Sallie America Long 

When Hayne Met Sallie (Part 1)
CLICK HERE to go to Part 2 (skipping Part 1)

(Click on pictures for enlarged views.)


Sallie America Long
When Sallie America Long graduated from Mt. Vernon Finishing School in Washington, D.C. in 1903,
she joined a group of young graduates on a trip around the world.

          Sallie America Long graduated from Mt. Vernon Finishing School in Washington, D.C. in 1903.  Upon graduation, Sallie joined a group of young graduates on a trip around the world, accompanied by the customary chaperone.  In Yokohama, Japan, one of the ladies was introduced to the captain of the U.S.S. New Orleans stationed there, and the entire group was invited to dine aboard ship.  A handsome naval officer, Hayne Ellis, who had graduated from Annapolis in 1900, was on deck.  It was love at first sight.

          In Hayne’s own words: “I called on (Sallie) at the Grand Hotel, and then, in a day or so, we went up to lovely Nikko with them (the group) ...  In nine days I proposed marriage to (her), and thank God, she accepted.”

          Hayne requested a transfer in order to follow Sallie back to the United States.  He was ordered to Hong Kong where he surprised her at the Peak Hotel.  They left the next day, December 26, 1903, for San Francisco aboard the same ship, The Korea.  They were married December 17, 1904.  Dr. Combs, father of Pryor Combs (later married to sister Loula), performed the ceremony at the First Christian Church in Kansas City.  It was said to be the first naval wedding in Kansas City, with all the groomsmen, except for Hayne’s brother, in full dress evening uniform.  Following the wedding, they went to Brooklyn to join the U.S.S. Texas which was ordered to Key West.  Sallie joined other wives of officers in Key West while Hayne was in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as Pensacola, Florida.  In 1905, Hayne reported for duty at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Hayne Ellis
A handsome naval officer, Hayne Ellis, who had graduated from Annapolis in 1900, was on deck.
It was love at first sight.

          From Hayne’s autobiography addressing his children: “We had a nice tour of duty at Annapolis; lived in three different houses during that duty.  While there Mama (Ella Long) came on to visit us, and loved the activities at the Academy.  She took in the ball games, hops, etc., and said she really loved it there.  Papa (R. A. Long) gave Mother (Sallie) a lovely horse and Phaeton — Glen Eirie was his name.”

          Again, from Hayne’s autobiography: “In the fall of 1907, I was ordered to the fleet flagship, the U.S.S. Connecticut.  Teddy Roosevelt ordered Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans to command the fleet that went around the world to impress the then rising Japan.  It did ....  On 4 July, 1907, Martha Lamar Ellis was born, on Independence Boulevard in Kansas City.  What a hot day it was!  ... Before Martha was born, your grandfather R. A. Long of Kansas City, sent on the company’s private (rail) car to take Mother (Sallie) home about one month before the birth of Martha.”

The Ellises at Woodley (Part 2)
(Click on pictures for enlarged views.)

          Four children and approximately 15 years later, Sallie and Hayne moved to Washington, D.C.  R. A. Long bought Woodley, a lovely home with 18 acres of land, for Sallie and her husband, while then Captain Ellis served as Aide to the Secretary of the Navy.  Sister Loula was raising and showing prize-winning horses from Longview Farm, while Sallie entertained European dignitaries and Secretaries of State, and raised her five children.  Martha was approximately 15 years old when they moved into Woodley.  The other children (Robert, Hayne Jr., Lucia and Long) ranged in age from 12 down to 3.

          Sallie was a gracious hostess and Woodley was a popular destination for Washington society.  However, Sallie, like her parents, did not approve of alcoholic beverages, and guests knew to have their cocktails or wine before dining at the Ellis’s.  One of her more famous guests at Woodley was General John J. Pershing.  Sallie’s son Long Ellis recalled that dinner vividly!  He and his rambunctious brothers spilled a dish of the famous Woodley hollandaise on the floor of the pantry and frantically scooped it back up into the serving bowl with dirty rags.  Mother Sallie noticed the unusual hollandaise being served that night, but didn’t miss a beat.  Sallie’s daughter Lucia Ellis Uihlein, when visiting Woodley (now Maret School) in 1998, remembered another “guest” – a ghost that frequented her mother’s bedroom.  Lucia recalled that her mother, no shrinking violet, kept a loaded pistol under her pillow, just in case.

Woodley (1922) - CLICK on picture for enlarged view.
Woodley – 1922

          The Ellises were not destined to live at Woodley for very long.  Sallie’s heart condition made climbing the stairs quite a burden.  The financial climate was also worrisome, and Sallie sold Woodley to Secretary of State Henry Stimson in June, 1929, just months before the stock market crash.  The Ellises rented a floor of the Shoreham Hotel for a number of years while Hayne progressed up the Navy ladder, eventually becoming Director of Naval Intelligence in 1931, Admiral in 1933, and Commander of the Atlantic Fleet in 1940.  Admiral Ellis’s various positions took them to Newport, Rhode Island, Coronado, California, Lake Forest, Illinois, as well as Kansas City.  They retired to San Marino, California.

          Sallie was an astute and financially informed business woman, very much like her father.  R. A. Long depended upon her and on his deathbed made her promise to take care of her sister Loula.  She fulfilled her promise, and in later years, the sisters lived together at Longview Farm following Hayne’s death in 1961, at the age of 83.  Sallie was 91 when she died at Longview Farm in 1970.  Loula died a year later in 1971.


Mrs. Long Ellis, Sr.

(Reprint only with permission.)