Long, William Williams

July 4, 1861–November 13, 1934

Through the Extension Service, Long helped improve crop production, the livestock industry, commodity marketing, rural cooperation, and the social life of rural South Carolina.

Agriculturalist. Long was born in Warrenton, North Carolina, on July 4, 1861, the son of Nicholas M. Long and Sallie Hawkins. Orphaned as a young boy, Long was reared by his grandfather Samuel A. Williams. After attending the University of North Carolina from 1880 to 1881, Long returned to Warren County to farm. He served in the North Carolina legislature from 1890 to 1893, then joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Plant Industry. In 1898 Long married Mary Petit of Lafayette, Indiana. They had no children.

Seaman A. Knapp, head of extension work for the Department of Agriculture, invited Long to join the Farmers Cooperative Demonstration Work as field agent for the South Atlantic states. Long held the position until 1913, when Clemson College asked him to reorganize the Extension Service in South Carolina. He stayed on as director when in 1915 the General Assembly named Clemson as the Extension Service agent under provisions of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914. Long served as director for the remainder of his life. His longtime friend Clarence Poe, editor of The Progressive Farmer, praised Long for his high character, integrity, and interest in “the whole range of country life needs.” Through the Extension Service, Long helped improve crop production, the livestock industry, commodity marketing, rural cooperation, and the social life of rural South Carolina. Long insisted that his county agents remain above reproach, and he demanded no less of himself. In 1930 he turned down an offer of an eight-week, expense-paid trip to Chile from a fertilizer concern, explaining that “a public official . . . must be, like Caesar’s wife, above suspicion.” Long died from a stroke on November 13, 1934, and is buried in Cemetery Hill, Clemson. Long Agricultural Hall on the Clemson campus and W. W. Long 4–H Leadership Center in Aiken County bear his name.

“Dr. W. W. Long of Clemson College Dies Following Stroke.” Anderson Independent, November 14, 1934, p. 12.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Long, William Williams
  • Coverage July 4, 1861–November 13, 1934
  • Author
  • Keywords Agriculturalist, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Plant Industry, Seaman A. Knapp, Farmers Cooperative Demonstration Work as field agent for the South Atlantic states,
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • URL
  • Access Date June 17, 2024
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update August 9, 2022
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