Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Back to Merchants & Businessmen

Marx Long was born in 1817, came to Wilkes-Barre in 1839.

At that time the city gave few indications of its later growth and importance. Though even then the county seat of Luzerne County, it was little more than a small country town, with no railroad, no paved streets and no street lights. Even its coal industry, later so important not only to the city itself, but to the entire country, was practically nonexistent. To this undeveloped, but promising territory Mr. Long came, carrying at that time a pack of merchandise on his shoulders and traveling from house to house and farm to farm throughout the Wyoming Valley, in order to carry on his business.

In 1843 he opened a small store on the corner of the Public Square and West Market Street. By 1848, the business had prospered to such an extent that he was able to erect a building of his own on the south side of the Public Square and there he continued with much success for sixty-two years until his death in Wilkes-Barre in 1910 at the ripe old age of ninety-three years.

During all these years he was one of the leading business men of the city and he could always be found in the forefront of those fighting and working for the development and welfare of Wilkes-Barre. As the city grew from a small town into a large and busy city of some 70,000 population, his own business kept growing until it became one of the leading establishments of its type in that section of Pennsylvania.

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