Saginaw Founder: Norman Little


“He was born at Avon, Livingston County, New York, March 21, 1806” (Michael Leeson).  Little first arrived when he was 22 years old.  His father purchased land and said that “there is no future here in this valley,” but his son thought differently.  Things changed greatly in 1836 when he came up river with his wife and craftsman in search of a place to build a city.  Little was very forward thinking when he arrived.  He started the first weekly newspaper called The Saginaw Journal and started a steamship run from Buffalo N.Y. to Saginaw in order to bring immigrants to the city.  He even built a mill along the Saginaw River to provide planks so there could be a plank road from Saginaw to Flint.  He did his best to publicize the forestry of the area He worked on both the west and east side of Saginaw.   Norman Little befriended James M. Hoyt of Eli Hoyt & Company.  They really helped develop East Saginaw and had a period of growth and prosperity because of the vast amount of timber and Saginaw served as a great outlet.  His collaborations with many people were very helpful in growing Saginaw.  He sadly died by drowning in the Saginaw River on the morning of November 8th, 1859.   Even today in Saginaw he was celebrated with a first Founders Day ceremony in his honor.  Some of his descendants attended the ceremony as well showing the great love they had for Saginaw (Deborah Brown).


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