Little descendants were prominent in Beck community

Published 11:59 pm Friday, February 20, 2009

Some years earlier, two columns were presented on two different Little families of Covington County. Today’s column was inspired by a review of a well-designed scrapbook created by a Little descendant, Linda Little Rabren, of Andalusia.

This writing will be an update of the two earlier columns with extended coverage of the James L. Little family. James L. was a native of the state of Virginia who migrated to Alabama by way of South Carolina.

When the 1850 census was taken, James L., a farmer who was 65 years old, was a resident in the household of his son, Henry Bennett Little, a farmer who was 27 years old. He had two other sons living in the area in the household of Thomas Little, a farmer who was 27 years of age. His brother, Samuel J. Little, also a farmer, was living with him and his family. All of the sons were born in South Carolina.

James L. was in Pike County, Ala., as early as 1840, and he had moved to Covington County by 1850. His wife, Elizabeth who was born in 1790 was deceased by 1850. They reared the following children: Rebecca, m. George W. Wishum; William (deaf); Henry Bennett, b. 1821, m. Elizabeth Beck; Thomas, b. 1823, m. Susannah Mancil; Mary, m. John W. May; and Samuel J.

The son, Thomas Little, purchased about 200 acres of land in the Andalusia township from the government in 1854. He acquired another 39.96 acres in the same area in 1856. In 1860, he served in the Covington County Company of Volunteers of the Alabama Militia. This company was later called the Andalusia Company of Volunteers and captained by J.T. Cumbie. After the War Between the States, he was a registered voter in the county in 1867.

Thomas and his wife, Susannah “Susan” Mancil who was born in 1829, reared the following children: Mary; Green; Robert; Edward, m. Eddy Stanley; Giles; Martha; Elizabeth; Emaline or Evaline; George W.; Augusta; Belle; Russell; Zachariah; and Cleve.

The youngest son, Samuel J. Little, purchased 40.90 acres in the Libertyville township in 1855. According to census records, Samuel was a farmer and residing in the home of his brother, Thomas, in 1850. It is not known if he was married and had a family.

The son, Henry Bennett Little, purchased 161.09 acres in the Carolina township in 1855. He is probably the H.B. Little who enlisted as a private in the Company of Covington County Militia (Second Class), which was organized on August 27, 1864 and captained by J.T. Brady. He was also a registered voter in 1867.

Henry Bennett was married to Elizabeth Beck, daughter of John and Mary (Strong) Beck, who resided in the Beck community. Henry and Elizabeth lived and farmed in the same community. They reared the following children: Sarah, b. 1846; Mary, b. 1848; John Gray, b. 1850, d. 1929, m. Elizabeth Day (1848-1939; Irene, b. ca 1855; James Wilson “Wick,” b. 1857, d. 1919, m. Dorothea D. Rabren (1871-1957); Martha Jane, b. 1858, d. 1904, m. 1871 John Garrett (1846-1919); Emily F., b. 1859; Nancy C., b. 1861, m. David Montgomery; Amanda A., b. 1862; and Rachael M., b. 1864, single.

Henry Bennett’s oldest son, John Gray Little, homesteaded 160 acres of land in the Carolina Township in 1891. He and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Day, reared the following children: Isabell, b. 1872, d. 1969, m. James K. Kelley (1869-1943); James Washington, b. 1874, d. 1958, m. Lela Eleanor Knight (1880-1946); Greenberry, b. 1878, m. Alice Odom; Lou Della, b. 1881, m. Henry Beasley; Callie, b. 1882, m. John Goodman; Henry B., b. 1884, m. Lucy Augusta “Gustie” Brooks; Nancy E., b. 1886, d. 1970, m. Alex W. Lambert (1881-1940); John Anderson “Manson,” b. 1889, m. Lena Mae Davis; Cary, b. 1891, m. Leona Cartwright; and Howard “Doc,” b. 1894, d. 1961, m. ?.

John Gray Little’s oldest daughter, Isabell, and her husband, James K. Kelley, also lived in the Beck community. They reared the following children: Wiley H., b. 1894, d. 1922, m. Luna Belle Palmore; Yancey, m. (1) Emily Elsworth (2) Amy Brown; Hosie, m. Sara Garrett; Barney D., b. 1910, d. 1992, m. Mary Floyd; Janie, b. 1912, m. John A. Lawson (1901-1971); Annie Mae, m. Archie Reeves; John Henry, b. 1915, d. 1980, blind and single; Ely “Ede,” m. Effie Jean Lawson; and Jessie, m. Sally Garner.

John Gray Little’s son, Henry B. Little, was married to Lucy Augusta “Gustie” Brooks, daughter of William D. Brooks and his second wife, Arnassee Dupree. These two families resided in the Beck community, and William served as preacher for the Hopewell and Salem Baptist Churches in adjacent communities. Gustie’s siblings included Mary Alfus, James M., Martha S., Eliza, Jacob, Mandie, Missouri and Lena Nora. She also had the following half brothers and sisters by her father’s first wife: John S., Benjamin P., Nancy J.E., Sarah Emily, Loudeskie E. and Willie.

Henry B. Little operated a small county store in the Beck community. He had a gristmill on one side of the store, and his son, Cecil, operated an automotive garage on the other side. In recent years, his descendants donated the store building to the Three Notch Museum in Andalusia, and it was moved to that site where it has been furnished with some collectible items characteristic of those that would have been used in the store.

Henry B. and Gustie Little reared the following children; Maggie Lou, b. 1907, m. Ray Kirkland; William Cecil, b. 1909, m. 1933 Susie Register; Mary Evelyn, b. 1912, m. (1) Gordon Beck (2) ? Gardner; Lula Bell, b. 1914, m. (1) Fred Beck (2) ? Miller (3) Don Crawford; Ernest Carmon, b. 1916, d. 1986, m. (1) Lois Spears (2) Katie Lee Williams (1919-2002); Mamie Ramona, b. 1918, m. Vernon Davis; and Elizabeth Ann, b. 1921, m. (1) ? Rogers (2) Ray Collins.

The oldest daughter, Maggie Lou, and husband, Ray Kirkland, reared two children, Gordon and Charles. Oldest son, William Cecil, and wife, Susie Register, reared one daughter, Bettie Opal, b. 1936, m. 1957 Donald Eugene White. Next daughter, Mary Evelyn, and husband, Gordon Beck, reared two daughters, Hyrette, m. Bill Guenther; and Doris, m. Mike Mixon. Daughter Lula Bell and her first husband, Fred Beck, had two children, Billy Wayne and Elaine. Lula and her second husband, ? Miller, had one son, Rudy. She and her third husband, Don Crawford, had three children: Ricky, Kathy, and Gene. The next son, Ernest Carmon, and his wife, Katie Lee (Williams), daughter of Clinton Bennett Williams and Katie Rebecca (Brown), reared the following children: Linda Lee, m. Dudley Maurice Rabren; Ernest Carmon Jr., m. Elizabeth Swint (divorced); and Donnie Hugh, m. Alicia Lord. Daughter Mamie Ramona and her husband, Vernon Davis, had three daughters: Martha; Angela, m. ? Sloan (divorced); and Nelda, m. ? Weeks. Youngest daughter Elizabeth Ann and her second husband, Ray Collins, had one daughter, Terry Lynn.

The sources for this review include scrapbooks and family records of Linda Little Rabren and Wyley Ward’s Early History of Covington County, Alabama — 1821-1871.

Anyone who might have corrections to the above or additional information on this Little family is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; call 334-222-6467; or e-mail


The Covington Historical Society will be meeting at 7 p.m. on Thurs., Feb. 26, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. The program will be on area Indian history.