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Little Family Papers - Family of John Phillips Little (1827-1905)

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Surname/tag: Little
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Excerpt from the “Little Family Papers, 1782-1981” held at the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library (UNC, Chapel Hill) as part of The Southern Historical Collection. See link at bottom of page to access the entire collection.

Biographical Information
This line of the Little family is descended from Thomas Little of England who came to the United States around 1808, settling first in South Carolina and later moving to the Mangum section of upper Richmond County, North Carolina. His son, John Phillips Little, was born in 1827.

John first married Sarah Ann Covington; they had two children--Thomas Hunter (d. 1899) and Benjamin Franklin (circa 1852-1901). Around 1853, John married Fanny Myers Little (b. 1832). Together, they had eleven children--John Phillips, Calvin Myers, Albert Johnston, Adeline Haliburton, Julian Hampton, William Myers, Emma Ray, Fanny, Laura Glenn, and two others whose names are unknown.

John Phillips Little served as a captain in the Confederacy and lived until 1905; Fanny Myers Little died in 1924. Their son, Calvin, married Alice Leak in 1884. They settled in Wadesboro, North Carolina, and had six children--Ann Elizabeth (Lila) Leak, Fanny Myers, Alice Leak, Rosa Leak, James Augustus Leak, and Calvin Myers.

Of the children of John and Fanny Little the following is known. Calvin Myers Little (b. 1860), a cotton buyer for Heath Company of Wadesboro(?), NC, and his wife Alice Leak (b. 1862) both died young--Calvin in 1897, Alice in 1893--leaving behind six children. These children were raised by their grandparents and possibly by their uncle Julian.

Albert (Abbie) Johnston Little (1861-1946) and his nephews Calvin and James were responsible for the cotton ginning and timber operations at Little's Mill (the family homeplace) in Richmond County, North Carolina, during the early to mid 1900s. From around 1887 until the turn of the century, Albert Johnston Little served as a judge in the area. Julian Little (1865-1955) was educated at the University of North Carolina in 1888, worked for a cotton company for several years, and later became vice president and subsequently president of Charlotte (NC) National Bank. He ultimately became president of Independence Corporation, a lending institution in Charlotte. Julian and his sister Emma shared an interest in the timber operation at Little's Mill. William Myers Little (b. 1867) graduated from the University of North Carolina with an undergraduate degree in 1888 and a law degree in 1891. He taught for several years and later practiced law in Charlotte. In 1894, he received was appointed to a consular position in Honduras, and served in this capacity for two years. He was also literary editor of The Charlotte Observer for a number of years.

Emma Little (fl. circa 1870-1950) graduated from the New York Polyclinic Medical School and Hospital in 1903 with a nursing degree and gained practical experience at Watts Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, and George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC. She furthered her education by attending Greensboro (NC) Normal College (circa 1912-1914) and travelled to France to attend the Universite de Paris in 1914. Eventually, John, Jr., Julian, and Fanny (Turner) came to settle in Charlotte; Addie, William, and Laura in Atlanta; and Abbie and Emma in Richmond County.

Of the children of Calvin Myers and Alice Leak Little, Lila (b. 1885), Alice (1888-1970), and Rosa (b. 1890), all attended Salem Academy and College in Winston-Salem at some time during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Alice graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, probably around 1910. James Leak Little (1891-1973) was educated at the University of North Carolina, served in World War I in France, and in World War II under General Douglas McArthur in the Rainbow Division. Rosa Leak Little (b. 1890) worked in Washington, DC, during World War I for the War Department and, at some point, for a congressman. Rosa and James were the only two of Calvin and Alice's children marry--James married Kathleen (?) in 1945; they had child. Rosa married Lynwood L. Jackson, a veteran of World War I and later an electrical contractor; they settled in Miami, Florida.

Calvin Myers Little, Jr. (1892-1984) served in World War I in the American Expeditionary Forces in France. He was trained at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, and stationed at Camp Jackson in Columbia (SC), Camp St. Sulpice in France, and aboard the USS Mercury. He achieved the rank of second lieutenant in the Infantry Division.


Scope and Content
These papers document at least three generations of Little family members, primarily covering the dates 1884-1956. This family, located in and around Richmond County, North Carolina, retained correspondence, financial and legal Papers, miscellaneous Papers, volumes, and pictures that record such activities as a cotton ginning operation, a timber business, educational pursuits, World War I, daily family life, and many other activities.

Five subseries of the correspondence series consist of letters of prominent individual family members. Financial and legal papers chiefly document land ownership, estates, and business ventures of the family. Miscellaneous papers include genealogical information, school and military Papers, writings and printed material by or about the family, and other items. The volumes comprise the bulk of the collection. They fall into three categories--business, school-related, and other volumes. The business volumes, which make up the bulk of the series, include information on the Littles's cotton ginning and timber operations; the school volumes document the educational pursuits of nearly all of the children of Calvin M. and Alice Leak Little. More than half of the pictures are photographs of John Phillips and Fanny Myers Little and three generations of their descendants. Other pictures include photographs of possibly family friends, many unidentified individuals and scenes, scenes from Little's Mill, postcard collections, and several hundred negatives.

Because the collection had little or no order when received, series and subseries divisions were imposed during processing. This imposed order has sometimes resulting in the possibility that correspondence of a family member named in a subseries may also be found in the "other correspondence" subseries.

[Introduction to Little Family Papers Collection], in the Little Family Papers #4396, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (https://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/04396/)





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