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William Francis Little, Ph.D.  
by Gaylord Wayne Little
Submitted: 5-29-2010


William Francis Little was born on November 24, 1864 in Loysburg, PA.  The son of (Blacksmith) William Little, Jr. (1828-1887) and Catharine (Pepple) Little.  He was the half brother of James Patton Little.  Everyone in the family just called him "Uncle Frank".  He married Marou Sophia Brown on July 21, 1910, in Plymouth Mass.  She was born June 12, 1878 in Charleston, Suffolk, Mass., the daughter of Thomas Webb Brown, Jr. and Eliza Marou Yenetchi.  They were the parents of three children.  William Francis Little Jr., Who went by "Will", was born july 14, 1911.  Margaret Adelaide Little, born December 21, 1914 and died a day later.  Richard Walter Little, born May 08, 1916, went by "Rich" as a young man, and later was called "Lou", all his adult life.

This is what Rev. C. W. Karns had to say about William Francis little in his 1933 Publication, "Historical Sketches of Morrisons Cove"

Dr. W. F. Little
Education was not forgotten in the earlier days of Loysburg and some noted educators are the product of that community.  Among these we have professor Frank Little who made his mark in educational circles in the state of New Jersey.  He spends his summers at the Little home in Loysburg.  His wife, Marou, is much in demand as a speaker in P.T.A. work, being one of the national officers of that organization.  She ia a graduate of Wellesley.

Professor Frank Little, now retired as a teacher in New Jersey, was prominent in the educational circles of that great state.  For many years he was superintendent of schools in Elizabethtown and later rahway.

In 1888 he graduated from Dickinson Seminary with a Bachelor's Degree.  In those days Dickinson Seminary, though nominally a college, was little more than a high class preparatory school.  Mr. Little, ambitious for better training, entered Wesleyan University in September, 1888.  Here he came under the influence of such intellectual giants as Professor Conn, Woodrow Wilson and several others only less eminent.

While in College Mr. Little distinguished himself in scholarship and was elected to PHI BETA KAPPA in his senior year.  But he was no mere bookworm.  He played on the varsity baseball team, a sport in which he has never since lost interest.

On graduation in 1892, he entered his chosen profession as assistant head master of the Betts Academy, a flourishing private school in Stamford, Conn.  After one year in this position he established a private school of his own in the same city and conducted it with great success till 1899.

But always he had the insatiable desire for wider intellectual horizons so in that year he went to Heidelberg, then the center of research and learning of Germany, and of the world.  In a year he took his Doctorate in the classics under such famous scholars as Neumann and Von Duhn.  Before returning to America he visited Switzerland, Italy, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, and England.  Studying the ruins of antiquity and viewing the masterpieces of gothic and renaissance architecture.  It is safe to that few men have entered upon the duties of a high school principal as well equipped as Dr. Little.  An expert craftsman, a ripe scholar, thoroughly familiar with the great literatures of the past and modern times, acquainted with the world's best in music, art and architecture, conversant with the latest theories in educational practice, a man among men, and above all, deeply sympathetic with youth, its spirit, its problems, and its possibilities.  Hundreds of young men and women who came under his influence and who have attained success, testify that they owe to him that opening of their minds and arousing of their ambitions that led them to undertake a higher education.

In 1916 he was elected to the superintendence of the Rahway School System, succeeding a notable line of predecessors which includes such names as Dr. Corson, now superintendent of schools of Newark, Dr. Broome, now superintendent of schools of Philadelphia, and W.J. Bickett, superintendent of schools of Trenton.

Dr. Little's services to the community have not been confined to the schools. He has been a leading spirit in the Kiwanis Club, a member of the Trinity Methodist Church, the teacher of a popular bible class and active in every undertaking for the betterment of Rahway.  He is in great demand as a speaker and receives more calls from all parts of the state then time will permit him to accept.

He spends his summers at his old home in Loysburg which he now owns and in which his sister, Miss Margaret, lives.  I am quite sure when home at Loysburg nothing gives him more pleasure than to don working clothes and spend several hours each day in the "shop" where he learned the trade before he went to school.  His hand has not forgotten its cunning.  If any one wishes to be tutored in Greek or Latin during the summer when Frank is home, he gladly helps them.  For recreation he builds wheelbarrows, and his old friends know one of his barrows is good for a lifetime.

He is undoubtedly the best trained man in his profession of teaching that Loysburg has given to the world.  The honest toil of William Little, Jr. has borne fruit in all the fine young people who are descendants of the blacksmith.

Professor Frank Little has two sons who will soon graduate from college.  Frank, Jr., will graduate from Yale, June 1933.  Richard will graduate from Exeter.  I believe that with but one or two exceptions, all of William Little's descendants are members of the Methodist Church and are thus following in the footsteps of two of the most devoted Christian people i have ever known, William Little and his good wife.  ..................Rev. C. W. Karns, 1933, "Historical Sketches of Morrisons Cove".

After Rev. Karns wrote the above, William Francis Little, Jr., "will" did graduate from Yale and went on to be a lawyer in New Jersey.  He married Mary Frances (West) Little "Fran" on August 8, 1945.  On November 28, 1946, they had a son, William Francis Little, III, "Bill", who graduated from West Point in 1968.  Lt. Little was killed in action in Vietnam on November 11, 1969, when he ordered his scout and radioman to the rear while he covered them.  They could hear the report of his rifle for a while and then it fell silent.  It took Lt. Michael Lee Lanning and his men three days of hard fighting to get back in to recover Bill's body.  He had been killed by small arms fire.  His body was not mutilated by the enemy which was a sign of respect for someone that fought bravely.  His 1968 West Point class ring is on display in the museum at West Point where he is buried.  His name appears on "The Wall" in Washington D.C.

Fran passed away on November 30, 1960.  William Francis Little, Jr., married Joyce Simmen of Rahway on June 23, 1962.  They had a daughter, Joyce Alison Little "Alison" on July 12, 1964.  Alison graduated from John Hopkins University and works as a consultant at Price Waterhouse Coopers in N.Y.C. "Will" died in September 1997 at age 86.

Richard Walter Little, "Lou" and his wife, Lucille "Sugar" Little, had a son, Thomas Webb Little, that died in infancy, March 1945.  Their daughter, Elsa Marou Little, "El" born September 15, 1947, now lives in Northern Virginia and is the Chief Financial Officer at Rosemount Center, in the historic area of Mount Pleasant, District of Columbia.  Richard died in November 1998 at age 82.  His wife, Lucille "Sugar", had preceded him in 1982.

To the best of my knowledge, El Little and her cousin, Alison Little are the last remaining descendants of professor William Francis Little "Uncle Frank" (1864-1939) and his wife, Marou Sophia (Brown) Little (1878-1961).  He is Buried in Loysburg, PA, and she in Rahway, Union, New Jersey.


There are two books on the market, available through, written by Michael Lee Lanning. Lt Lanning and Lt Bill Little became trusted friends and fought together the last six months of Bill's life. The first book is, The Only War We Had: A Platoon Leader's Journal of Vietnam. The second book by Lanning is, Vietnam 1969-1970: A Company Commander's Journal. These are day by day accounts. I recently located Michael Lee Lanning in Phoenix, AZ, and wrote to him. He Called me on October 7th, 2006, and told me more about Lt. William F. Little, III. It made me proud to be related to such a fine and brave man, but also sad that he never got to experience life beyond the age of twenty-two. 

The Army recounts the life of this young man as follows: 1LT-02-Army-Regular 199th Light Infantry Brigade, 22 years old, single, Caucasian, male, born on Nov. 23, 1946, from Mountainside, New Jersey, length of service 1 year, his tour of duty began on May 13, 1969, casualty was on Nov. 11, 1969  in Phuoc Long, South Vietnam, hostile ground casualty, gun small arms fire, body was recovered, religion, protestant.

Bill Little is mentioned in Mr. Lanning's books many times. How amazing is it that through these books we get to read a first hand account about a relative that gave it all in a far off land because of his dedication to his men and because he cared about how his life would reflect on West Point. Though stolen from his body by the enemy, his West Point ring was recovered and is now on display at the academy. Truly a remarkable story.

To my cousins all over the USA, remember, you are one of "The Little Family" of Loysburg, PA

Gaylord W. Little  03-19-2006

Note:  Our ancestor, William Little, Jr. (1828-1887) was married twice.  He was the father of one son and three daughters to his first wife, Nancy (Eberly) Little and one son and four daughters, to his second wife, Catharine (Pepple) Little. 

James Patton Little's mother was Nancy (Eberly) Little, who died at age 29.  William Francis Little's mother was Catharine (Pepple) Little.
Photo of "The Wall" taken by cousin Richard Allen Little of Mechanicsburg, PA.



William Francis Little, Sr. in 1884, age 20
Submitted by: Gaylord Wayne Little

William Francis Little, Sr.
Submitted by: Gaylord Wayne Little

William F. Little, Jr. and Professor William F. Little
Submitted by: Gaylord Wayne Little

Professor William F. Little and Marou (Brown) Little
Submitted by: Gaylord Wayne Little

Lt. William F. Little, III
and his name on "The Wall" at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.
Submitted by: Gaylord Wayne Little



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