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Reuben Lafayette Little
** Ninth May Generation **
Son of James W. Little and Elizabeth May

Reuben Lafayette Little, the man and the C.S.A. soldier

Reuben's wife, Lucinda Parsons

In "We, The Little People," Juanelle (Sandy) Sewell credits Drusilla (Dru) Sheldon of Grapevine, Texas and Archie Little of Waco as having shared their records and letters on this family. Dru has a list of the birthdates of all of Reuben's children, written in his own hand. Reuben and Lucinda reared their family in Village Springs, Alabama. There are conflicting dates on the marriage of Reuben and Lucinda. The date 20 Sep 1849 is cited by his son, Milton Koger Little, in a 'Family Record' that was recorded in Reuben's family Bible sometime after 1883. However, the date 12 Feb 1850 is found on a list in Reuben's handwriting.

Reuben's son, Rev. Milton Koger Little, told of an interesting experience in his father's religious life following Koger's conversion to Christianity at a camp meeting:

"I then felt that my first duty was to endeavor to erect an altar in my father's house. This was a task, but my heart was fixed; my father was religious but did not pray with me. I approached him with the old family Bible and said, 'father will you have prayers tonight?' He said, 'No, child, I don't feel like it, if you do, go ahead.' Koger read a Psalm with a few friends gathered in the home and the 'Holy Ghost' came upon him. The next evening his father joined in the prayer meeting and they rejoiced together. From that day the domestic altar was a marked feature in the Little home." All of Reuben's children became members of the Methodist Church. Two letters sent from Reuben to his son, M. K. Little, in 1892 have been preserved.

Photos of Reuben show him to be of rather slight build with a beard, curly hair, and a twinkle in his eyes. A grandson, George Washington Little, described him as about 5'8" with black hair and beard. He was a farmer and a cabinet maker, who often said he would build his own coffin of black walnut wood stored under his bed. His son Koger described Reuben in these words:

"He was far above the average of his day. A man of charming personality - clean in life and lip. A close observer of the Sabbath and a church goer. Wish we had more of his kind."

A number of artifacts of the family have been passed to later generations. Among them is a horn fashioned from a sheep's horn, which was used to communicate across the mountains by a certain number of blasts to signal fire, death, birth, etc. It is unclear if the horn originated in Alabama or came with the family when they migrated from the mountains of Kentucky. Also Reuben's caplock, long barrel "Kentucky' rifle - measuring about five feet in length - has been preserved. The barrel was forged in England and a new stock was carved in 1902. A few of his wife Lucinda's household possessions have also been passed down to present-day descendants.

Lucinda applied for a widow's pension for Reuben's service during the 'War Between the States.' [Alabama Confederate Archives: Ch.6; File No.298; Pg.182; No.2510] He was a corporal in the 4th Regiment of Alabama Calvary and was in the C.S.A. hospital in Jackson, Mississippi from August 13 to 28, 1964 with an intermittent fever. He was a member of George Morrow Masonic Lodge in Village Springs, AL.

Reuben and his wife are buried in the Remlap Methodist Church Cemetery with a Masonic Emblem carved on his marker with the epitaph:
           "Is a husband devoted; Is a father affectionate; Is a friend ever kind and true."

It has long been a tradition in the Little family in Alabama that Reuben and a brother, Thomas, were born in Lexington, KY. This is unlikely since both of his parents were from Pike County in Eastern Kentucky and owned property there. In 1821, when the 1820 census was taken and Reuben was born, James and Betsey were recorded as living in Pike County. Other Little families, probably not related, are known to have lived in Central Kentucky during the period.

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© 2000 Fred T. May