Biography of Col. John Littlejohn



Allegan County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

COL. JOHN LITTLEJOHN was born in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., Oct. 10, 1790. He received an academical education, and before he attained his majority he acquired much reputation as an accomplished and successful teacher in the schools of his native county. On the breaking out of the war of 1812 he offered himself as a volunteer, and soon received a commission as lieutenant. He was wounded at the famous battle of Lundy’s Lane, and was commended for his bravery by Gen. Scott, the commanding officer. After the close of the war he engaged very actively in business connected with the construction of the Erie Canal, successfully- executing large contracts, and winning an enviable name for integrity and energy of character. To him belongs the credit of building the most difficult link in the first important railroad in this country,—the inclined plane between Albany and Schenectady. He also took a conspicuous part in building the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, also the James River and Kanawha Canal. About the year 1840 he removed to Allegan; and, investing considerable capital there, threw himself with his customary energy and enterprise into the work of developing the re— sources of the place. One result of his enterprise vas the building of the first fiouring-mill of any coniderable size in the county. Infirm health obliged him to retire from business during the last ten years of his life. He died during a visit to Omaha in January, 1868. His surviving Sons are P. O. Littlejohn, Esq., of Allegan, and the Right Rev. A. N. Littlejohn, D.D., Bishop of Long Island. Col. Littlejohn was twice married: first to Miss Amy Dewey; she died some seven years after their marriage; and in 1823 he was again married,—to Miss Eleanor Newkirk, of Montgomery Co., N. Y., where she was born Nov. 23, 1799. She is a lady of rare personal excellence and remarkable industry and thrift, a faithful, true, and patient wife, an affectionate mother, and a valuable friend. She is now in her eighty-first year, and still evinces much of her former vigor and energy. A glance at her portrait is only necessary to recognize the force of character which she possesses.

History of Allegan and Berry Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Their Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

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