A New Yorker by birth, Feramorz Little made his name (politically speaking) in Utah. Little was born in the small town of Aurelius, New York on June 14, 1820, one of four children born to James and Susan Young Little. James Little had immigrated from Ireland to New York some years previously and is recorded as dying in a wagon accident in October 1822 when his son was only two years of age. Little's mother Susan was the sister of Brigham Young, the famed Mormon leader and founder of what is now Utah.
A biographical record on Feramorz Little and his family (authored by his brother James) notes that Susan Little and her children removed from Aurelius to the town of Mendon, New York and later remarried to a Mr. William B. Stilson. The family later removed from Mendon to Livingston County, New York, where Feramorz left the family home, "on an account of the hard treatment of Mr. Stilson" and eventually moved into the home of General Solomon K. Chamberlain of Springwater, New York. Little resided with Chamberlain for several years and during his adolescence was apprenticed by Chamberlain to a saddle and harness maker for a few months, and later engaged in farm work for Mr. Chamberlain's son-in-law Harvey S. Tyler.
Feramorz Little left New York in 1843 and traveled on horseback until reaching St. Louis, Missouri, where he settled for a time. He subsequently removed to Nauvoo, Illinois, becoming a school teacher there, and later married to Ms. Fannie Maria Decker (1830-1881) on February 12, 1846. The couple are recorded as having ten children, who are listed as follows: James Tyler (1847-1898), Fannie Augusta (died aged three months in 1851), Juliette Chamberlain (1853-1929), Susan Claire (1855-1918), Luna Rosalie (1858-1909), Feramorz (born 1861), Nelly (born ca. 1860),Marian Josephine (died aged one month in 1862), Nettie Viola (1864-1940) and Frank Clifford (1867-1955)
In 1850 Little and his wife made the long journey to Utah, and after reconnecting with his family in Salt Lake City, set about making a name for himself in a variety of businesses. He joined the Mormon Church and was named a Bishopric for Salt Lake City's Thirteenth Ward, and in 1858 married his second wife, Julia Anna Hampton (1830/1844-1867) who gave birth to five children: Edwin (1859-1866), Fanny Vilate (1862-1896), Louis H. (died aged one in 1866), Brigham Leon (1867-1933) and William Feramorz (born 1867).
In the same year as his marriage to Julia Hampton, Feramorz Little married his third wife Annie Elizabeth Dye (1825-1907), proving that as far as polygamy was concerned, he was without care. The union between Feramorz and Annie would eventually produce six children: Ellen Lorilla (1859-1923), Frederick Wallace (1863-1943), Charles Carter (1861-1926), Leo Augustus (1865-1909), George (born 1867) and Jesse Carter (1871-1959). By the time he turned 51 in 1871, Feramorz Little had three wives and twenty-one children, truly a very busy man!!
Feramorz Little as he looked in middle age.
Over the course of his residency in Salt Lake City, Little was acknowledged as one of the area's industrious citizens, helping to design and build a dam on the Jordan River, developing a contract to carry mail (between Salt Lake City and Independence, Missouri) and also helped in the construction of the Utah State Penitentiary. Little is also recorded as serving as Mormon Church Emigration Agent during the 1860s, and the Deseret News notes that "under his supervision, 500 teams were fitted out to go to the Missouri River and carry back to Utah 3,000 emigrants".
It was only in the latter period of his life that Little began to serve in elected office. During the early 1870s he won election to the Salt Lake City Council and in 1876 was elected as the Mayor of Salt Lake City. He served three consecutive terms in this office, the last of which concluded in 1882. After leaving the office of mayor, Little began pursuing banking interests, becoming a founder of the Deseret National Bank and later served as its director.
In July 1882 Little married his fourth wife, Rebecca Ellen Mantle (1830-1909), who bore Little two daughters, Nellie Vivian (1883-1927) and Sadie Catherine (1886-1914). When one looks at Little's life history it's truly amazing to think that this oddly named Salt Lake City Mayor managed to father twenty-three children by the time he turned 66 years old! In one of his last acts of public service, Little was named as a delegate to the Utah Constitutional Convention of 1887 from the county of Salt Lake.
A few months after attending the above-mentioned convention, Feramorz Little died at age 67 on August 14, 1887, and was subsequently interred at the Salt Lake City Cemetery. He was survived by his wives Annie and Rebecca, who died in 1907 and 1909 respectively. All four of Little's wives are also interred in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. For those who may be wondering, Little's unusual first name originated from an obscure poet-sultan named Feramorz, who existed on the Asian continent in ancient times.
A memorial for Feramorz Little that appeared in August 16, 1887 edition of the Salt Lake Herald.