The Edward Little High School Class of 1958 held its 55th reunion this past weekend. Memories were revived in many ways, including a raffle for three bricks that were part of the old high school building on Academy Street in Auburn before it was demolished more than a year ago.

Only the East Wing remains, and the auditorium there continues to be the venue for Community Little Theatre shows. The statue of the venerable Squire Edward Little was moved in the early 1960s to the site of the “new” ELHS on Harris Street, atop Goff Hill.

But where is the statue of Mrs. Edward Little?

The squire’s contributions to the Twin Cities are well-documented. We know how he managed land holdings and operation of a grist mill and sawmill on the Lewiston side of the Great Falls. We know how he donated land and founded Lewiston Falls Academy, later to become the high school named for him.

What about his wife? What did she contribute?

A column by Edith Labbie in a 1980 issue of the Lewiston Evening Journal Magazine Section fills in this part of local history. Labbie passed along several stories that had been recalled in 1911 by Harriet Reynolds Harvey, stepdaughter of the squire.


Squire Edward Little had been a successful attorney in Newburyport, Mass., in his early years, and he had a first wife who died before he came to Auburn in 1826. Harriet Reynolds was 6 years old when Squire Little came courting her mother, Hannah Andrews Chase, the pretty young widow of Capt. Benjamin Chase, who had been lost at sea. She was known as “the Belle of Bridgton.”

After her marriage to the squire, Mrs. Little quickly established herself as Auburn’s leading hostess. At Thanksgiving, the Little family entertained as many as 50 people. Mrs. Little’s daughter remembered her mother tending six turkeys, all roasting in separate fireplaces, and making the rounds to baste them properly.

The squire’s stepdaughter described the household’s prized collection of 48 dinner settings, including beautiful gravy tureens with china handles, lovely tea pots, sugar bowls, silver cream pitchers and green-and-white china baskets from England.

Such parties took place in the handsome house Edward Little built in 1827 at the corner of Main and Vine streets. The house stands today as a well-restored historical building, listed since 1976 on the National Register of Historic Places.

At the age of 9, Harriet had taken notice of a Lewiston boy, Nelson Reynolds, who became a close friend. One day when sledding on Goff Hill, he asked if she would always go sledding with him. She said yes.

Nelson went on to ask if she would marry him when they grew up. She answered with another yes, which proved to be true some years later.


Mrs. Little was an attentive mother, who expected obedience from young Harriet. That year, the girl was invited to a birthday party for Nelson at his home in Lewiston. It ran into the late afternoon, and Harriet tearfully told Nelson’s mother she could not stay for the planned supper because mother had told her to be home before dark.

The easygoing Mrs. Reynolds reassured Harriet that her mother would understand the reason for being late.

The moment the meal was over, the girl tied on her bonnet, put on her coat and boots and left for home, with Nelson accompanying her.

They were just coming down the hill where the Empire Theater was located when they saw an angry woman striding through the covered bridge from Auburn. Mrs. Little was furious.

She quickly dismissed Nelson, saying, “You may go home now. I will take care of Harriet the rest of the way.”

Years later, Nelson and Harriet were married.

As soon as the ceremony was over, the bridegroom turned to his mother-in-law and said, “You can go home now. I shall take care of Harriet the rest of the way.”

At first, the squire’s wife was puzzled, but Nelson reminded her of that childhood event, adding that he’d always been determined to get even with her someday.

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