Ohio Biographies

Dr. John A. Little

Dr. John A. Little was a native of this county. He was born in 1825. He was the second child of Mr. William Little, a pioneer merchant, business man, and landowner, who has been frequently mentioned in history. None disputed the superior scholarship of this son. All knew him as a student, gentleman and true friend. At the age of fifteen, he entered the preparatory department of Kenyon College, in Gambier, Knox County. He there met his old playmate and friend (President) R. B. Hayes, and together they roomed for three years while at Gambier. Dr. Little graduated in 1845. He had a high standing in college, and graduated with honors. He was admired and loved by both faculty and students. After completing his college course, he entered the office of Dr. John Case (who is mentioned in this article), of Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Little was a careful and thorough student of medicine, botany, chemistry, and general literature. He could tell the names of all the flowers in the woods. He first attended lectures at the Transylvania University at Louisville, Kentucky. While there he was a member of the family of Dr. Drake, so well known to the profession. In 1847 and 1848 he attended a course of lectures at the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, from which he received his degree of M. D. After his return home, he went to Sandusky City on Lake Erie. In a short time he was offered and accepted a partnership with his old preceptor. Dr. Case (husband of Mrs. Jane Case, spoken of in this article). Dr. Jones, a former partner, retiring. Dr. Case soon died and Dr. Jones became a partner of Dr. Little. In three years Jones died and Little was left alone. His popularity and ability introduced him into the best society and a large and lucrative practice. Through the persuasion of his relations and friends, he was induced, in 1865, to come back to his old home in Delaware to locate. He at once entered upon a large practice. Dr. Little, all admitted, was a horn physician. He was ambidextrous, and possessed almost intuitive knowledge of diseases and remedies. His bearing in the sick room was ever calm and assuring, was always reposed and cheerful, inspiring his patients with confidence and hope. To the student he was an invaluable instructor, ever imparting the most important truths to the listener. He never indulged in story telling, and to young physicians he ever extended a kind word and a kindly hand, and to the older members of the profession, advice and counsel of the ablest character. He was loved and esteemed by all classes. He was a member of Ohio State Medical Society, and in 1873, read before it one of the most valuable papers on the antidotal properties of belladonna in opium poisoning. He was a member of the State Central and county societies, and a member of the Agassiz Scientific Association. He read the proof of Dr. J. G. Jones' "American Eclectic Practice of Medicine." In 1850 he married the youngest daughter of the Hon. Hosea Williams. He had one son and three daughters. The son is a banker in Columbus, one daughter is living in California, one in Cleveland, Ohio, and one in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. He died in 1877.


20th Century History of Delaware County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, Edited and compiled by James R. Lytle, Delaware, Ohio, Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, 1908