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MAJ George Washington Littlefield

MAJ George Washington Littlefield

Birth
Panola County, Mississippi, USA
Death 10 Nov 1920 (aged 78)
Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
Burial Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 6994 · View Source
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George Washington Littlefield was a cattleman, banker, member of the Board of Regents and the largest single private donor to the new University of Texas during its first fifty years of existence. Moving with his family from Panola County, Mississippi, Littlefield settled at the family plantation near Belmont, Gonzales County, Texas in 1850. When war broke out in 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Eighth Texas Cavalry (Terry's Texas Rangers) and was promoted on the field to the position of Major and company commander just prior to being severely wounded by an exploding cannon shell in December, 1863. In the summer of 1871, following some devastating farming years, he trailed cattle to a rail head at Abilene, Kansas for shipment to the beef-hungry northern states and came away with a significant profit to begin business. Over the next several years he established himself and bought ranches and plantations all over Texas. By the early 1880s he owned rights to over four million acres in eastern New Mexico and hundreds of thousands of acres in various parts of Texas. The town of Littlefield, Texas was named for him. In 1883 he moved to Austin and became involved with banking, finally becoming president of the American National Bank, a position he kept until 1918. To house his bank, Littlefield built the nine story Littlefield Building in downtown Austin and decorated the lobby with paintings depicting scenes from his ranches. The massive front doors of the building were cast in bronze by the Tiffany Company and also depicted ranch scenes. In 1911 he was appointed to the Board of Regents of the University of Texas and immediately began to take an interest in the subject of history, which he felt was being taught with a Northern bias. As a result, in 1914 he established the Littlefield Fund for Southern History and in 1918 funded a quarter of a million dollars to purchase the John Henry Wrenn Library at the University. Before his death, he had donated money to begin the Littlefield Foundation, had a freshman woman's dormitory erected and named for his wife, Alice Tiller Littlefield, and willed his home to the University. He died at his Austin home.

Bio by: Pat Iverson



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 16 Nov 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6994
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for MAJ George Washington Littlefield (21 Jun 1842–10 Nov 1920), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6994, citing Oakwood Cemetery, Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .