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Mini Bios of People of Scots Descent
Thomas Little


The following obituary was in the Daily Republican Era, April 11, 1922, Murphysboro, Illinois:

THOMAS LITTLE
WIDELY KNOWN
MINING MAN

Native of Scotland, Lived Here 54 Years. Thomas Little who died in Rochester, Minn. Monday, where he had gone with Mrs. Little a few days before to consult Mayo Brothers' specialists, was one of the best known mining men in the state of Illinois, having worked in the mines from boyhood, held superintendencies and served as state mine inspector before retiring a few years ago.

He was born in Scotland and moved to England in his infancy; residing there until he was 14 years of age, then came to America and located at Murphysboro where he went to work in the mines on the Mt. Carbon side of the river. He boarded with the parents of John M. Herbert, now president of the First National Bank of Murphysboro.

Mr. Little worked up in the mining industry and was superintendent of Harrison mine of the Old Big Muddy Coal & Iron Co. when J. D. Peters was general superintendent of that company's four mines at Murphysboro. When Mr. Peters went to Herrin with the company in which the Mitchells of Carbondale were interested, Mr. Little went along as superintendent of their mine and also served awhile as superintendent of a mine at Summerfield, Ill.

His years of service in the mines brought him a deep knowledge of the business and for two or three terms he served as state mine inspector. His duties as such took him into a number of mines immediately after disastrous explosions and fires. He was one of the first two men to descend into the Cherry mine following the fire and explosion which cost so many lives there, and where, half a dozen miners were rescued alive after remaining in the workings a week or more and subsisting on what little nourishment they could get by chewing their leather belts, etc. for several days. 

Years ago Mr. Little married Mary Dale, sister of John and Randolph Dale, well known mining men in the older days of the industry at Murphysboro. Three children are living, Will Little, mine examiner at Murphysboro, Harry Little of Sesser and Mrs. Albert Dugger of Carbondale. Mrs. Little died several years ago and three years later Mr. Little married Mrs. Nora Lavelle of this city. Their home is at 104 North Fourteenth street.

Last winter Mr. Little was bothered with a rising inside his head, and it did not get well. Last week he and Mrs. Little went to Rochester, Minn., to consult the famous Mayo specialists, and Sunday night a message from Mrs. Little to Will Little here told him that his father was critically sick, to go at once to Rochester. Will left here on the 11 o'clock car, to catch a 2 o'clock train at Carbondale for Chicago, thence to journey to Rochester, which is 100 miles south of St. Paul. Thomas Little died at 11:15 o'clock Monday morning, doubtlessly before Will Little reached Rochester.

Thomas Little was a member of the Murphysboro Masons, Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias. His religious affiliation was with the First Presbyterian church. He was a man most highly regarded by everyone. While he was strong in his convictions, he was not contentious, he was friendly and not inclined to override others. He was rather the quiet type, but his authority was respected all the years he was holding supervisory positions with hundreds of miners working under his directions. 

Tuesday afternoon A. G. Zelle received a message from Will Little stating that he would reach Murphysboro with the body of his father at 11 o'clock Wednesday morning. No other information was contained in the message. Presumably the funeral will take place Thursday or Friday.


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