Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Jesse Carter Little Jesse Carter Little

1815 - 1893

  • Born 1815 Belmont, Maine
  • Married Eliza Greenwood French 1839; later practiced plural marriage; twenty-seven children
  • Baptized in the Eastern States
  • Ordained High Priest 1845
  • Second Counselor to Presiding Bishop 1856-1874
  • Died 1893 Salt Lake City, Utah

    The following biographical sketch is adapted from the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, compiled and edited by Andrew Jenson, Volume 1, page 242, Volume 3, page 151, and Volume 4, page 711.
    Jesse Carter Little, second counselor to Bishop Edward Hunter from 1856 to 1874, was the son of Thomas and Relief Little and was born Sept. 26, 1815, at Belmont, Waldo county, Maine. His parents were of Scotch-Irish extraction.

    He Joined the Church in the Eastern States, and was ordained a High Priest April 17, 1845, by Parley P. Pratt. In 1846 Elder Little acted as president of the mission in the New England and Middle States. On a visit to Washington, D.C., he learned from President Polk the intention of the government to raise a battalion of men to march to California. He suggested that, since the Latter-day Saints were expecting to locate in the near future in Upper California, this company should be drawn from the ranks of the "Mormons" encamped on the banks of the Missouri River. This led to the Call of the famous "Mormon Battalion" in 1846. With this information, Elder Little started immediately for the camps of the Saints by way of Nauvoo, to consult with the authorities of the Church.

    Previous to this he had been very active in his labors in the East and had done all in his power to create a sympathy in behalf of his people. After assisting in organizing the battalion and accompanying the enlisted brethren as far as Fort Leavenworth, Elder Little returned to the East to resume his mission.

    Responding to a call from Pres. Brigham Young, he left a wife and two children at Petersboro, New Hampshire, early in 1847, and traveled three thousand miles to join the Pioneers, whom he overtook April 19, 1847, at a point about seventy miles west of Winter Quarters. When the company was organized as a military command, Jesse C. Little was appointed adjutant. After returning from his pioneer journey he was instructed to resume his presidency over the branches of the Church in the Eastern States, which he did.

    He arrived in Great Salt Lake valley the second time in 1852, and from that time until the day of his death he was a resident of the Territory of Utah. For many years he was prominent in ecclesiastical, civil and military affairs, and filled many important positions of honor and trust in the community. In the early fifties he opened a hotel at the Warm Springs, Salt Lake City, and did a good business there for many years. When an ordinance providing for the organization of a Fire Department in Salt Lake City was passed, Oct. 17, 1856, Jesse C. Little was appointed chief engineer.

    In 1856 he was ordained to the office of a Bishop and set apart as second counselor to Bishop Edward Hunter; and he occupied that important position till 1874, when he resigned.

    Subsequently he removed to Morgan county, and resided for a long time at Littleton, in said county. He died in Salt Lake City, Dec. 26, 1893. The immediate cause of his demise was a complication of ailments, and his last illness was somewhat protracted. In a short obituary published in the Deseret News at the time of his death the following occurs: "Col. Jesse C. Little is dead. The announcement will bring into the minds of thousands in Utah, particularly the early settlers, memories of stirring events, whose importance has become more thoroughly understood through the lapse of time, in which Col. Little was a prominent participator."

    Jesse Carter Little Bro. Little acted for a number of years as U. S. marshal for Utah, was the first sexton of Salt Lake City, which city he also served as assessor and collector. In 1839 (Sept. 28th) he married Eliza Greenwood French (daughter of Col. Whitecomb French and Mary Kendall), who was born Sept. 2, 1818, and died Oct. 23, 1899; she became the mother of eleven children. About the year 1856 Jesse C. Little married Emily Hoagland and Mary M. Holbrook. By these two wives he had sixteen children, eleven by Emily and five by Mary.
    For many years Bro. Little was prominent in ecclesiastical, civil and military affairs in the Territory. He died in Salt Lake City Dec. 26, 1893, being survived by several children.

   Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p.242
   Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p.151
   Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p.711.
   2005 Church Almanac, p.95

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