- 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
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
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