Biography of Chester W. Little

Chester W. Little. One of the fine country homes which bespeak comfort and the enjoyment of the good things of life well earned is that of Mr. and Mrs. Chester W. Little, located four and a half miles southwest of Rantoul on one of the rural routes radiating from that city.

Mr. Little has had a long and active career as an agriculturist and is still busy with his fields and his live stock, and has in his children most capable assistants both in the home and on the farm. Mr. Little was born at Collison Station in Vermilion County, Illinois, a son of John and Charlotte (Coon) Little, both of whom are now deceased. They were born in Ohio and came to Illinois in early youth. Their children were named Thomas, George, Samuel, Jane, Chester and Benjamin. These children grew up in Vermilion County and acquired an education in the Gray district schools. The sons were reared to the same profession as their father, that of agriculture and all of them have demonstrated their capability.

Chester W. Little married Elizabeth Thayer, who was born in Champaign County, one of the ten children of Milo and Mary (Wright) Thayer. Mrs. Little was educated in the Union Center district school.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Little started life on a place a mile and a half northeast of Thomasboro. Mr. Little owned eighty acres there, having earned that by his work as a wage earner in early life. The Little family moved when he was young to Champaign County, and he spent his boyhood in the early times of this section. When he was a boy very few of the pastures were fenced, and the neighbors followed the practice of driving their stock together, herding them on the prairie, the responsibility of herder usually falling upon some active and vigilant boy. Chester Little got his full experience of that work. Thus he spent many hours on the prairies alone with the stock, and while there he improved his opportunity to observe nature and also formulated that practical working philosophy which has stood him in good stead for all the subsequent trials and problems of life.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Little went to work with zeal and energy, and the passing years have abundantly rewarded them. Into their home came three children, one son and two daughters, Florence, Chester and Hazel. Mr. and Mrs. Little from the first took the greatest of pains to educate these children for useful work in the world and as true types of American citizens. The children attended the Union Center School and Florence and Chester both finished the eighth grade there and subsequently attended Brown’s Business College at Champaign. The girls are still studying music, piano, at home.

After selling his first place Mr. Little bought 200 acres southwest of Rantoul, and there the best work of his life has been done. He remodeled the house, built commodious barns and other outbuildings, has planted fruit and shade trees, and has made one of the attractive features of the landscape. Mr. and Mrs. Little have also accomplished the one thing that many farmers neglect, and that is making the home attractive to their children. Thus the young folks have of their own volition remained at home instead of seeking opportunities outside, and the family by their cooperation has demonstrated again the truth of the phrase, “In union there is strength.”

Politically Mr. Little has always been an ardent Republican, believing that the best laws and policies have emanated from that party. He is a man of public spirit, served on the school board a number of years, and has done all he could to obtain community institutions and improvements in line with advanced standards. There are many city homes that do not equal the Little Place in point of facilities. They run the farm with improved machinery have installed a complete water system around the house, having hot and cold running water within the home, and they also have two automobiles in which to enjoy life and better carry out the business of farming. Thus for many years the lives of the Little Family have been closely identified with Champaign County. The Little home is one noted for its hospitality and in the character of its members the family is one well entitled to the respect they enjoy.



Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

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