Scottish-born Andrew Little came to Idaho in 1884 with two dogs and $25. By 1935, he was dubbed "The Idaho Sheep King," Little was considered the largest sheep operator in Idaho and one of the largest in the nation.
He married Scottish-born Agnes Sproat in New York City in 1903 and they had five children together; Agnes, Jessie, Andrew, Robert & David.
Twenty-four-year-old Andrew "Andy" Little arrived in the U.S. in 1884 and walked 22 miles to the sheep ranch of pioneer Robert "Scotch Bob" Aikman. Aikman and fellow Scot Charlie Doane helped several people from their homeland to find jobs in Idaho. At the time of Little's death, he owned the Aikman ranch and the Little family has owned and operated the century farm since that time. An Idaho century farm is a farm or ranch that has been officially recognized by a regional program documenting that the farm has been continuously owned by a single family for 100 years or more.
Little's first band of sheep totaled 1,200 ewes that he took in lieu of cash. He was permitted to herd his sheep with the owner's flock and it wasn't long before he had accumulated a small band as a nucleus of the flock that grew to vast proportions. The following year, he acquired 40 acres of land.
His ewe bands were largely Lincoln-Rambouillet sheep. After 1910, his ewes were mated to Hampshire and Suffolk rams.
In 1923, Little started building "The Little Mansion," which is located on Substation Road. It took over a year to build and originally his land extended from Payette up to McCall and through the Boise foothills.The three-level, 6,400-squarefeet house with five bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, kitchen and maid's quarters is called the "Forever House."
By 1929, Little was the owner of 100,000 head of sheep and marketed a million pounds of wool. Later he purchased the VanDeusen holdings, also located in Emmett. He also owned more than 6,000 acres of 27 irrigated ranches, scattered throughout Payette and Boise valleys and employed as many as 400 men, which he kept busy 12 months out of the year. His ranch hands liked his wise, careful and exact planning methods and served him from five to 20 years. He was known for his keen sense of the business and keeping a close eye on fine details.
Agnes L. Sproat Little
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