The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944 Page: 434
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of interest and enterprise. The serious reader will be able
to discern those qualities in Littlefield which contributed to
his success. He surrounded himself with capable, energetic men
whose loyalty and devotion were unquestioned. He counseled
them unceasingly, inspired their confidence by his efficient
handling of difficult problems, and was instrumental in establish-
ing many of them in prosperous ranching enterprises of their
own. He seemed always to know "which way the wind was
blowing" in the cattle business, and was able to avert the
disasters which descended upon many of his less astute
In a day when cattle traders traveled about with thousands
of dollars in gold and silver weighing down their buggy springs
or pack-horses, and when interest was as high as two per cent
per month, it was natural that a man of Littlefield's practical
nature should see the advantages of going into the banking
business. From a small beginning, as an adjunct to the mer-
cantile business in Gonzales, this banking enterprise developed
into the well-known American National Bank of Austin, Texas,
an institution which from its founding in 1890 absorbed much
of Littlefield's time and energy.
The author gives a revealing account, gleaned from personal
letters and oral interviews, of Littlefield's lifelong solicitude
for a host of relatives and friends. His generosity is summed
up in these words: "He put them through school in youth,
promoted them in business in maturity, backed them in ad-
versity, wrote off their losses, plied them with patient advice,
and backed them again."
Littlefield made frequent forays into local and state politics,
and there is some evidence to the effect that he often used an
opportunistic approach in promoting the campaign of his favor-
ite candidate. He strongly supported Hogg for governor and
years later became one of the chief sponsors of Jim Ferguson.
Mr. Haley handles the Ferguson-University controversy in a
very judicious manner. This was one occasion when Little-
field, a man of decisive action, appeared indecisive, finding it
difficult to sever the ties of personal and political friendship.
Having committed himself, however, he continued as champion
and benefactor of the University in a very real sense.
The reader who is genuinely interested in Texas and the
South will, upon finishing this book, be aware of his debt of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944, periodical, 1944; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146054/m1/483/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.