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.
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.
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.