John R. Little

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
December 1, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II

JOHN R. LITTLE, the superintendent of Fall River Mines, Fall River Pocahontas
Collieries Company at Roderfield, McDowell County, is one of the efficient and
popular executives in the coal mining industry in this section of his native
state, his birth having occurred near Wyoming, Mercer County, West Virginia,
September 24, 1880. He is a son of Hiram and Martha Ann (Hearn) Little, the
former of whom was born near Charleston, this state, and the latter near
Oakvale, Mercer County. The father died in 1906, at the age of fifty-two years,
and the mother now resides at Coaldale, Mercer County, she being sixty-seven
years of age at the time of this writing, in the winter of 1921-2. As a young
man Hiram Little was a successful teacher in the schools of Mercer and Wyoming
counties, and thereafter he was a merchant at Basin and Crumple, which latter
place was then known as Burks Garden. In his progressive business career he
became agent for the Flat Top Land Company, in which connection he obtained
options and purchased many tracts of timber and coal land in Wyoming, McDowell
and Raleigh counties, beside doing a large amount of surveying of lands now
owned by representative coal companies. As a boy of twelve years Hiram Little
became a member of the Methodist Church, in which he became a local preacher
and in the work of which he continued active and zealous until the time of his
death, his widow likewise being a devoted member of this church. He was also a
vital and enthusiastic advocate of the principles of the republican party, and
was an effective campaign speaker. Of the seven children of the family two died
in infancy; Thomas Levi is superintendent of a coal company at Herndon, Wyoming
County; John R., of this sketch, was the next in order of birth; Robert S. is a
mine foreman at Coaldale; Edgar B. is a farmer and dairyman at Roanoke, Virginia;
and Margaret is the wife of John Clendennin, of Roanoke, McDowell County, West

John R. Little attended school at Crumpler, McDowell County, and the Billups
School in Tazewell County, Virginia, where the family home was maintained two
years. When still a boy he began working in the Shamokin mines at Maybeury,
where he remained two years. He was next employed in the Elkhorn mine, at the
same place, and later for two years he had charge of a general store at
Maybeury. He then became a foreman at the Elkhorn Mine, of which he was later
made superintendent, and in 1918 he assumed his present executive post, that of
superintendent of the Fall River Mine. Like his father, Mr. Little has taken
deep interest in educational work, and he served as a member of the School
Board of Brown Creek District: He has had no desire for political activity, but
is a loyal supporter of the cause of the republican party.

In March, 1906, Mr. Little wedded Miss Cora Tabor, daughter of A. J. Tabor, of
Coaldale, and the children of this union are five sons and five daughters.