Off to College 100 Years Ago

PENN STATE HOMECOMING is as good a time as any for this story from 100 years ago. Great Uncle Bill Little graduated from Penn State in the class of 1914. Yes, the son of a blacksmith from Loysburg, PA. Gaylord Little wrote the story about 4 years ago.


A hundred years ago this month, William Ross Little, “Billy” said goodbye to his parents, brothers and sisters and traveled 385 miles to start his college career at Wesleyan. Founded under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church and with the support of prominent residents of Middletown, CT, the now secular university was the first institution of higher education to be named after John Wesley, the Protestant theologian who was the founder of Methodism.
Young William transferred to Pennsylvania State College during his sophomore year and the rest is history. When he graduated from Penn State in 1914 all his college keepsakes were stored in a large seaman’s chest in what is now my attic. In 1979 when I bought the Little house, Aunt Ruth felt it should stay here. After all it would have taken three men and a boy to move it. Littles were much stronger back in the day.
William went on to a successful engineering career in Pittsburgh and then later in Virginia. It seems his choice of an engineering degree prepared him for the industrial revolution.
Bill and his wife Bertha “Marian” Tuttle Little are buried in the Loysburg, PA cemetery, only about one hundred yards from where he was born.
Here are a few pictures that are representative.
My son, Ben Little, has a Penn State Room in his house in Saxton. Ben’s wife, Jessica (Donaldson) Little, and my daughter Kerri’s husband, Matt Martin are both PSU graduates. Our whole family is Penn State Nittany Lion Proud.


Story by Gaylord Little.
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