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George M. Littlefield 1945-1930


Posted By: CHERYL MOONEN (email)
Date: 3/25/2022 at 11:02:35

1914 Delaware Co., IA History pgs. 366-370

George M. Littlefield, a farmer of South Fork township, is still operating eighty acres but the remainder of his land is being cultivated by his sons. He was born in Jersey county, Illinois, November 10, 1845, a son of Isaac and Olive (Foster) Littlefield, the former of whom was born in Kennebunk, Maine, August 11, 1811. The paternal grandfather was a sea captain and was drowned before the birth of his son Isaac. The mother of our subject was born March 6, 1816, in Massachusetts, where her father was a well-to-do farmer, owning one hundred and sixty acres of land about forty miles from Boston. Her two brothers were soldiers in the war of the Rebellion and the elder. A. J. Foster, went through the war without injury. The younger, Jonathan, became ill from the effects of the exposures and hardships which he endured while in the service and died soon after the close of the war. A. J. Foster served under General Benjamin Butler and he, as well as the other men in the command, were proud of the bravery and ability of their leader. When eighty-five years of age Mr. Foster came west to visit his sister and being much pleased with the country, he would have settled here if he had not been so advanced in age. He passed away a couple of years later.

Isaac and Olive Littlefield have been called to their reward, the former dying February 2, 1866, and the latter February 6, 1903. Both are buried in Hopkinton. To their union were born nine children. Ellen O. M., born March 22, 1838, died in infancy. William H., born April 23, 1843, has been a prosperous farmer and is now living retired in Hopkinton. He is married and has two living children. George M. is the next in order of birth. John E., whose birth occurred January 17, 1847, was for a number of years an agriculturist but his brother George has purchased his farm. He has been married three times but only one of his children survives. Paris M., born November 13, 1849, died in infancy. Paris Mason, born October 29, 1853, was for a number of years actively engaged in farming in this county but later sold his land, a part of which his brother George purchased, and moved to Kansas. He is married and has three children. Ellen Maria, born June 27, 1856, became the wife of S. K. Myers of Manchester, and two children have been born to them. Susan J., born November 2, 1858, is married and resides in Kansas. Isaac E., born May 1, 1861, died in 1886. He was married and had two children.

George M. Littlefield accompanied his parents to Delaware county in the fall of 1850, when but a child of five years. He received his education in the district schools of the neighborhood and later attended Lenox College for the greater part of three years. His father was one of the leaders in the establishment of the college at Hopkinton and it was largely due to his enthusiasm and influence that the school was founded. He spoke publicly in behalf of the project and succeeded in interesting many citizens therein. He also went to Dubuque to get the incorporation papers for the college and bore the expense. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land one mile east of Hopkinton and, digging up the clay found upon his place, made the brick with which he built a substantial house with a cellar in 1853. It is still standing and in good condition.

George M. Littlefield as a boy assisted in the cultivation of the homestead and since reaching manhood has continued to make his home thereon. He now holds title to the place and takes great pride in the fact that the farm has been in possession of the family for over six decades. He has made many improvements and in 1914 erected a well designed and commodious residence. He has always been a hard worker and as his energies have been directed by sound judgment he has prospered greatly. He now owns five hundred and sixty acres and although his sons cultivate the greater part of the land he personally operates eighty acres. He finds that he is much happier and contented when he has some definite work to do than when living in idleness and he gives a great deal of time and labor to the land which he himself cultivates. In addition to his real estate in this county he owns an eighty acre tract in Missouri.
On the 7th of September, 1880, Mr. Littlefield was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Ewart, a daughter of James C. and Sarah (McKinley) Ewart, both natives of County Down, Ireland, but of Scotch lineage. In 1866 Mrs. Littlefield accompanied her parents to America and the family have since resided in this county, where the parents passed away years ago. When they emigrated to the United States there were nine children but Mrs. Littlefield and two brothers are now the only survivors. To Mr. and Mrs. Littlefield four children were born. Isaac is in partnership with his brother, James Ewart, in the implement and grain business at Hopkinton and has proven himself a successful business man. Sarah Jane, the only daughter, after graduating from the public schools took an academic course in Lenox College and subsequently was for two years a student at the University of Nebraska. James Ewart, associated with his brother Isaac, has displayed sound judgment and good business ability in bringing about the success of the enterprise. He was married June 2, 1913, to Miss Rhoda Rachel Harvey, a daughter of John Harvey, who resided upon a farm in Dubuque county, this state. To Mr. and Mrs. James E. Littlefield has been born a son, James Harvey; whose natal day was March 3, 1914. George M., the youngest of the family, died in infancy.

The family belong to the Presbyterian church and take a vital interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community. Mr. Littlefield is a republican but has never sought official preferment although he has served as school director. He carries on mixed farming but is especially interested in stock-raising and has given scientific study to many of the problems of animal husbandry. He has experimented with raising cattle and hogs and has repeatedly satisfied himself that he has discovered a natural law which has for many years been sought by biologists, namely, the law which determines the sex of animals of the mammal order. In all that he does he manifests a tendency to first ascertain the facts as they are and then from that sure basis form his theories. Nor is he satisfied then but must needs test his generalizations repeatedly before accepting them as true. He is a man of broad general information and of an incisive mind which enables him to understand to an unusual degree the many complex movements of the time. Although almost seventy years of age he is as active as a man of fifty and still maintains his eager interest in the world.
Contributor: Rebekah Teubner


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