Robert Littleton

Robert  and Josephine Littleton


Robert Littleton was born in October 1853 in Nashville, Tennessee, but early in his life he became a life long Newport resident.  He married Josephine Smith, a Kentucky native, on 16 Sep 1884 in Newport.  They raised two daughters and a son in Newport. 

On February 8, 1873 he was selected as a delegate to represent Newport at the "Colored Educational Convention" in Louisville. This convention established plans for the promotion of African American public education in the Commonwealth and formed a permanent organization to accomplish that objective.  The continued development and existence of Southgate Street School was attributed greatly to men like Robert Littleton.

Children of Robert Littleton and Josephine Smith

1. Nancy Littleton b-Mar 1886 in Newport
2. Bessie Littleton b-June 1885 in Newport; m-John Stogdon; d-5 Aug 1958 in Campbell Co
3. Robert Roy Littleton b-18 May 1890 in Newport; m-Lavinia Painter, d/o John & Hattie Painter, on 19 June 1915 in Newport; d-4 Mar 1930; br-8 Mar in Evergreen Cemetery; served WWI Private Co B 532ne Engineers

Cincinnati Enquirer, 17 May 1901, page 5


SMASHED WINDOWS-A crowd of bad boys made an attack on the schoolhouse at Putnam and Eighth yesterday morning with sling shots and when they had retreated there was not a whole pane of glass in the building.  Warrants were sworn out for Harry Fisher, Carl Young, Babe Plummer, Thomas Heineman, Charles Meyers, John Pearse, Robert Littleton, colored, Joseph Keeten and Thomas Plummer.


Child of Bessie Littleton and John Stogdon

1. Edward Hagen Stogdon b-1 May 1917 in Cincinnati; d-Sep 1993 in Baltimore Maryland

In 1882, Robert Littleton Sr. was employed by the Cincinnati and Newport Iron and Pipe Company.

The family were members of the Corinthian Baptist Church and the children attended Southgate Street School.  From 1888 until his death 27 July 1909 in Newport, Mr. Littleton and his family lived at 837 Putnam Street.  He was buried at Evergreen Cemetery. His daughter, Nancy also known as Nannie was listed as a teacher.  However, available records do not indicate if she was a teacher at one of the African American schools in Covington or Newport.

Josephine Littleton was born Mar 1861 in Kentucky.  Her mother's birth name was listed as Smith on the death certificate, but the marriage record says her last name was Smith.  In the 1910 Census, Robert Jr. was living with a Nancy Smith in Newport.  Josephine died 14 Dec 1914 at 837 Putnam in Newport of tuberculosis.  She was buried 17 Dec in Evergreen Cemetery.

In 1912 Robert Jr. having worked with Washington Rippleton at the shoe shine parlor, was listed as its sole owner, following the death of Mr. Rippleton.

Interview with Harriett E Burton April 11, 1995.  Mrs. Burton attended Southgate School starting in the third grade and is the granddaughter of Robert Littleton Sr. In 1938 Anderson D Owens proposed that the Board build a larger school for the African American children.  These are her remarks about the school.

"Because of cramped quarters, the seventh and eighth grades were moved to Corinthian Baptist Church, when it was located on Columbia Street.  But the children were too hard to handle so they were moved back to the school, and the fifth grade was moved to the church.  Later, the seventh and eighth grades were transferred to William Grant High School in Covington.  They always promised to build a larger school, but is never happened."


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