THE FOUNDER OF CLEONA

John Henry Long, founder of Cleona (1862-1944), was the eldest son of Henry Lentz and Mary Gingrich Long. As a very young man, he worked as a drover of a six-horse team hauling railroad ties for the Cornwall and Reading Railroad. In 1880, he joined his father in purchasing and developing properties in Lebanon County. They purchased 1500 acres of timberland from the Coleman Estates which they cleared and sold the timber for railroad ties. They owned and operated a sawmill and a lumber mill in the Mt. Gretna-Colebrook area, supplying customers in both Lebanon and Berks Counties.

In the 1880’s they became partners in a lumber business, established in what would bJohn Henry Longecome the town of Cleona. John H. Long operated the lumber business until 1922 at which time it became the John H. Long and Sons Lumber Company with the addition of his sons John C. and Harry A. The business through the years continued to expand and grow.

John H. Long planned and developed the northern section of Cleona and in 1928 began development of farmland south of what is now U. S. Route 422. He established the first post office, a water company, and operated several farms. He succeeded his father, Henry L. Long, to the Board of Directors of the Farmers Trust Bank of Lebanon in 1923. He attended the Church of the Brethren. He was an able businessman, forward looking and contributing to the growth and stability of the town of Cleona. He was married to Fannie Kettering and the father of nine children: Virgie Cleona, Ada K., John C., Mary 8., Harry A., Larena E., Raymond C., Herman R. and Florence M. At his death in 1944 he resided at 34 North Center Street.