History of Bucks
County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
EDWARD LONGSTRETH. The late Edward Longstreth, for many years superintendent of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, and a retired member of the firm of Burnham, Williams and Company, who now operate that plant, though a resident of Philadelphia for the last forty years of his life, was a native of Bucks county. Throughout a long and busy life he kept in touch with the county of his nativity and took an active interest in all that pertained to her welfare and advancement. Mr. Longstreth was born in Warminster township, Bucks county, June 22, 1839, and was a son of Daniel and Hannah T. Longstreth, and a descendant of one of the oldest and most prominent families of Bucks county. His pioneer ancestor, Bartholomew Longstreth, settled in Bucks county in the time of William Penn and became one of the prominent men of his time. An account of the descendants of Bartholomew Longstreth is given in General Davis’ narrative history of Warminster contained in these volumes. The Longstreths came of good old English Quaker stock and represented the solid, conservative and substantial elements of the county in the colonial days as well as down to the present time.
Daniel Longstreth, the father of Edward Longstreth, was born in Warminster, November 25, 1800, and died there March 30, 1846. He married (first) Elizabeth Lancaster, January 4, 1827. She was born July 5, 1803, and died September 19, 1829. They were the parents of two children: John L., born November 10, 1827, who has been for many years actively associated with the business life of Philadelphia and now resides at 556 North Eighteenth street; and Elizabeth L., who died April 23, 1848. Daniel Longstreth married (second) October 25, 1832, Hannah Townsend and they were the parents of seven children: Joseph T., born August 7, 1833, died July 12, 1834. Sarah, born September 4, 1834, died in Baltimore, March 14, 1881, married Charles R. Hollingsworth. Moses Robinson died April 2, 1838. Edward C., born June 22, 1839, died February 24, 1905. Samuel T., born August 2, 1837. Anna, born April 2, 1841, married Robert Tilney. David S., born October 26, 1844, died July 9, 1845.
Edward Longstreth, the fifth child, was reared on his father’s farm in Warminster and received a good English education. On October 4, 1857, at the age of eighteen years, he went to Philadelphia. A month later he began his apprenticeship with M. W. Baldwin and Company at the Locomotive Works. Trained in the habits of industry, punctuality and strict integrity, he was in many ways a remarkable apprentice. During his five years of apprenticeship he was never known to be late in reporting for duty, and this trait characterized his after life. His energy, aptitude and punctuality were so marked that when less than three years of a five years’ apprenticeship had elapsed, he was made assistant foreman of one of the departments and was advanced to the position of foreman of the second floor of the works. While filling these positions he applied himself to a study of an improvement in the gauge system with success, and his perfected system has long been in use and is one of the characteristic features of the Baldwin Locomotive Works. Mr. Baldwin also patented locomotive trucks and draft appliances of his improved pattern, which are still used in the works. On August 1, 1867, he became foreman of the erecting shop, and on January 1, 1868, superintendent of the entire works. He became a member of the firm January 1, 1870, and continued the control of the mechanical and construction department, superintending the work of three thousand men. By reason of impaired health he retired from the active business of the firm January 1, 1886. Mr. Longstreth was at one time vice president of the Franklin Institute, and a director of the Williamson Industrial School. In 1884 he was one of the most energetic and active members of the Committee of One Hundred, which defeated the corrupt organization in Philadelphia and aided Samuel S. King to the mayoralty. Until his death, Mr. Longstreth was a member of the Merchant’s Fund, a charitable organization; director of the Delaware Insurance Company; a member of the Union League and the Engineers’ Club. He was a lifelong member of the Society of Friends, holding membership in the meeting at Fourth and Green streets, Philadelphia. He was a member and for several years one of the trustees and directors of the Bucks County Historical Society, and took an active part in the work of preserving the records and archives of the history of the county, in which his ancestors had resided for many generations. It was through his liberality that the tablet was placed on the old York road in Warminster to mark the place where John Fitch conceived the idea of steamboat navigation, and he was also instrumental in having many other historic places duly marked. The first tract of land owned by the Society upon which to erect a building for its archives and collections was a gift from Mr. Longstreth. He was a man much respected and loved by his Bucks county contemporaries, among whom he had a large acquaintanceship. He died at his home, 1410 Spruce street, February 24, 1905, lamented and honored by all who knew him. Mr. Longstreth married, June 7, 1865, Anna C. Wise, and they were the parents of two sons: Charles and Howard, and one daughter, Mrs. W. L. Supplee, all residing in Philadelphia. Mrs. Anna W. Longstreth, the mother, died September 18, 1899. His son Charles also served a five years’ apprenticeship at the Baldwin Locomotive Works after his father had left the firm, and is now the head of the United States Metallic Packing Company, which conducts a very large business in that and other lines.
Text taken from page 302
Davis, William W. H., A. M. History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III
Transcribed January 2002 as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html
Published January 2002 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/