“My Dear Husband …”
a letter that Ella wrote to R. A. Long
in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary

Ella Wilson Long, 1911.  This formal portrait was taken in Kansas City in the drawing room at Corinthian Hall.

Ella Wilson Long, 1911.  This formal portrait was taken in Kansas City in the drawing room at Corinthian Hall.

Click on picture
for enlarged view.

Page 1 of the “Dear Husband” letter
Page 1 of the
“Dear Husband” letter
Click on picture
for enlarged view of full letter.

My Dear Husband,

          It will soon be fifty years of married life for us.  A long time for two people to live together.  It has been a happy life to me.  Much joy and very little sorrow, for the ups and downs for fifty years.  I feel God has been good to us and blessed us with our dear daughters, dear grand children, and two good sons in law.

          I feel these blessings come through Christian living.  I feel my life has contributed so little, for so many, many blessings.  I have always had a desire to be a better Christian.  Maybe that has helped me.  You have been the greatest help to me (your strong Christian character).  But my trust in God was my greatest help in need.  I feel I might not have stood the test had you been a worldly man.  I know my weaknesses to some extent.  You have been so kind and patient with me through these many years.  I have longed to be more help to you in all the ways I could.  I feel we need each other as we grow older.  I feel I can not stand alone as I did when younger.

          Oh how proud I have been of you as a Christian business man.  In all these years in your growth in to one of our greatest business men you have been a Christian among men.  They have felt this power in you.  They respect you for it.  May you never do anything that would hurt the Church and the cause of Christianity.  May our declining years be our happiest, is my prayer.  This is from my heart if poorly worded.

          Your loving wife of fifty years,


Sunday evening December 13th (1926)

In 1874, Robert A. Long met nineteen year old Martha Ellen Wilson.  She had grown up in Pennsylvania and her father had died at the age of forty-five, leaving her mother with eight children to rear and many debts.  So, Mrs. Wilson had moved the family to Columbus, Kansas, staked a claim and established a farm.  Martha Ellen, Ella as she preferred to be called, was a Quaker and became a school teacher.  Her parental background was as stern and staunch as Robert Long’s.  Mr. Long and Ella dated, or courted as they said in those days, for one year.  They married December 16, 1876.  Their first and only son lived but a few weeks.  Sallie America was born in 1879 and Loula in 1881.