Joseph Harvey Long

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 17, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 546-547

JOSEPH HARVEY LONG, who has recently retired from the
office of postmaster of the City of Huntington, has long
been numbered among the representative members of the
newspaper fraternity in West Virginia, and since 1895 has
been editor and publisher of the Huntington Advertiser,
which he has made one of the strong and influential papers
of the state.

Mr. Long was born in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania,
May 21, 1863, and is a son of Edward C. and Sarah (Roe-
buck) Long. The house in which he was born figured also
as the birthplace of his father and his paternal grandfather,
and the ancient building was erected over flowing springs
and in such a way as to constitute a sort of block house or
fort to afford protection against the Indians, the while the
springs supplied water which could not be cut off in case
of siege by hostile Indians. Edward C. Long became a
traveling salesman for a manufacturing and wholesaling
house in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to which city he removed
with his family in 1873. There the future newspaper man,
Joseph H. Long, was reared to adult age and received the
advantages of the public schools. As a boy Mr. Long came
into possession of a small printing outfit, which he utilized
in the printing of visiting cards. This amateur enterprise
doubtless had direct influence in leading to his continuous
alliance with the ” art preservative of all arts.” He gradu-
ally expanded his juvenile printing enterprise to include a
measure of commercial work, and he continued to increase
his working knowledge of the mystic details of the printing
trade and business. In April, 1879, Mr. Long went to
Lagrange, Ohio, a town later known as Brilliant, and there
invested all his capital in the Novelty Glass Company.
Financial disaster robbed him of all he had invested, and
he then resumed his alliance with the printing business by
taking employment as a compositor in the office of the Ohio
Press at Steubenville. Within a short time thereafter he
became a general utility man on the Wheeling Leader, which
was then a Sunday paper, at Wheeling, West Virginia. He
thus continued until about the year 1882. In the meanwhile
Dana Hubbard, a brother of W. P. Hubbard, who at that
time was publisher of the Wheeling Leader, had become
editor of the Erie Dispatch at Erie, Pennsylvania, and Mr.
Long joined the staff of this Pennsylvania paper. In the
autumn of 1884 he found employment with the Oswego
Palladium, at Oswego, New York, but in September of the
following year he returned to Pittsburgh and took a
position in the office of the Wheeling Register, and later be-
came interested in the Wheeling News. In the autumn of
1893 Mr. Long came from that West Virginia city to Hunt-
ington, and here purchased the plant and business of the
Herald, then in a dilapidated and run-down condition. He
soon developed this into a well regulated and prosperous
newspaper property, and made it so influential as a republi-
can paper that within a year, mainly through its medium,
the republican party elected all officers in Cabell County with
the exception of county clerk. In 1895 Mr. Long sold the
Herald property and purchased the. Huntington Advertiser,
of which he has since continued the editor and publisher
and which he has made a power in politics throughout the
state. In May, 1916, Mr. Long was commissioned post-
master of Huntington, and after giving an effective admin-
istration of five years and one month he resigned, and has
since given his exclusive attention to his newspaper busi-
ness. The history of the Huntington Advertiser and the
record of the local career of Mr. Long are so closely linked
and interwoven as to be practically inseparable, and both
the man and the paper have wielded large influence in local
affairs. The Advertiser had its inception at Buffalo, West
Virginia, and about the year 1870 its owner, Dr. O. G. Chase,
removed the plant and business to Guyandotte, Cabell
County. When the present fine industrial city of Hunting-
ton was born, Dr. Chase removed his plant to the new town,
and after a time he was succeeded in the ownership by
Major E. A. Bennett. In September, 1885, C. L. Thompson,
of Hinton, and W. O. Wiatt purchased the property and con-
tinued the publication of the Advertiser as a weekly paper.
On September 2, 1889, the Daily Advertiser was founded
and published in conjunction with the weekly of the same
name. At this time Mr. Wiatt retired from the firm, and
the publications were continued by Mr. Thompson, who
later was succeeded by Thomas E. Hodges, a former prin-
cipal of Marshall College, and George F. Donnella, a local
attorney, each of whom had previously acquired an interest
in the property. J. Hoffman Edwards, of Weston, became
the next owner, he having been succeeded by George Sum-
mers and the latter by Major G. Downtain and his son,
William S. Up to this time the two papers had maintained
a somewhat precarious existence, but a new vigor was instilled
when J. H. Long purchased the properties, July 20, 1895,
he having since continued the directing spirit of the now
splendid newspaper enterprise. Of those formerly identified
with the Advertiser, Dr. Chase Major Bennett, Messrs.
Thompson, Hodges and Donnella, and Major Downtain are
all deceased; Mr. Wiatt is treasurer of Hagen, Ratcliff &
Company, wholesale grocers at Huntington; Mr. Edwards
amassed a fortune in oil production and now resides at
Weston, this state; Mr. Summers is a widely known news-
paper correspondent, with headquarters at Washington,
District of Columbia.

Under the effective control and management of Mr. Long,
the Huntington Advertiser has become one of the valuable
newspaper properties in West Virginia. Its mechanical
equipment includes a sixteen-page Duplex press, with color
attachment; nine linotype machines, of which five have
multiple magazines; one monotype and one Ludlow type-
setting machine. It is virtually a non-distributing plant
and is wholly independent of the type trust. Equipped
throughout with new steel furniture, the establishment is
one of the most modern and complete newspaper and print-
ing plants in the state, and the plan of Mr. Long is to
install, in the near future, the plant in a model new build-
ing to be erected for the purpose at the corner of Tenth
Street and Fifth Avenue.

Mr. Long is a leader in the councils and campaign activi-
ties of the democratic party in West Virginia, and in the
Masonic fraternity he has completed the circle of each the
York and Scottish Rites, in the latter of which he has re-
ceived the thirty-second degree.

In 1884 Mr. Long was united in marriage to Miss Cora
H. Thompson, of Steubenville, Ohio, and they have three
sons, Luther T., Paul Walker and Edward H., all of whom
are associated with the Huntington Advertiser. Paul W.
and Edward H. were in the nation’s service in the World
war period. Luther T., being over thirty years old and
married, was not called. Paul W., a graduate of Cornell
University, completed a course in the air service of the
United States Navy at Seattle, Washington, and was later
stationed at San Diego, California. Edward H. was a
student in Cornell University at the time when the United
States became involved in the war, and was in the Student
Army Training Corps at Washington and Lee, Lexington,
Virginia, when the armistice was signed.