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Lumber Baron Robert Alexander Long (1850-1934) was born in Shelbyville and raised on a farm.

[On May 24,1938, immediately after graduation from Basic School, a short ceremony lasting only a few minutes, I departed for my next duty station, USS Tennessee (BB43), a battleship based off San Pedro, California. I travelled with a classmate by auto as far as St. Louis. There I took the train to Portland, Oregon where my parents met me for the drive to their home, about 50 miles to the north, in Longview Washington,. In order to save travel expenses I had taken a coach rather than a Pullman sleeping car.

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