Patrick Longan’s family were cornerstones of Missouri

Rhonda Chalfant - Contributing Columnist

Patrick Longan was one of the many Irish Protestant immigrants who came to this country before the American Revolution. He settled in Virginia and fought for his adopted country, and was described by the Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis Counties as a “hero” of the war for independence.

One of his descendants, the Honorable A.K. Longan, was born in Virginia but moved to Kentucky to live with his brother after the death of his parents. He later came to Missouri, where he lived near Charleston in Howard County and worked as a brickmaker and farmer. He later moved to Cooper County. After Missouri entered the Union in 1821, he served two terms in the legislature as a representative.

One of A.K. Longan’s sons, George Longan, found his calling in the ministry. He was a “self-made and self-educated man,” who served the Christian Church in Cooper County, Benton County, Warrensburg in Johnson County, Plattsburg in Clinton County, and Kansas City in Jackson County. He started churches in many communities, including Sedalia, where during the Civil War years, he organized the First Christian Church. He was pastor in Sedalia for many years.

George Longan was a member of the Masonic lodge. Politically, he was a Whig and then later a Republican. During the Civil War, he supported the Union. His leadership abilities enabled him to serve as a Trustee for the State Normal School in Warrensburg, now University of Central Missouri, and as a Regent for the University of Missouri in Columbia. He and his wife, Myra Reavis Longan, had seven children, all of whom survived to adulthood and became successful.

One of the children, Patrick H. Longan, was born in Cooper County in 1846. When he was 7, his parents moved to Warsaw and later to rural Benton County. He remained there on the family farm until 1864, when he enlisted in Company G, Fifth Missouri Provisional Regiment which served the Benton County area as State Guards.

In 1866, Patrick H. Longan moved to Pettis County where he attended the Allen Institute in Farmer’s City, a small now defunct town near Smithton, and farmed. In 1869, he married Angeline Donnohue. He and Angeline had six children. In 1895, his son George W. Longan worked as Deputy Circuit Clerk, his son Rufus was a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and his four younger children were at home and in school. Patrick Longan rented land west of Sedalia, but later purchased a farm near Dresden. He ultimately owned 242 acres five miles from Sedalia. He practiced “general farming, growing row crops, hay, and raising live stock. He developed a reputation as a stockman.

Patrick was a member of the Christian Church of Dresden and of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He was active in Republican Party politics, serving as Chairman of the Township Republican Party Committee. In 1894, he was elected Circuit Clerk. His election was important in that Pettis County was strongly Democratic at the time, and few Republicans won elected office.

The Portrait and Biographical Record credits his success in life and in politics to his being a “pleasant and genial gentleman, of courteous manner and pleasing address” with many friends in the community.

Rhonda Chalfant

Contributing Columnist

Rhonda Chalfant is the president of the Pettis County chapter of NAACP and the Pettis County Historical Society.

Rhonda Chalfant is the president of the Pettis County chapter of NAACP and the Pettis County Historical Society.

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