but did not reap the rewards from his labors which he might have done had he been less conscientious and more thrifty (as others were) in using his opportunities for personal ends. He was a man of chivalric sense of honor, great integrity and lofty aspiration. He spent the latter part of his life amidst conditions that tried men's principles.

Elizabeth (Slack) Longmoor, wife of Hugh P. Longmoor, and mother of the subject of this notice, was a daughter of Colonel Jacob A. Slack, of Mason county, Kentucky, a highly-respected citizen, and in his day a prominent politician of his State, being a stalwart Jackson Democrat. He served in both branches of the Kentucky Legislature. Mrs. Longmoor was a lady of great intelligence and refinement and a devout Christian, being for many years a zealous member of the Presbyterian Church. She died at Parkersburg, West Virginia, in 1864.

Both the Longmoors and the Slacks were among the first settlers of Kentucky, and have long been among the most substantial and potential citizens of that great commonwealth.

We must say a special thank you to Earline Long-Zlotkowski of San Antonio, Texas, for typing the above biographical sketch for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.

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