Monday, September 11, 2006

The Sisters Long of Kansas City

Of the 14 children of the Rev. James William Long (1866-1945) and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Liza Jane Johnson Long (1870-1946), only four were girls. the eldest girl, Christina Alta Long, born in 1898, was the seventh child overall. Her sisters were Rosetta Bell Long, born 1900; Annie Florida Corrine Long, born 1902; and Mary Beatrice Long, born in 1905. The Long sisters were born in that order; after Mary's birth not another girl was born to the family.

"Tina" married Earl Neal in 1916. They had three children, three grandchildren, and a number of great grandchildren. Tina died at age 102, on September 14, 2000.

"Rosie" never married but had a companion of over 50 years. I don't know much about him, except that his name was "RJ." Late in life, Rosie became an ordained minister and taught herself to play the piano. She died on May 17, 1994 at age 94.

The third Long daughter, went by her second name, Florida, and was usually known as "Flo." Pretty but shy, Flo dreamed of being a dancer, an ambition that did not sit well with her Baptist preacher father. She met the handsome easy-going, William Edward Gines in about 1925. He had come to Kansas City from Shreveport, Louisiana. They had six children, in addition to "Eddie's" daughter, Grace. Of all Long sisters, Flo has the most descendants, with 20 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and at least three great great grandchildren. She died in 1986, just months before the death of her son Perry.

The great sadness in the Long sisters' lives came in 1921 with the death of their youngest sister, Mary. She died of tuberculosis at age 16.

The Long sisters: Tina, Flo, and Rosie (1977).

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