LITTLEFIELD, REV. O.
Posted By: Volunteer (email)
Date: 1/17/2005 at 13:19:37
Biography reproduced from page 477 of the History of Kossuth and Humboldt Counties, Iowa published in 1884:
Rev. O. Littlefield, the youngest of nine children, was born Dec. 23, 1802, at Colerain, Mass. His parents were of English descent, his father being a Baptist minister. The family removed to Ellisburg, Jefferson Co., N. Y., where his father died, Aug. 28, 1805, leaving his infant son to the care of a good mother. He always spoke of his mother as being a very pious woman, and felt himself greatly indebted to her for her prayers, pious instruction and godly example. His whole life showed that his moral character had been well laid in his early years. His boyhood life was spent on a farm in manual labor. He entered Belleville Academy, New York, in 1832. He began his Christian life in 1829, advocating Universalism, but still felt it his duty to love and serve God. It was after one of those great revivals that swept through New York, led by C. G. Finney, Burchard and others, that he visited his home at Ellisburg, which was bring visited by a powerful revival. It was seeing the great change in his old companions that led him to consider his own condition as a sinner and yield his heart to Christ with a fixed resolution to serve the Lord. He started west in 1832 on the Erie canal, but was stopped at Rochester by the freezing of the canal. Here he spent the winter in teaching, and here, after a long and thorough study of the subject of baptism, he joined the Presbyterian Church, in care of Dr. Wisner. In the spring of 1833 he resumed his journey west to Steubenville, Ohio, where, like many other young men before entering a profession, he spent some years in teaching. He thus strengthened what he had acquired, and fitted himself for a more noble work. In 1835 he entered the Theological Seminary at Allegheny City, Penn. He was licensed to preach by the Presbytery in 1837. In 1837 he visited his brother in Greenfield, La Grange Co., Ind., and spent five weeks, then he proceeded on his journey west to Galena, Ill., where he spent a year preaching at Sand Prairie, Apple River and Craig’s Point. In 1838 he returned to Indiana, and was ordained and set apart to the Gospel ministry by the St. Joseph Presbytery, April 4, 1839, at White Pigeon, Mich. Then he preached at Algansee, Sturgis Prairie, Mich.; Pretty Prairie and Angola, Ind. Here he suffered a year and a half with inflammation of the eyes and was three months blind. Though sight was at length restored he never fully recovered. In 1841 he visited Steubenville, Ohio, traveled and preached in various places, assisting in protracted meetings. During this time he preached or attended meetings nearly every night, and frequently during the day. On the 3d of March, 1843, he bade adieu to his friends in Indiana and went west with a view of settling there. In November, 1843, he visited Jackson Co., Iowa, spending two weeks. For the next six years he preached in Daviess Co., Ind.; Apple River, Elizabeth and Lancaster, Grant Co., Wis. His last field in Wisconsin was at Blake Prairie, Beetown and Patch Grove. In the fall of 1849 he visited friends in Indiana, and returned in November and removed to Garnavillo, Clayton Co., Iowa. In Garnavillo he preached to a Congregational Church and joined that Church. In November, 1851, he visited Indiana and was married to Sarah A. Watkins, of Orange, Noble Co., Ind. After visiting a few days they returned west, arriving in Garnavillo, December 5. He preached in Garnavillo, Elkader and Farmersburg three years. In 1854 he was colporteur for the American Tract Society. In May, 1855, he removed to Bradford, Chickasaw Co., Iowa, where he organized a Church, and preached at Charles City and Floyd Center, in Floyd county. He afterwards removed to Van Buren, Jackson county, preaching in Van Buren, Fairfield, and in Charlotte, Clinton county, one year. The next year he preached at Big Rock and New Liberty, Scott county. In 1864 he removed west and spent one year in Linn county, preaching at Troy Mills, Valley Farm and Central City. From thence he removed, in 1865, to Bristol, Worth county, preaching at Bristol and Forest City for three years. In 1869 he removed to Seneca, Kossuth county. Here, assisted by Father Taylor of Algona, he organized a Congregational Church to which he ministered, in all, four years. For the last few years of his life he labored on a farm, preaching only on funeral occasions, the last being the funeral sermon of the death of the infant child of Mr. and Mrs. Ira Canon, in Emmett county. Mr. Littlefield lived a roaming life, and no one will ever be able to tell the amount of good he has done. He had but little sickness, and his last was very short. He died as he had lived—a very devoted and good man, and his work shall certainly follow him. His funeral sermon was preached by Rev. R. A. Paden. He bade adieu to earthly scenes Dec. 23, 1883, leaving a loving wife and adopted daughter to mourn his loss.
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