Lucius P. Little

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Portrait of Lucius P. Little

Lucius Powhattan Little, a well-known author and able attorney at law of Owensboro, son of Douglass Little, was born on his father’s farm in the southern part of Daviess County, Kentucky, February 15, 1838.

His father was a native of what was then Ohio County, Kentucky, but in the part afterwards embraced in Daviess County. He was at various periods of his life engaged in farming, blacksmithing and wagon making and in the latter days practiced law. He held the offices of constable, justice of the peace, and county judge and was in office over twenty years and died in 1877. His father and mother, grandparents of Lucius P. Little, were natives of South Carolina, where they were married in 1798. They, with Judge Little’s great-grandfather, George Little, emigrated from South Carolina to Kentucky in 1802. George Little was a native of Scotland, whence he came to America before the Revolutionary War, and during that time he served as a private in the Colonial army. He was a life-long cripple in consequence of a severe wound received in battle.

Judge Little’s great-grandmother was a daughter of Alexander and Mary (Handley) Douglass, both of whom were natives of Scotland. His mother’s maiden name was Martha Wright, daughter of John and Katherine (Weatherford) Wright of Charlotte County, Virginia. She came to Kentucky with her parents in 1820, and still lives in her eighty-fifth year.

Judge Little was the eldest of seven children, and his early years were spent on the farm where he was born and in the small towns of Rumsey and Calhoun. He attended school in these towns, but never enjoyed the advantages of collegiate training. When sixteen years of age he became a deputy clerk, remaining three years in the clerk’s offices in Daviess and McLean Counties.

At the age of eighteen he began the study of law and in 1856 and 1857 attended law school at Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee. He began the practice of his profession at Calhoun in 1857, in his twentieth year, continuing there until 1860; was appointed deputy United States Marshal and took the census in McLean County in 1860. In the close of that year he removed to Louisville, and after practicing in that city for twelve months he went to California in 1861 and remained there a year, employed in a conveyancer’s office. Returning to Kentucky in 1862 he spent some months in recruiting for the Confederate army, for which offense he was arrested by the United States authorities and imprisoned, first at Bowling Green, and then at Frankfort. Securing release, he went to Mexico in the fall of 1863, but returned to Kentucky in the spring of 1864 and after some time resumed his law practice at Calhoun.

He removed to Owensboro, February, 1867; where he has ever since resided. He was a candidate for Circuit Judge in 1874 and defeated; was again a candidate in 1880 and elected; and was re-elected in 1886. After serving twelve years on the bench, he resumed the practice of law in Owensboro in 1893, and is known as one of the leading lawyers in Kentucky.[1]

Judge Little has also done something in the literary line. From 1876 to 1879 he was the chief editorial writer on the Owensboro Examiner; between 1884 and 1887 he wrote “Ben Hardin, His Times and Contemporaries,” and he has delivered numerous lectures on literary subjects. He has always taken an active part in political affairs and as a political speaker he has few equals. He is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and is a Past Eminent Commander of the Knights Templars.

Judge Little has been married three times. His first wife was Lizzie E. Freeman, of Woodford county, Ky., to whom he was married on April 16, 1868. Her death occurred in March, 1873, and on Oct. 5, 1875, he was married to Louise A. Holloway. She died on March 4, 1887, and on Jan. 15, 1889, he was united in marriage to Miss Fannie Beach, of Maryland. To these marriages there were born the following children : L. Freeman, Lizzie E,, Laura S., William, Martha B., Francis W., Catherine D., and Stanhope. Judge Little is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and has been on the board of trustees for years. He is also a member of several literary clubs. In all these organizations, as well as in the community at large, he is universally’ respected for his many sterling qualities.[2]


  1. Source: History of Daviess County, Kentucky. Chicago: Interstate Publishing Co., 1883. Print.
  2. Source: Memoirs of the Lower Ohio Valley, Federal Publishing Company, Madison, Wis., 1905