Walter Ewing Long, businessman and civic leader, was born on November 1, 1886, near Ladonia, Texas, the son of Andrew Davison and Alice Madora (McCown) Long. He graduated from high school in Ladonia in 1905 and from Austin College in Sherman with a B.A. degree in 1910 and an M.A. degree in 1911. He received a law degree with honors from the University of Texas in 1914, but instead of practicing law he took a job with the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. Long became secretary of the Austin Chamber of Commerce in 1915; he later was manager of that group for thirty-five years. Long was considered the father of Austin city planning. He also helped organize the Colorado River Improvement Association, which evolved into the Lower Colorado River Authority and built the dams forming what is now the Highland Lakes chain. He obtained options on land eventually used to increase the size of the University of Texas campus, and in 1922 he arranged a sale of bonds to construct the Stephen F. Austin Hotel, for many years a convention center in the city. He founded the Texas Legislative Service in 1925 and supervised its activities for forty years; he gave its collection of legislative history (1925–65) to the Texas State Library. After his retirement in 1949 Long continued to work on various committees and to write on his favorite subjects, Austin and Central Texas. Among his many publications were Flood to Faucet (1956), The Longhorn Crossing (1960), For All Time to Come (1964), and Stephen F. Austin's Legacies (1970). He was appointed to the Texas State Library and Historical Commission in 1954, and he served as president of the Texas Fine Arts Association. He was also a member of the executive council of the Texas State Historical Association. He was married to Janet Kaape on March 30, 1915, and they were the parents of two children. Long died in Austin on November 8, 1973, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery.
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Austin American-Statesman, August 9, 1966, November 9, 1973. Joe B. Frantz, "In Memoriam: Walter E. Long," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 77 (January 1974). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Long, Walter Ewing,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 22, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
March 1, 1995