William Henry Long
Despite holding a variety of significant roles in Waco’s community, William Long is something of an obscurity. He graduated from Baylor in 1858 when it was still in Independence where he joined the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta. We know that he taught Science, Spanish, and Greek at Baylor for more than thirty years. He also served as Dean. The university granted him some kind of honorary degree. Regarding education, an excerpt from Baylor’s Catalogue of Trustees relates Long’s philosophy:
“We think it best to begin freshman year with Xenophon’s Anabasis and continue Greek to the Senior Year. We firmly believe that the old college curriculum which requires a thorough course through Latin, Greek, Pure Mathematics, the fundamental branches of the Natural Sciences, and Belles Lettres, will prepare the mind for the various professions and occupations of life better than the modern elective course. After this liberal work has been completed, then let technical education be sought in special schools, either separate from or attached to the Universities.”
He affiliated with Waco 92 in October of 1874 where he established himself as extremely conversant in the esoteric work. He served in the East for three years, no doubt a sign of respect from the brethren of 92 despite our rather empty record of his life and career.
Even if there is not much we can remember him for, one well-known 92 member left quite a tribute to Long and his wife:
“If from the garden of memory I should today pluck a sweet-scented forget-me-not, and start around the world to place it by that grave above which their gathered not one unfriendly thought or ignoble memory, I would pause and lay it with loving hands between those two mounds whose sacred sod sleep in silence and in peace Professor W. H. Long and wife. If those who still cherish with fond devotion the services of these two while living, and reverence their memory while dead, should each today place a rose by their tomb, it would form a floral monument towering above the marble shafts of the earth. First it would be to catch the caressing beams of the morning sun, and last it would be to behold the close of day as it kissed the coming night farewell.
To my modest, unassuming white soul, Professor Long, and to you, his jolly and jovial wife, the kind devoted mother of all our Maggie Houston boys, peace to your ashes, honor to your memory, and blissful immortality to your souls.”
From this eulogy we can surmise that WH Long and his wife worked and lived as advisors to Baylor men living in the Maggie Houston Hall dormitory. They apparently did so with distinction and in such a manner that strikingly impressed Bro. Neff.