Thomas Jackman Long, Sr. (1900-1969) was born in Louisville to Thomas and Carrie (Jackman) Long. Thomas was a janitor and owned his home at 718 S. 16th Street in the California Neighborhood. He and Carrie had three children: Chester, Rosa, and Thomas. By 1925, Thomas married Helen Buckner, daughter of George and Anna Buckner. Together, the couple had three children: Telanna, Charlotte, and Thomas Jr. Thomas was a graduate of Fisk University and earned a masters degree from Indiana University. He completed further graduate work at the University of Rochester in New York. His first teaching position was at Douglas High School in Henderson, KY, and began working in Louisville in 1934 when he became principal of Mary B. Talbert School. He was then principal at Booker T. Washington and Lincoln Schools, and then at Jackson Junior High School from 1943-1954. For three years, he was vice president of the Kentucky Negro Education Association.
In 1955, Thomas was named principal of the new Lucie N. DuValle Junior High School and Joseph S. Cotter Elementary School, which were built together at 34th and Bohne. He was still principal at the school when he died suddenly on April 27, 1969 at the age of 68 in his Jeffersonville, IN home. According to his obituary, he was a lifelong member of the Kentucky Congress of Parents and Teachers as well as the Plymouth Congregational Church. He was buried in Section 3AD, Row 3, Grave 8 of Eastern Cemetery. Helen died on September 1, 1987 at the age of 82. Her obituary says she was a retired employee of the old state Department of Economic Security. She was buried with her husband in Section 3AD, Row 3, Grave 7 of Eastern Cemetery. Their graves are unmarked. The photo is from “Two Centuries of Black Louisville.” The baby in the front is Thomas; the woman to the left is his mother Carrie; the little girl to the left is his sister Rosa; and the boy in the back is his brother Chester. The man in the back is presumed to be Thomas’s father Thomas, but it’s not certain. The woman in the black dress in the front is unidentified.