From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington County, 1901
J. C. Littler, a prominent member of the present board of county commissioners, is the son of Lewis and Ellen (Monger) Littler, and was born in Crawford county, Ohio, April 5, 1837. Paternally his people are of Irish origin. From the most reliable information obtainable the first of the name to leave the Emerald Isle came to America a number of years prior to the Revolution and settled in Virginia. This ancestor was a soldier in the French and Indian wars, and is said to have achieved considerable distinction as an Indian fighter. The subject has in his possession at this time a remarkable relic in the shape of a petrified hickory hone (sic) brought from his ancestral home in the Emerald Isle, which has been handed down through several generations of the family. He prizes this very highly, and has refused liberal offers for it from collectors of relics and curios; though at one time he was induced to part with a small section of it for the sum of ten dollars.
It is difficult to trace the early history of the Littler family in this country; but it is learned that several of the name were living many years ago in the state of Virginia. From there our subject's immediate ancestors moved to Crawford county, Ohio, where J. C. Littler was born. The birthplace of his father was Virginia. Lewis Littler cleared a large and beautiful farm in Ohio, and became a man of considerable local prominence. For sixteen years he held the office of justice of the peace, and was a commissioner of Crawford county a number of terms; besides filling other offices of honor and trust in the community where he resided. He made a great deal of money as a buyer and shipper of live stock, and at his death left a large and valuable estate, the result of close and diligent attention to business and fair dealing in all of his transactions. He was twice married; the first time to Ellen Monger, by whom he had two children, the subject of this sketch being one of the number. By his second marriage, which was solemnized with Mary Chambers, of Ohio, he reared a family of seven children, most of whom are still living in the state of their nativity. The death of this good man and prominent citizen occurred at the home place in Crawford county, Ohio, in the year 1886.
J. C. Littler was reared to manhood on the home farm in Ohio, and the schools there afforded him the means of obtaining a good practical education, attending the free and select schools of his native state. Later he taught three terms in Delaware county, Indiana, and in May, 1861, entered the army as a member of Company H, Twelfth Indiana Infantry, Captain Thomas Doan, Hon. George W. Steele, congressman from the tenth district, being first lieutenant. His army experience embraced thirteen months of active service, at the expiration of which he went to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and entered the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as switchman in the yards at that place. After some time spent with the road he resigned his position and turned his attention to buying and shipping live-stock, his success at the beginning being anything but encouraging as he suffered a loss of three hundred and fifty dollars on the first car load.
In January, 1865, Mr. Littler was wedded to Mrs. Sarah J. Jones, of Grant county, Indiana, who was the widow of George W. Jones. Three years later he erected a mill in that county which he operated with fair success until 1875. For a number of years past he has been engaged in farming in Warren township, Huntington county, and is now one of the substantial men of the community. By his first marriage he had four children: Frank D., Carrie, Floyd and Ada, all now married and well settled in life. His wife died August 24, 1876, and on the 2d day of April, 1890, his second marriage took place with Elzia A. (Hubbell) Guffin. She was born in Warren township, January 24, 1855. Her parents were early settlers in the county of Huntington, having located in the township of Warren where her father purchased four hundred acres of valuable land. Mrs. Littler is a lady of intelligence and refinement, a fit companion for her husband, and has a large number of friends in the neighborhood where she lives.
Until the breaking out of the Civil war Mr. Littler was a Democrat, but during the progress of that struggle he changed his political views and has since given his allegiance to the Republican party. He is an active worker, wields great influence among his friends during the progress of a political campaign and is generally chosen to represent his precinct in convention for the nomination of candidates. In the fall of 1900 was elected county commissioner by a plurality of 298, receiving next to the highest number of votes cast for any candidate that year. His record thus far, although brief, verifies the wisdom of his election as he exhibits great wisdom in behalf of the people's interest. He is judicious in voting any expenditures, being fully satisfied in his own mind of public approval before taking final action upon any matter brought before the court for consideration.
In all his personal as well as business relations Mr. Littler is a gentleman of unpeachable integrity, and possesses the happy faculty of winning friends and binding them to him as it were with bands of steel Indeed, he never forgets a friend, and would share his last dollar with one should such an emergency arise. He stands square to all the world, with no taint of hypocrisy in his nature, and a record both public and private absolutely above criticism. He has been an active worker in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, has passed all the chairs in the local lodge to which he belongs, joining the order in Matthews, Indiana, besides representing it at different times in the Grand Lodge of the state.