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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
Benjamin Franklin Little
Benjamin Franklin Little, County Surveyor, land agent, insurance agent and apiarist, is also numbered among the leading and successful business men of Brush Creek. He is a Virginian by birth and a son of William and Eliza (Stumb) Little. His father was born in Frederick County, Va., July 13, 1807, and was one of two children by a second marriage. The grandfather died when he was five years of age and he was then bound out to a farmer, with whom he made his home until the death of his employer, when Mr. Little was a lad of fourteen years. In his youth he learned the cooper's trade, at which he still works, having followed it in pursuit of fortune throughout his entire life. In Warren County, Va., he married, in December, 1830, Miss Stumb, who was born in that county in 1813, and is of German descent, her parents being of the William Penn stock. In connection with his trade Mr. Little carries on farming. He has been a life-long Democrat and for forty years both he and his wife have been members of the Christian Church. In their family were twelve children, ten of whom are now living, the youngest being thirty-five years of age. The parents are still residents of Warren County, Va.
Our subject, the second in the family, was born near Winchester, Va., October 2, 1833, and until thirteen years of age attended the subscription schools. At that time he began learning his father's trade and worked faithfully until he had attained his majority. Not content with the educational advantages which he had received he then attended school for about five months, paying his own tuition. On the map of the world he saw Asia east and Asia west, and the teacher's reply to his question if they were same, was, 'I do not know.' We thus see that the help which he obtained in the schoolroom was not what an ambitious scholar would wish. In his home Mr. Little studied grammar, algebra, surveying and other branches of learning, becoming a well-informed man. With a desire to better his condition by emigrating to the West he located in Greene County, Ohio, in 1855, where during the winter he worked in a cooper's shop in the morning and spent his afternoons at a club where were discussed the leading topics of the day. John Little, the celebrated lawyer of Xenia, Ohio, worked in the same shop and they attended the club together, the two young men being cousins. In 1856 our subject came to Fayette County, Iowa, arriving in Brush Creek on the 29th of May. The same spring he laid out the town and in the fall of 1857 built his present home.
On the 1st of January of that year Mr. Little united his destiny with that of Miss Mary E. Keith, the union being celebrated in this community. The lady was born in Farquhar, Va., June 20,1832, and is the eldest of nine children of John and Mary A. (Brown) Keith who, with their family came to Iowa in 1856. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Little have been born five children: William D., who is employed in the United States postal service in Chicago; Hattie J., who died in the seventh year of her age; Edith M., wife of W. H. Durin, of Brush Creek; Bennie B., who is engaged in the insurance business in Brush Creek, and Jennie M.
Mr. and Mrs. Little are charter members of the Christian Church which was organized in 1858, and have been faithful and active workers through all these years. For eighteen years he held the position of Elder and then resigned. They give to the poor and needy, are ever ready to extend a helping hand and are liberal supporters of benevolent and charitable works. The cause of temperance finds in Mr. Little a warm friend, and educational interests also receive his sympathy and co-operation. Politically, he has voted with the Democratic party since casting his first vote for James Buchanan. He has been a member of the County Board by appointment to fill the unexpired term of C. D. Shambaugh, and has held many minor positions. He has been Notary since the war, is Pension and Claim Agent and as such has been very successful. He was admitted to the bar in this county May 31, 1876, but does not practice. He acted as County Surveyor for seven years and has engaged in that line ever since coming to Iowa. Mr. Little is recognized as a man of good business ability and thoroughly reliable.
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