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
Dr. W. F. Little
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.
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
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.
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.
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".
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
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.
READ ABOUT LT. WILLIAM F.
There are two books on the
market, available through Amazon.com, 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
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
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.