Descendants of John Wesley Little

M. E. Parsonage and Church
Picture Rocks
Lycoming County, PA
Where John Wesley Little Resided For Much of His Life
An Old Postcard Dated to the Early 1900s
Courtesy of Deb Wilson
Original auctioned on eBay in January 2014

Note: See how these facilities look in 2014 by clicking HERE. This modern photo is courtesy of Nancy Little Spencer. She also tells us that: The house/parsonage next to the church has been extensively remodeled over the years - just look at the windows on the second floor. Also, she thinks the stained glass windows in the church were replaced over time. In the original photo/postcard of the church, there is a white house shown to the right of the church in the background. This same house is also still standing.

The Descendants of John Wesley Little
by Larry Pardoe
August 2009


Generation No. 1


1.JOHN WESLEY6 LITTLE(JOHN POLHEMUS5, THEOPHILUS4, THEOPHILUS3, JOHN2, JOHN1) was born August 24, 1867 in Pennsylvania, and died December 27, 1923.He married SUSAN HEIM.She was born 1873, and died 1965.


See fatherís notes page for website to obtain family history.

In November 2003, the Picture Rocks Cemetery, Picture Rocks, Lycoming County, PA was transcribed by Tina Pastusic.She shows:"Little, John Wesley, b. 1867, d. 1923."

1900 Picture Rocks Boro, Lycoming Co., PA census shows:Little, John W., son, b. August 1867, PA., Artist.

The following information is from David Kipp Conover's web page at:

From which he got information from:

Source: John Wesley Little (subtitle: A Paper), by James Wright Little.

"John Wesley Little was born on August 24, 1867 at near, Forksville, Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. John Wesley Little was the son of John Polhemus Little and Martha Hallock Edkin. John Wesley Little married Susan Heim. John Wesley Little died on December 27, 1923 at age 56.

††††† John Wesley Little, a renowned Pennsylvania artist, and the youngest child of John Polhemus Little and Martha Hallock Edkin, was born in 1867 near Forksville in Sullivan County, PA. John Polhemus was the sixth son of Theophilus Little, Jr., and Elizabeth Holmes and a twin to Josiah Little, a Civil War casualty. While John Wesley was still a young child, his father moved to Picture Rocks, PA and established a wood manufacturing business which produced ladders, bows for covered wagons, sleigh runners and other bent wood products. Best known as "Wesley" the young John was introduced to the world of labor when he worked in the commissary (employee lunch room) at the factory for which his father paid him the princely sum of 12 1/2 cents per hour.

By 1884, he had established an interest in art for he entered a pencil sketch for a dog titled "Old Rover" in a local contest. Encouraged by friends, he went to New York in 1888 and stayed with family friends while he studied at the The National Academy of Design. His formal education ended eight years later in 1896.

The next five summers were spent near Lewis Lake, Sullivan County, where Wesley taught budding artists at the Eaglesmere Chautauqua Association for $2.50 per week. During the winter, he painted watercolors from sketches he made at earlier dates. It was during this period that he met Dr. William C. Martin who was to later become his friend and mentor.

In 1899, at the invitation of Academy school chum Harry M. Walcott, he went to Paris and indulged in extensive travel on the continent, returning in time to teach the summer season at Eaglesmere. The rolling stone gathers no moss and he was soon 'discovered' by art buyers in Philadelphia and Williamsport. The notoriety, coupled with prosperity, enabled him to return to Paris the following year where he also traveled to Brussels and Venice. Returning home he met his future bride, Miss Susan Heim, at the Williamsport Railroad Station. They were married in December of the same year after a whirlwind courtship. *
* Editor's Note: There is a fascinating story about Susan Heim Little accessible at: Who Was Mrs. J. Wesley Little?

Wesley and his bride first lived in Fort Washington, PA, which enabled him to join the Sketch Club and Water Color Club of Philadelphia, memberships he enjoyed the rest of his life. The following five years found Wesley showing his work at many prominent art exhibits from St. Louis to South America. He made one more trip to Europe and England before moving his family in 1905 to Picture Rocks. It is here that he remodeled an old barn into a studio.

Their first home was a 50-acre farm where Wesley supported his artistic talents and family with income from farming. The farm was successful, and in 1911 he moved the family into a house in Picture Rocks proper, located on the corner of Center and Water Streets. There, encouraged by buyers, he continued to paint.

During this time, he was very active in his community, first forming a reading circle as there was no local library. He was instrumental in getting a road built and bridge across Muncy Creek to Ardenwood. He also served as Burgess (Mayor) of Picture Rocks at one time.

In 1915, he traveled extensively in California, exhibiting his work and winning a Silver Medal at the San Francisco Exhibition for work he had done in England ten years earlier. He then went to South Dakota under contract to a rancher to produce three paintings. He was paid $500 and train fare.

Wesley and Susan had three children who all graduated from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, due to in part to their father's talents. He paid for their tuition with paintings in lieu of cash. All had distinguished careers and went on to obtain the Master or Doctorate degrees in finance, statistics, and administration.

However, it is to their daughter Jean that the Little family owes much for her "dedicated perseverance in preserving our (Little) family history" as we know it today."

"Horseshoe Railroad Curve

Nordmont, Sullivan County, PA

Early twentieth century

This photo is a reproduction by the well known regional artist, J. Wesley Little.

The village of Nordmont is visible in the center of the photo. The railroad depot is to the right behind the trees."

View photo at:


Subject: Painting by John Wesley Little

Author: RESweeney2

Date: Friday, July 31, 2009

Classification: Query

Surnames: Little, Hartmann

Posted on behalf of Douglas S. Gordon who can be reached at

Dear Mr. Sweeney,

Trinity Episcopal Church has recently begun an extensive restoration of the mural "Angels Appearing to the Shepherds" which was painted by S.R. Hartmann of Philadelphia in 1929 based upon a sketch of J. Wesley Little. I'm guessing that Mr. Little was selected to design and execute the mural for Trinity Church, but died prior to completing the project. It was carried out my Mr. Hartmann, who most likely was a colleague of Mr. Little.

I would like to connect with any nearby descendants of J. Wesley Little so that we can show them the mural which has graced our church nave since 1929.

Would you be able to help me get in touch with any one of his relatives?

Thanks you so much for any assistance you could provide.


Douglas S. Gordon

Trinity Episcopal Church

Williamsport, PA


Subject: Re: Painting by John Wesley Little

Author: RESweeney2

Date: Friday, July 31, 2009

Classification: Query

Surnames: Little, Hartmann

I have referred this correspondent to Nancy Little Spencer at the Sullivan County Historical Society in Laporte, PA.

Bob Sweeney

Sullivan County Historian



Burial: Picture Rocks Cemetery, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania

Fact 1: Landscape Artist

Occupation: Artist

Notes for SUSAN HEIM:

In November 2003, the Picture Rocks Cemetery, Picture Rocks, Lycoming County, PA was transcribed by Tina Pastusic.She shows:"Little, Susan Heim, b. 1873, d. 1965."

More About SUSAN HEIM:

Burial: Picture Rocks Cemetery, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania


Children of JOHN LITTLE and SUSAN HEIM are:

2.†††††††††††††††††† i.††† ELEANOR HEIM7 LITTLE, b. November 16, 1901.

†††††††††††††††††††† ii.††† JEAN EDKIN LITTLE, b. July 11, 1906; d. 1991.



In November 2003, the Picture Rocks Cemetery, Picture Rocks, Lycoming County, PA was transcribed by Tina Pastusic.She shows:"Little, Jean E., b. 1906, d. 1991."



Burial: Picture Rocks Cemetery, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania

Fact 1: Member of the Daughters of the American Revolution

Military service: LTJG, US Naval Reserve

††††††††††††††††††† iii.††† THOMAS MORTON LITTLE, b. July 02, 1910.

Generation No. 2





††††††††††††††††††††† i.††† ELIZABETH HEIM8 EANES, b. January 03, 1931 * .
* Editor's Note: Per Jeff Stewart, can be found in the 1940 Federal Census for Emporia, Greenville Co, VA, at age 9.

†††††††††††††††††††† ii.††† IDA ROSS EANES, b. July 05, 1928.

Copyright © 2009 Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors. All Rights Reserved. Prior written permission is required from Robert E. Sweeney and individual Contributors before this material can be printed or otherwise copied, displayed or distributed in any form. This is a FREE genealogy site sponsored through PAGenWeb and can be reached directly at ~Sullivan County Genealogy Project (