The Town of Littles

It is  going to be another frigid January night of subzero temperatures.  Our house is insulated.  We have good replacement windows and a good furnace.  I sleep under an electric blanket.  Tonight I am thinking about another house in the 1920s coal mining town of Littles, up in the far northwest corner of Patoka Township here in Pike County.

Joyce DeJarnett Truitt is a regular commentor on my blog.  She has shared fascinating memories of the area, such as her Grandmother seeing ghosts in the old Ingle house.  We have become friends through email.  Joyce has a book in the Pike County Library genealogy department, “The Ford DeJarnett Family”.  I just saw an out of print copy of it for sale on the internet at Abe Books for $135.00!!  One story is that her great grandfather Ford DeJarnett built two buildings facing each other, in case one caught fire the family could just move into the other one.   Joyce was born in 1927 to Lowell and Golda Christmas DeJarnett at Littles in one of the coal mine company houses.  This past week she sent me this photo of when she was a little girl growing up in there.

l to r:  Joyce Dejarnett; John Beard, her cousin; and her sister Ruth.

l to r: Joyce DeJarnett; John Beard, her cousin; and her sister Ruth.  John was the son of Leonard Beard and lived in another company house.

They lived in the 4 Row Houses, the house on the end.  It was a company house owned by the Littles man. I look at the pictures of these old clapboard houses and wonder how they stayed warm in the winters.   I guess you slept by the stove, shared a bed and piled on the quilts.  My Grandma grew up in such houses in Muren.  She  said they “built walls” out of cardboard and newspaper and whatever they could find to help insulate.

There is not much there when you drive through Littles now.  If you don’t know where Littles is, you would never know you were driving through it.  Don’t confuse it with Glezen, formerly known as Hosmer.

Geological Survey map 1902.

Geological Survey map 1902.

Littles was named after the man who formed the Littles Coal Company, S. W.  Littles of Evansville.  The Littles Coal Company worked here from 1887 to 1928.  It was a deep mine, complete with a tipple and mule barns.  The Company houses were built in rows.  Four Row was east by the two room school building.  Yellow Row was on both sides of the road through town.  Nine Row was south along the ridge above the mine.  Littles had a general store, a post office, a barber shop, a doctor’s office, and a hotel and depot.  A board walk ran between these buildings at the foot of the hill because of flooding in the low lying area the town was built on.  The church to the east still stands, rebuilt after a fire.  A few of the old houses still stand.

Stay warm tonight my friends.


9 comments on “The Town of Littles

  1. luckyoldman says:

    It’s so wonderful to see a new blog by you.
    When I was a little boy, Danny DeJannert used to hang around my Grandpa Scott Pirkles home in Arthur. I have one or two pictures of him pushing my brother and I on a tire swing that hung from a maple tree in the front yard.There’s another picture of him with his arms around my brother and I. I must dig them out and see if there are more.
    He was a few years older than us. I wonder how they are related.
    If i remember correctly he lived in the brick house on the north side of Enos Corner as an adult. We lost touch of course.
    That was a coal mine junction and had a little store that lasted until at least the early seventies if i remember right.
    Sorry to go on so long, but you keep bringing up things I remember and know about.
    Thanks for sharing your memories and knowledge.
    By the way, who do you think knows where Enos Corner is?

    Randy Copeland

    • Rose says:

      Yes, I do know where Enos Corner is. I used to buy the best burgers at that little store on the corner. Randy, did you receive my gmail with the story about the Copelands? I was afraid it might have gone to your junk.

      • luckyoldman says:

        Yes I did Rose.
        Thank you so much. I”m going to find time to dig deeper, but I know it will make me want to dig even deeper. There is no end to unanswered questions. One of the neat things though is the surprise of finding things you weren’t even looking for.
        Thanks again and let’s stay in touch.


  2. terendaw says:

    I know! So many of our grandparents lived and worked there! I just wish we had thought to ask more questions!

  3. billy1926 says:

    Appreciated the info on Littles, Rose. Several Winslow families that I remember were associated with the mine, the company store, etc., when it was operating. It was interesting to learn that you are a friend of Ms. Truitt from the DeJarnett family. Did she go to school in Winslow? I remember that Steele DeJarnett, from the Littles/Hosmer area, was a star player on the Eskimo’s team in the ’30s, graduating in 1937. He was my favorite, tall, well-built, dark wavy hair, had a good hook shot. 🙂
    Bill Berlin

    • Rose says:

      She and I are friends through the internet same as you and I. She has said her family moved to Dongola and then Oakland City. So I don’t think she went to school in Winslow. The DeJarnett’s are all related tho.

  4. Jim Miller says:

    My grandfather ran the scales sometimes at the Littles mine. He was killed by a coal car in the mine and is buried in Walnut cemetary in Petersburg Indiana.

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