In northwestern Blaine County, Longdale is situated north of Canton Lake on State Highway 58. The town is named for Lucious Walter Long, who came from Missouri. He married Carrie M. Millerman from Highland, Kansas, who participated in the Cheyenne-Arapaho Opening on April 19, 1892. After they married, they kept her homestead, which became the townsite.
The Longs sold the right-of-way to the railroad and on January 21, 1903, they deeded the northern half of 160 acres to the Union Real Estate and Townsite Company. The Longs retained the southern half of the quarter section and sold lots for businesses and residences. They wanted to call the town Longview. However, because the name was similar to Fairview, they named the town Longdale.
Some historians have confused the origins of Longdale and Cainville. Cainville was located two miles north of Longdale. The residences of Longdale received their mail from Cainville until the Cainville post office was discontinued and moved to Longdale on November 28, 1903, with Robert L. Eaton as the postmaster. The Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway reached Longdale on June 10, 1905. G. W. Foster published the first newspaper, the Longdale Ledger, on October 23, 1903. Longdale's businesses served a surrounding agricultural area in a cotton-producing region.
The first school, located two miles north of Longdale, started November 30, 1894, with Carrie Millerman as teacher. The school was moved into a new building in town and opened on November 5, 1906. In 1919 a two-story, brick building was erected, and in the 1930s a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project built a gym and two additional classrooms. The high school and elementary schools were consolidated with the Canton school system in 1958 and 1991, respectively. In 1910 Longdale's population stood at 296 and peaked at 405 in 1980. At the turn of the twenty-first century the gym was used as a community center. With 310 residents in 2000, Longdale had two churches, a post office, a quick shop, a café, and several other businesses. The economy remained based on agriculture and oil and gas.
SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Profiles of America, Vol. 2 (2d ed.; Millerton, N.Y.: Grey House Publishing, 2003). They Passed This Way: A Pioneer Day History Album of the Northwest Blaine County Area (N.p.: Seventy-fifth Anniversary Book Committee, 1985).
Billy J. and Reeta Miller Martin
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