John T. Little, of Olathe, a prominent member of the legal profession in Kansas and an ex-attorney-general of the state, was born in Circleville, Pickaway county, Ohio, Nov. 18, 1841, and is of German descent on the paternal side, the Little family, established in America several generations prior to the birth of John T.'s father, having been of German origin. His father, Rev. Nathan B. Little, was a native of Hagerstown, Md., and was a minister in the Lutheran church. He removed from Maryland to Ohio prior to the birth of John T., and there engaged in educational work in connection with his ministerial duties. He was a man of excellent educational attainments and for several years was connected with Wittenburg College, Springfield, Ohio. He was a prominent member of the Masonic order in Ohio. He was married in Maryland to Mary A. Fouk, also a native of Hagerstown. To their union were born eight children, two of whom survive: George B., of Spokane, Wash., and John T. These children were the recipients of a splendid classical education under the able tutorage of their father. Both parents are deceased, the father's death having occurred near Mechanicsburg, Champaign county, Ohio, in 1876, when seventy-five years of age; the mother's death occurred in 1856. One brother, Luther Little, who died in Olathe a few years ago, served in the Civil war, as a member of the Twenty-sixth Ohio infantry, until he was wounded and captured at the battle of Chickamauga. He was then confined thirteen months in Libby and Andersonville prisons, where he suffered untold horrors. Reverend Little removed from Circleville to Oakland, Ohio, when John T. was ten years of age, and still later moved to a farm which he had purchased in Champaign county, Ohio, and there resided until his death.
John T. Little, besides the private tutoring received from his father, attended the public schools and also the academy at McConnelsville, Ohio, where he graduated in 1860. In 1863, under the call of President Lincoln for an organization of militia in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois of 85,000 troops, he assisted in raising a company in Champaign county, of which he was elected second lieutenant. While guarding prisoners at Columbus, Ohio, he enlisted in Company E, One-Hundred Thirty-fourth Ohio infantry, and was immediately sent to the Army of the Potomac, then encamped at Cumberland, Md. He was taken sick shortly after reaching camp and was sent to the field hospital near Cumberland, where he was discharged in September, 1864. After being mustered out at Columbus, Ohio, he returned to his home in Champaign county and in the following spring of 1865 began reading law at Urbana, Ohio, with Gen. John H. Young, one of the leading lawyers of the state. He was admitted to the bar by the supreme court of Ohio in June, 1868, and in the following month of August came to Olathe, Kan., where he began the practice of his profession and where he has in the intervening forty years steadily risen into prominence and is recognized as one of the strongest members of the Kansas bar. Shortly after locating at Olathe he became a partner of Hon. John T. Burns, who was for several years prominent in both legal and political circles throughout the state, and is now a resident of California. Mr. Little was elected city attorney of Olathe in 1873, and later served two terms as prosecuting attorney of Johnson county. At the State Democratic Convention, held in Wichita, in 1892, he was nominated attorney-general of the state, was endorsed by the Topeka convention, and was elected the following November to the office, in which he served one term. In 1894 he received the Democratic nomination for associate justice of the supreme court of Kansas. Since then he has served one term as mayor of Olathe and during his administration of the city's affairs more improvements were made in the way of street pavement than had been made before or has been made since his incumbency. He also served as president of the Olathe board of education four years.
Mr. Little has been twice married. His first marriage was in 1870, when Miss Hannah Gregg, of Olathe, became his wife. She died in 1872. In 1875 Mr. Little took as his second wife Mary D. Bundy, of Olathe, and to their union have been born two children: Chauncey B., who at the present time (1911) is prosecuting attorney of Johnson county, was associated with his father in the practice of law until elected to his present office in 1908, to which he was reelected in 1910. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas and was prepared for law under the careful guidance of his father. John T., Jr., is a hardware merchant of Spokane, Wash. He is a graduate of the Olathe High School, also of the University of Kansas, where he completed a course in mechanical engineering.
Fraternally, Mr. Little is a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and in politics is a Democrat. As a lawyer he ranks among the best in the state, and his extensive practice has included many of the important cases of Missouri, as well as of Kansas, where the supreme court records show Mr. Little to have been one of the attorneys in a very large percentage of the cases. His success did not come without effort, it is but the just reward of years of indefatigable labor and painstaking care. He is numbered among the most worthy and respected of Olathe's citizens.Pages 238-240 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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