TexasEscapes.com  
HOME : : NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : BUILDINGS : : IMAGES : : ARCHIVE : : SITE MAP
PEOPLE : : PLACES : : THINGS : : HOTELS : : VACATION PACKAGES
TEXAS TOWNS
Texas Escapes
Online Magazine
Texas People

George Washington Littlefield

Pioneer Plainsman, Farmer, Soldier, Cattle Baron, Banker, Philanthropist

By Luke Warm
George Washington Littlefield
George Washington Littlefield
Photo Wikipedia Commons
A Mississippian by birth, George Washington Littlefield entered Texas in 1850 at the age of eight. The family settled near the present-day ghost town of Belmont (Gonzales County).

George attended one year of college at Baylor (then in Independence, Texas) but his father’s death pulled him out to manage the family plantation, which was near the junction of the San Marcos and Guadalupe Rivers.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Littlefield enlisted in Terry’s Texas Rangers. He served as an acting commander in the battle of Shiloh and was elected commanding officer of Company I in May of 1862.
Terry's Texas Rangers Statue, Austin Texas

Surviving Members of Terry's Texas Rangers Gather at the Northside of their Monument on the Capitol Grounds in Austin (No date available)
Is George Littlefield Present?
Courtesy United Daughters of the Confederacy, Shropshire-Upton Chapter, Columbus, Texas

He commanded the company through the battles of Perryville and Chickamauga. He married in January of 1863 during a trip back to Texas to recruit replacements.

Severe wounds received at Mossy Creek (Tennessee) in December of that year nearly cost him his life. He was kept alive by his boyhood servant and just barely pulled through. His wounds made him a full major but ended his military service. He was discharged and returned to Gonzales County to begin a long recuperation.

Two consecutive floods (1869 and 1870) washed out the plantation’s bottomlands and Littlefield teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. The only thing in abundance in Texas at that time was longhorn cattle. Littlefield decided to leave farming and drove his first herd to Kansas – resulting in a profit within 90 days.

He shrewdly anticipated that the growth of railroads would eclipse the need for cattle drives and he began establishing ranches in Texas and New Mexico – one of which was the Yellow House Ranch – the site of what would become Littlefield, Texas.

Littlefield moved to Austin in the early 1880s. Having two children die at birth, the Littlefields had no heirs. George engaged his twelve nephews and seventeen nieces in his various businesses – insuring loyalty and tight management.
Austin TX - Littlefield Building Name
TE photo, August 2010
Littlefield Building, Austin, Texas

Littlefield Building

He organized the American National Bank - first located in the Driskill Hotel. In 1910, he laid the cornerstone for the beautiful eight-story Littlefield Building.

Littlefield was made a regent of the University of Texas in 1911. He was the largest benefactor to that institution in its first 50 years, giving $3 million toward its improvements and maintenance in the last nine years of his life.
Littlefield Fountain, Austin TX

The Littlefield Fountain
Coppini's Grand World War One Memorial
TE Photo

Littlefield Fountain

Littlefield also financed Pompeo Coppini’s grand opus - the Littlefield Fountain on the campus of UT - designed to be a WWI memorial for UT alumni killed in the "War to end all wars."
Littlefield Home, Austin Texas
TE Photo, August 2010
Littlefield Home
Littlefield Home
Perhap’s Littlefield’s most striking gift to the university was his residence. Littlefield died at this house November of 1920. He was interred in Austin’s Oakwood cemetery, joined fifteen years later by Alice. Close at hand is the grave of Nathan Stokes, Littlefield’s lifelong servant who had saved his life during the war.
George W. Littlefield Grave, Austin, Texas
The Littlefield Sarcophagus dominates the family plot
- which includes family servants

TE Photo, August 2010
George W. Littlefield military tombstone, Austin, Texas

The Military Tombstone
TE Photo, August 2010

Nathan Stokes Grave, Austin TX

Nathan Stokes Tombstone
Stokes served George from the time he was a boy - first as a slave and then as an employee, surviving GWL by 16 years and dying at 105 years of age.
TE Photo, August 2010

George W. Littlefield Marker “A Great Man Has Fallen”
“A Great Man Has Fallen”
TE Photo, August 2010
George W Littlefield Marker in Littlefield Tx
George W Littlefield Marker in Littlefield, Texas
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
More Texas Centennial Memorials
Littlefield Tx Depot
Littlefield Depot
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
Littlefield, Texas
©John Troesser
September 1, 2010

Littlefield Related Stories:

  • Littlefield Home
  • The George Washington Littlefield Building
  • Littlefield, Texas
  • More Texas People | Littlefield, Texas | Austin, Texas | Texas
    Custom Search
    TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
    HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | HOTELS | SEARCH SITE
    TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

    Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
    TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | FORTS | MAPS

    Texas Attractions
    TEXAS FEATURES
    People | Ghosts | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Texas Centennial | Black History | Art | Music | Animals | Books | Food
    COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

    TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
    Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Rooms with a Past | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Stores | Banks | Drive-by Architecture | Signs | Ghost Signs | Old Neon | Murals | Then & Now
    Vintage Photos

    TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA | MEXICO

    Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
    Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes. All Rights Reserved