A Guide to the Gracy-Littlefield Collection, [ca. 1860s], 1881-1920
Born to Fleming and Mildred Terrell (Satterwhite) White Littlefield in Panola County, Mississippi, George Washington Littlefield (1842-1920) immigrated with his family to Gonzales County, Texas, in 1850. Raised on his family’s plantation, Littlefield attended Gonzales College and Baylor University before joining Company I of the 8th Texas Cavalry during the Civil War. Fighting in the battles of Shiloh, Perryville, and Chickamauga, he was promoted to commander of the regiment and eventually major. Following his marriage to Alice Payne Tillar in 1863, and his subsequent injury and discharge from the regiment a year later, Littlefield returned to his family plantation.
Financial losses compelled him to sell a herd of cattle in 1871, after which he engaged in several entrepreneurial activities, including operating a dry goods store as well as purchasing various ranching operations, property in Texas and New Mexico, more livestock, and water rights along the Canadian River. In 1883, Littlefield moved to Austin, where he served on the board of the State National Bank before establishing the American National Bank in 1890. He was the president of the bank until his retirement in 1918, when his nephew Hiram Augustus Wroe (1867-1943) accepted the position. Wroe married Pearl White, Littlefield’s niece, in 1898, and he served as the president of the bank until his appointment to the University of Texas (UT) at Austin Board of Regents from 1920 through 1927. Littlefield also served on the Board of Regents of UT from 1911 through 1920, during which he created the Littlefield Fund for Southern History at the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center (now the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History), and was the benefactor of the Littlefield Fountain and the Alice P. Littlefield Dormitory.
Gracy, David B., II. "Littlefield, George Washington."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed September 20, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fli18.
"Hiram Augustus Wroe." Find a Grave. Accessed September 20, 2011. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=47678399.
Composed of correspondence and a drawing the Gracy-Littlefield Collection, [ca. 1860s], 1881-1920, documents George W. Littlefield’s relationship with his wife and his nephew, as well as business affairs. Correspondence consists of letters from Littlefield to his nephew, H. A. Wroe, discussing the American National Bank in Austin, Texas, the cotton trade, and financial matters, among other subjects; letters to his wife, Alice P. Littlefield, concerning his experiences fighting in the Civil War, and his ranching and business activities; and letters exchanged with acquaintances. Additionally, the collection contains a drawing of a medal that was proposed to help raise funds for the erection of an obelisk at the birthplace of Jefferson Davis (see related letter from Bennett H. Young, January 24, 1917, in the George Washington Littlefield Papers).
This collection is open for research use.
Gracy-Littlefield Collection, 1919-1920, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Bethany Anderson, September 2011.
Subsequent revisions were made by Bethany Anderson, October 2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers