submitted by Neal Carter, October 13, 2007


Died, at his home in this city, 203 west Third street, Sunday, June 18, 1893, at 1 p. m., of paralysis, Mr. J. G. H. Little, aged 58 years, 5 months and 5 days.

Mr. Little received his fatal stroke while attending a Trinity church Sunday school picnic at Wyoming Hill a week ago to-day. Deceased had been comparatively delicate in health for the last two or three years though maintaining his characteristic activity in business and the zest which always distinguished his interest in all popular occasions where his superior management was so frequently demanded.

On this fateful Tuesday, the heat was extremely oppressive, while the success of the picnic seemed largely to depend upon Mr. Little’s direction and care. During an interval of the entertainment, he was missed from the company and his absence was so unusual that search was made for him and he was found lying prostrate upon the ground in an unconscious state. A message was immediately dispatched to his son, Dr. Fred. H. Little of this city, who was quickly on the ground and had his father carefully borne to his home. The patient remained unconscious from the hour of his being found at Wyoming Hill until the final pulsation on Sunday. The most vigilant and tender of wifely care, and the best of medical skill, heightened by filial anxiety and devotion, could not avail to wake him from that fatal slumber.

Our lamented townsman was born in Orange county, New York. Here he passed his boyhood. He was educated at Wallkill Academy, in Middleton, N. Y. When 16 years old he came to Iowa with his parents, whose home was made on the well-known farm in Bloomington township, where Mr. Little resided until 1876, when he removed to the city, since which time he has been actively engaged in placing loans in our new western states, the last two years filling the agency of a California land company.

Mr. Little was married January 18, 1855, to Miss Anna Reed Zeigler, daughter of one of Iowa’s early and prominent settlers. One son was issue of this marriage, Dr. Fred. H. Little, Muscatine’s well and widely known physician and surgeon.

Muscatine county has had no citizen more intimately and popularly known to all her people than Dr. J. G. H. Little, and none who knew her people so well. He had the Alexandrian genius of remembering names, and the day is not long past when he could call every voter in both city and county by name and tell his politics. This familiar acquaintance came from his long sustained intimate relations with the public as an officer of our county fairs, solicitor for the important public projects of our city and county, marshal and president of the day at public celebrations, and his indefatigable service on committees having public enterprises or celebrations in charge.

Let it be recorded to the memory of J. G. H. Little that no one gave so much, or one half as much, of his time and valuable service to the public as this citizen now lost to us, and how ably and graciously, untiringly and unstintingly, was this service rendered!

In the olden time, the people bore testimony to such disinterestedness by erecting monuments in their honor. If ever a private citizen deserved a public monument this departed citizen deserves it from the city of Muscatine. He failed only in one cause of rendering the service that lay at his heart. He offered himself twice to his country during the war and was rejected on account of physical disability. It was at his suggestion and aid that those thirty acres were planted with potatoes by the Soldiers’ Aid Society, and a crop of 1,000 bushels sent to the boys in front.

But Mr. Little will be best remembered perhaps for those qualities that showe with such brightness in the social circle. Here also it could be said of him as in his public relations, that he was a host in himself; but here he carried his part with a bonhomie and jest free from his public formality, and though always with a nice sense of and respect for the conventionalities of life, he entered into these social occasions with all his geniality and wit in such abundant flow that he was easily the chief to whom all looked for leadership.

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