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Samuel H. Little. One of the old names in America today is that of Little, the family having been established in the South in early colonial times, and being identified with American history in a worthy manner from that time down to the present date. The house of Little supplied many of the pioneers that have figured so prominently in the development of the new places within our borders and much history has been written around certain picturesque and immortal souls connected with this family, as a result of their lives of aggressive and progressive activities.
Samuel H. Little has carried the pioneer spirit that dominated his ancestors into one of the most recent developed sections of our country. He came to Custer County, Oklahoma, a pioneer in the best sense of the word, and from then to now he has been identified in a creditable manner with the development of this district. He is mayor of Custer City, and president of the Peoples State National Bank, and altogether, is one of the foremost men in the county today. He was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee, on November 5, 1858, and is a son of Samuel and Sarah (Jones) Little.
Samuel Little is a native son of North Carolina, born there in 1810, and he died in Lincoln County, Tennessee, in 1888. From North Carolina he moved to Smith County, Tennessee, and then to Lincoln County, where he was married, and where he spent the remainder of his life. He was a successful farming man and stockgrower, and was a leader in his community all his days. He was a relative of Daniel Boone, that historic old character, and was himself an interesting raconteur of pioneer tales. He was a lifelong member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was for forty years a steward in its service. He was married to Sarah Jones in 1840. She was born in Tennessee in 1820 and died in that state in 1898.
The son of these worthy people, Samuel H. Little of this review, attended the common schools of Lincoln County, Tennessee, in seeking the elements of an education. Beyond that his educational advantages were negligible. He remained on the home farm with his parents until he was twenty-two years old, and from 1880 to 1900 he fanned on his own responsibility in Lincoln County.
The year 1900 saw Mr. Little’s advent into Custer City, Oklahoma, where he was drawn by the irresistible call of a new country to a man of pioneer ancestry and instincts. He filed on a government claim of 160, six miles southeast of Custer City, lived on it until 1904 and sold it advantageously. He then moved to Elk City, where he held an interest in the telephone exchange there until 1906, and in that year he went to Deaf Smith County, Texas, and operated a ranch for two years. In 1908, however, he returned to Custer City, and here he engaged in cattle buying and selling. He is still active in that line, though his numerous other interests make heavy demands upon his time and attention. In the same year of his return to Custer City, Mr. Little entered the Peoples State National Bank in an official capacity, and since 1909 he has held the office of president of that institution. The bank was organized in 1903 as the Peoples State Bank, under the direction and management of C. O. Leeka and the Messrs. Peckham. In 1911 it was nationalized under the name of the Peoples State National Bank. Its present officers are as follows: Mr. Little, president; vice-presidents, Dr. K. D. Gossom and G. G. Hostutler; cashier, Tom Chatburn, and assistant cashier, Herman Klinger. The bank has a capital stock of $25,000, and a surplus of $5,000.
Aside from his banking activities, Mr. Little owns and operates an extensive livery business in Custer City. He is the owner of some real estate in the city, and has an interest in a fine farm in the county. He recently disposed of a part of his farm property.
Mr. Little is a democrat, and he has served the city two years as a member of its council. In the spring of 1915 he was elected to the office of mayor on the democratic ticket, and is now filling that office in a highly creditable manner. He is a member of the Primitive Baptist Church, and he is a Mason and a Woodman of the World. His Masonic affiliations are with Custer Lodge No. 258, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and is past master of that lodge.
Mr. Little was married in 1877 in his native state, to Miss Maggie George, who died in 1899, the mother of five children. They are: Samuel Jesse, a practicing physician in Minco, Oklahoma; John Lee, a farmer in Custer City; J. B., similarly occupied here; W. P., a hardware merchant in this city; Thomas Boone, a Custer County farming man.
In 1902 Mr. Little was married in Custer County, to Miss Anna Chalfant, daughter of W. F. Chalfant, a prominent farmer of the county, now deceased. Two children were born to them: Helen and Aaron, both attending school in Custer City.
The Littles have a pleasant home in Custer City, and enjoy the friendship of a wide circle of the best people in the county. They are prominently identified with the leading social activities of their community, and are reckoned to be representative people in the city and county.