Karen McCann Hett All Rights Reserved 2003-2014
Hiram Little was born in Bond County, Illinois, family tradition says in Coalville. His cemetery marker at Willis City Cemetery is engraved with birth date of April 9, 1809.
Hiram's marriage to Mary (Polly) Lindley was recorded by descendants as June 5, 1831, and was entered into courthouse records of Coles County, Illinois, on June 7. Polly was the daughter of Samuel Washington Lindley and Elizabeth Whitley and was likely born in 1812, though her cemetery marker shows 1813 . She was a sister of Elijah Lindley, John Lindley, James Lindley, and also of Jonathan Lindley who died at the Alamo. The first two children of Hiram and Mary were born in Illinois before they made the move to Texas in the company of the Lindleys and other relatives.
From the website of the Texas General Land Office
Hiram arrived in Texas on the 20th of January 1835, according to his sworn testimony before the Montgomery County Land Commission. His witnesses were B. B. Goodrich and Elijah Collard. He was awarded a first class headright land grant.
He first settled in Sabine Municipality and was enumerated in the 1835 census of Mexico, Sabine District. He was head of family, age 35, with wife Mary, age 22, and daughters Delilah and Elizabeth.
By 1836, he was living in Washington County in the area which later became Montgomery County.
In 1836, Hiram served in the Army of the Republic of Texas in the War against Mexico. On June 30, he joined the Company of Washington County Volunteers which formed on the East Side of the Brazos River; the enlistment period was three months. His first captain was John Goodloe Warren, who was succeeded by J. G. W. Pierson. Joseph Lindley was in the same company.
In 1874, he filed for, and later was granted, a pension based on his service to the Republic.
Montgomery County was formed from Washington County in 1838, and Hiram appears on the list of taxables beginning in 1839. His only taxable possession that year was a clock valued at $10. He resided in the vicinity of Danville and later in Willis, after the post-Civil War demise of Danville.
In the minutes of the first session of the court in Walker County, July, 1846, he was appointed to supply hands for a road from Huntsville to Houston; his residence must have fallen into the boundaries of Walker when that county was cut from Montgomery.
In 1848, Hiram Little purchased land near Danville from W. W. Shepperd. He sold certain Danville tracts of land to Jonathan Collard in 1850.
When the city of Danville was platted in 1848 for incorporation (which was filed by Daniel Robinson in 1851), it was the inner wall of Hiram Little's well which was used as the beginning point for the surveying of all the lots in the town.
Photo of Hiram Little's well by David Martin
For a detailed history of Hiram Little's well, see JOURNEY TO DANVILLE by Karen Lucas Lawless.
Hiram's property with the well was purchased by George Anderson Spiller and became Spiller's homestead. The well still exists in a cow pasture near what used to be the city of Danville.
In 1852, Hiram was one of the trustees of the Danville Baptist Church of Christ who accepted a deed from G. A. Spiller for three-tenths of an acre of land in the northern part of the town, where the church members were meeting. This congregation moved their church building to Willis in 1875.
According to the church minutes, Hiram Little joined the church by baptism. In 1863, he was chosen to be a delegate to the Tryon Association. In 1864, he was appointed to look into the accusation against a Sister Burk for dancing. He served as moderator pro tem in 1865. In December, 1865, he was dismissed by letter, as he was moving away.
Hiram was listed as a Master Mason in the year 1857 in the San Jacinto Masonic Lodge 106 at Danville.
He was fifty-one and his wife was forty-six at the time of the 1860 census in Montgomery County.
Hiram joined the Danville Mounted Riflemen in April, 1861, as a private. His son, Jonathan Little, was also a member of the Danville Riflemen. Hiram did not join the regular CSA army, being quite a bit over age.
However, Hiram's three sons served in the Confederate Army, including Jonathan in Company B of the 24th Cavalry, Samuel in Company A of the 24th Cavalry, and William (Doc) in the Seventh Texas Cavalry. Samuel enlisted under Captain Robert S. Poole of Montgomery at age 19, fought in the Battle of Arkansas Post, was captured and sent to prison at Camp Butler, Illinois. William was in Company G of the Seventh Cavalry, as was Danville Rifleman B. F. Cates.
At the end of the war, Hiram signed the Amnesty Oath in Montgomery County. His signature was copied into a list of signatures and bound into a book in the clerk's office.
When public schools were first established in Montgomery County in 1873, Hiram Little was elected as a school trustee of District 3 in the Willis School District.
Continuing in public service, he was elected County Commissioner for Pct. 1 in 1881.
He was a member of Texas Veterans, having joined at the convention held in Belton in 1883, when he was 74. The records of the Texas Veterans show that he stated he served in the Texas War for Independence in 1835 and 1836.
In census records, he listed his occupation as farmer.
Hiram Little, Texas Patriot, died on 13 September 1891 and is buried in the Willis City Cemetery at Willis, Montgomery County. There is a Texas Revolutionary War plaque on his grave. Mary died on January 28, 1893 and is buried next to Hiram.
A marker honoring Hiram for his Confederate service was dedicated by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Granbury's Texas Brigade, Camp #1479, on October 20, 2012. On the same date, markers were also dedicated in honor of Hiram's son William Little and of his son-in-law Oscar Holmes. A monetary contribution was made by Little descendant Laura Buckmaster to help defray the cost of the markers.
Thanks for the dedication photos to Frank Johnson of Granbury's Texas Brigade, SCV Camp #1479, Spring, Texas.
A descendant of this couple is Carol Todd. She furnished much of the above biographical information.
Thanks to Frank Johnson for information on the service of Samuel Little and on the Republic of Texas service of Hiram.
Names from the minutes of the Baptist Church of Danville were extracted by Teresa Nyquist Tucker and published in The Montgomery County Herald in an article entitled --The Danvile Baptist Church of Christ, 1850-1868.
For further information and records of all Confederate soldiers of Montgomery County, Texas, as well as histories of the regiments they served in, see Montgomery County, Texas, CSA by Frank M. Johnson. The book may be purchased by visiting Frank's website at frankmjohnson.net or by contacting Frank at email@example.com.
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Karen McCann Hett
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