This collection contains materials pertaining to John Elijah Little, his family, their farm in Faulkner County, and their property and house in Conway. Included are deed records and personal correspondence relating to both properties, tax and business records for the farm at Lollie, bonds for the construction of a levee on the Arkansas River, pocket ledgers for farm business and construction of the Conway residence, as well as photographs and obituaries for most of the J.E. Little family. See also: Photographs of Faulkner County Levee District #1 Levee Projects, 1928-1977, in the general photograph collection. Original letters signed by: Hattie Caraway, Joe T. Robinson, D.D. Terry and Heartsill Ragon in the small manuscript collection (SMC).
John Elijah Little was born in Attala County, Mississippi, in 1858. At the age of eighteen, he moved to Arkansas and became an overseer at the L.B. Atkeison plantation located near the Arkansas River in Faulkner County. After two years at the Atkeison plantation, Little began leasing farmland in Yell County. On October 20, 1885, John E. Little married Laura “Lollie” Trundle in Perry County, Arkansas. In 1886, he returned to Faulkner County and purchased a small piece of farmland close to the Atkeison plantation. In 1887, he began to buy up surrounding farmland, which eventually totaled 3,400 acres along the Arkansas River. In 1890, Lollie gave birth to the couple’s only child, Mildred, and Lollie passed away shortly after. The plantation, which was named in her honor, would eventually grow to support dozens of tenant farmers and their families over the next 45 years. J.E. Little married Sammie Ann Glenn of Benton in 1895 and purchased a house on Western Avenue in Conway. The couple had four children: John Julian Little, (1897-1950) William S. Little, (1899-1977) Samuel Dana Little, (1904-1981) and Mary Lee Little McAlister (1910-1988). Mildred Little married William VanValkenburgh, an architect and contractor who was responsible for the construction of the Little’s second Conway house after the original property burned in 1918. In 1919, John Julian (J.J.) Little became the assistant manager of the plantation, and continued to run the plantation after his father’s death in 1928 until his own death in 1950. J.E. Little died at age 70 at the family's home in Conway after several months of illness. In 1952, the farm was divided among Little's heirs. As of 2017, the lowlands along the Arkansas River and around Tupelo Bayou are still known colloquially to locals as "The Lollie Bottoms."
Document, 8.5" x 11"
Faulkner County (Ark.)
J.E. Little Plantation records, MS.000231
Arkansas State Archives
Arkansas State Archives
J.E. Little Plantation records, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.
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United States History