About LittleColonel.Com

About LittleColonel.com
(the web site and the people who helped to build it)


Introduction by Steven Locke 

This Little Colonel website began as a small endeavor in 1998, a part of my effort to put together a history of my Old Louisville home at 1432 S Third Street.  I began with an old manila folder with only three or four scraps of paper in it that included anobituary of Samuel Culbertson, a handwritten note that mentioned the house was somehow linked to the Two Little Knights of Kentucky from the Little Colonel story,  some note cards from Annie Fellows Johnston, and a number of original Culbertson family photos without any other descriptions except for a full page framed picture article from a 1928 edition of The Louisville Post.  To be honest, at the time I had little idea at all what the Little Colonel stories were about.  (I briefly wasn't even aware of the gender of The Little Colonel.)  Thanks to the availability of a brand new research tool called the Internet, I was quickly able to obtain some paperback versions of the books from Amazon.com.  (I can remember, when reading Two Little Knights first how surprised I was when a character named the Little Colonel first appeared at a Valentine's party, and she was a girl!.  It was only when I picked up the original Little Colonel book that the story seemed very familiar somehow.  Obviously I was remembering the 1935 Shirley Temple movie that I had all but forgotten from early childhood.).

A few library trips later, and the discovery of an Annie Fellows Johnston scrapbook at the Louisville Free Public Library gave me enough material to begin publishing a website.  This early research was particularly exciting when I discovered that far from being pure fiction, The Little Colonel stories were largely based on real personalities and places associated with the history of my home.  The main reasons for publishing on the Internet (rather than just keeping things in that little manila folder) were twofold.  First, the Internet is a handy way to organize and share information in a searchable format.  Second, I knew a web site would eventually be found by others with the same interests and hopefully more information to share.

So that's the method in this madness, along with some advice to all researchers using the Internet as a tool.  Don't just search for information, solicit it!  Whatever area your interest, post a website.  Fill it with the all the unique and worthwhile information you have been able to assemble on your subject,  then register it with search engines, and wait for others with your same interests to contact you.  As for this project, the history has grown from a few pieces of paper in a manila folder to nearly a thousand web pages (and growing) scattered on this site, most of it due to help, information and input from across the country and around the world (Europe and Asia.) Of special note are the current residents of Lloydsboro (Pewee) Valley, Kentucky who have gone out of their way to delve through their papers, dig in their trunks and search their attics for artifacts and information relating to the Little Colonel.

To that end, many thanks are in order.  Below, with the help of  my new website co-author, Donna Russell, I have tried to list all the main people, in alphabetical order, who have made a significant contribution to the material and knowledge on this site. If we have inadvertently left someone out, it is a mistake and we'll add your name if you'll be so kind as to remind us!

Many thanks for visiting our site!
Steve Locke, webmaster, originator & co-author


Donna Russell owner and savior of Edgewood Manor, journalist and co-author of the website since early 2007.  Donna and her husband David are lifetime members of the Louisville Historical Society. They have restored a National Register property in Louisville's Portland district as well as one in Pewee Valley. Their final lifetime project will be the restoration of a c. 1830 farmhouse in Shelby County, Kentucky.  For LittleColonel.com, Donna has been doing a tremendous amount of research resulting in detailed stories of Lloydsboro (Pewee) Valley people and landmarks related to the Little Colonel.


Nancy Azzam, a direct descendent of Dr. Peyton Harrison Hoge's sister, who shared Cary Hoge Mead's memoirs, "Sunshine and Shadow," with us.

Kathy Bagby, Henry Lawton Bagby and Jeanne Bagby of Virginia, descendants of General & Mrs. "Walton" (through Little Elise's line) for invaluable historic information, and sharing letters and photographs.

Sue Berry for extensive research on the Old Colonel, his gravesite and the Clark ancestors of the Little Colonel..  Along with her Western Kentucky "team" including Edna Macon and Nell Jordan.

Boerne Area Historical Preservation Society for photos and historic information about Boerne, Texas ("the little town of Bauer") and the surrounding Hill Country

Alice Walser Booker of Pewee Valley for sending missing volumes of Annie Fellows Johnston's books.

Beverly Busch, who shared a Christmas card sent by her aunt, Mrs. Sedley, showing the stone gates at Edgewood as they existed until the property was subdivided in 1987

Jeffrey Butler, who provided a photo of a the Lawton girls and Hattie Cochran (along with invaluable background information), frequent visitors at his great grandfather's National Sanitarium in Martinsville, Indiana  

Delinda S. Buie, chief archivist, Ekstrom Library rare book and photo collections, University of Louisville

Don Campbell, administrator of Friendship Manor Nursing Home,  for supplying the post card, photo of the Campbell family and “History of the Pewee Valley Church of the Seventh-Day Adventists”

Anne Cheever Cannon, Public Relations Manager of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission for providing photos and information on the San Jacinto Day Fiesta origins and traditions

Virginia (Gin) Herdt Chaudoin, Pewee ("Lloydsboro") Valley historian, who doesn't even use the Internet, but has been so helpful in so many ways over the years as a person who still remembers many of the original people of the Little Colonel stories, including Annie Fellows Johnston herself. 

Willa Dean Cole, who shared nine post card views of the Burge house after it became the Mt. Mercy Camp & Boarding School

Beach Craigmyle for sending us information on Peace Farm, Johann Heinrich's cottage in Two Little Knights of Kentucky

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Critchfield of Columbia, MO for sharing Annie Fellows Johnston's letter "My dear Miss Dickinson" with us.

Isabelle Dayton for the photograph of the Little Colonel as an infant and information on the family

Nancy Donner, who helped us secure copies of many of the "Little Colonel" folks' wills from the Oldham County Courthouse, including those of Annie Craig, Fanny Craig, Kate Matthews, Lillian Fletcher Brackett, Annie Fellows Johnston and Mary G. Johnston among others.

Mary Dork of Wisconsin, whose encyclopedic knowledge of the content of the Little Colonel books has served us quicker that a search engine for finding passages.

Amber Druen who took the professional photos of The Little Colonel game board and playing pieces

Col. Bettie Edmonds of the Boerne Area (TX) Historic Preservation Society for sharing a multitude of photos and information about Boerne, Texas and Penacres and doing so much Courthouse deed book and other research on the Little Colonel connections.

Gary Falk of the Louisville Historical League for giving us permission to reprint his article on Jennie Carter Benedict from the January 2007 issue of "The Archives"

Fiesta San Antonio Commission for providing photos and information on the San Jacinto Day Fiesta origins and traditions

Sue Finley at the University of Louisville Ekstrom Library for her help with uncovering "Betty's" true identity and all the work she has done on identifying the real people who posed for photographer Kate Matthews.

Rita Fox, publisher of  Paint Lick Reflections magazine (Garrard-Madison counties) and B&B reviewer for Kentucky Monthly magazine for tidbits and information on Annie Fellows Johnston, the mountain schools, Lura Parsons, etc

Cleve Gatchel, grandson of Frank and Alice Craig Gatchel, for the old postcard of Woodside; photo of the W.D. Gatchel family, William Culbertson Gatchel, Frank E. Gatchel, II and himself; and the Louisville storefront and interior of W. D. Gatchel & Sons; and for providing information on the Gatchel family and business.  He is the last Gatchel family member living in Louisville and the last president of W. D. Gatchel & Sons.

David Gleason and his wife, Helena McCoy Grimes, for sharing information about the history of Pewee Valley, Tanglewood, the St. James Episcopal Church and Waldeck, home of Karl and Amanthis Bullitt Smith Jungbluth

Walter N. Haldeman III of Redondo Beach, California for help and clearing up a few questions with the early history of Edgewood, which was built by his great great grandfather.

Eric Henderson, former Pewee resident and L&N model railroader, for information about the 1983 topographic map that shows the reservoir (now filled in) that once supplied the Confederate Home with water.

Peyton Hoge, who provided a photo of his great-great grandfather, the Rev. Dr. Peyton Harrison Hoge

Jim Holmberg, Curator of Special Collections at The Filson Historical Society, for working with us on photographs of Undulata, the Villa Ridge School, and Mrs. Louise Cleland and helping find positive proof that Beechmore was sold to the Board of Managers of the Jennie Casseday Rest Cottage

Anne and John Kyser of Pewee Valley for sharing photographs and information about Twigmore.

Paulette Katz of Granger IN (where are you now, Paulette?) for hooking us up with Annie Fellows Johnston's great grand-nephew, Scott Witwer to obtain many personal pieces from AFJ, her sister Albion and the Lawton's.

Michael Chouteau Larned for more genealogy on the Old Colonel's family.

Toni Langlais for continuing invaluable research over several years on the Lees of Arizona's Lee's Ranch, cryptography (Mrs. Lawton's letters) and just about any genealogical research question we put to her on a number of subjects on this site.

Alexandra Luken for her assistance with information and taking pictures of the grave sites of Capt. Thomas Floyd Smith and his descendents at Cave Hill, for providing additional historical research on Thomas and Nanette Smith of Woodside and other Pewees of note, and for sending us additional "Little Colonel" clippings from the Louisville Free Public Library's scrapbooks.

Ernesto Malacara, public relations director at The Menger Hotel in San Antonio, for the article about the alligators and providing leads to sources for some of the images shown on the Menger Hotel page.

John Manger a direct descendent of Harry Weissinger, the Old Colonel’s brother, for help and historic source material on the Old Colonel

Jane Marion of Paris, France who tracked down the real Gate of the Giant Scissors.

Kurt X. Metzmeier, Associate Director, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law Library, University of Louisville for the photo and biographical information on Judge P.B. Muir ("Judge Moore")

Frances Morrison for digging out (and setting us straight on) the genealogy of the Old Colonel and Amanthis.

Sue Lynn McDaniel, University Archivist and Records Officer, Associate Professor, Library Special Collections Kentucky Library & Museum at Western Kentucky University and expert on the works of Annie Fellows Johnston font size is the problem here (author of "The Little Colonel: A Phenomenon in Popular Literary Culture." ) for research and historic material.

B. Utley Murphy for assorted information on Woodside and Pewee Valley

John Nation, of Louisville Magazine, for giving us permission to reprint his photographs of Edgewood Manor today and inside Edgewood Manor today

Rod Nave of Georgia for the photos of his great-grandmother, Ida Michael Souther Speer, on Tanglewood's page

Mary O'Neal, daughter of Emmet O'Neal, for sharing family photographs and information about the O'Neal years at Olde Pine Tower; a photo of Hattie Cochran's future husband, Albert Conrad Dick, in his days at Centre College; and a letter Annie Fellows Johnston wrote to her father when he was 14 years old

The Oldham County Historical Society for all the work in hosting the Little Colonel Exhibit of 2007-2008

Brad and Pat Palmer, for sharing information about Olde Pine Tower and getting in touch with Mary O'Neal

Julie and Warren Payne of Louisville for sharing information on Mary G Johnston as artist as well as example of her work.

Suzanne Laborde Perry of Pewee Valley for sharing information about the making of "The Little Colonel" movie, for assistance with genealogical information on the Fletcher and Matthews families and for providing us with other valuable insights about the history and residents of Pewee/Lloydsboro Valley and for information on the Bracketts’ of Twigmore

Rudy Rau of Boulder, Colorado for extensive information on General Henry Ware Lawton ("General Walton")

Jeanne Lawton Reagan of Colorado for sending us significant amount of the information very early on for the website, particularly about the Lawton family (Walton's).

Dorian K. Rinehart (while stationed in Korea) for pointing out and helping correct omissions on Mary Ware in Texas.

Shawna L. Ropp, Assistant Director of Special Events at Bellarmine University, who provided historical information about "Ambassador Bingham's First Summer Home in Kentucky" from the Bellarmine Show House

Suzanne Schimpeler for generously sharing items from her private collection of "Little Colonel" related art and photographs

Norman Schippert, our website developer, and who has even gotten in his plane to do aerial photos for us.

Shelley Schippert, the gifted artist who designed the Pewee Valley Driving Tour Guide and other projects.

Olivia Smith for information on her great grandfather Capt Thomas Floyd Smith & family and Beechmore

Ann Sharp for cryptography and deciphering on many of "Mrs. Walton's" letters and some genealogy help.

Richard Dennis Souther of the Souther Family Association in Honolulu, Hawaii for assistance with the Souther genealogy on Tanglewood's page

George Spence of Niles, Michigan for sending original covers and correspondence from Annie Fellows Johnston in 1999, containing a few mysteries yet to be solved.

Cathy Spitzenberger and Lea M. Worcester  at The University of Texas Arlington Library for their assistance with finding and scanning the images of Post Oak Springs Ranch (The Barnaby Ranch) and Georgina Kendall Fellowes with her son

Anne Stewart of the Comfort (TX) Heritage Foundation, Inc. for the excerpts from The Comfort News and help on the history of Comfort & Boerne, Texas and  for sharing her grandmother’s photographs and her own work on the history of St. Boniface Episcopal Church.

M. Jay Stottman of the Kentucky Archeological Survey who prepared a report on the Souther family in Pewee Valley in 2005

Sally Tanselle, owner of the Little Colonel's childhood home, contributor of short stories by Annie Fellows Johnston,  vintage photo of of the home and sharing her copies of Georgina Kendall Fellowes’ “Little Colonel” books with us.

Nancy Theiss, executive director of the Oldham County Historical Society, for providing us access to the National Historic Register information on Historic Pewee Valley and for her wholehearted support of the work we are doing.

Marjorie Fletcher Thompson, great-great niece of Kate Matthews, for sharing her family photos and memories of her Aunt Kate and Clovercroft

Joanie Walser, who has shared photos, documents, relics, and other information about Pewee Valley people and landmarks

Suzette Yetman  for photos and research on Annie Fellows Johnston and The Little Colonel

There may still be some missing entries here as we scour our records for people we may have missed mentioning.  If you think you should be on this list, it might be that you should, please email us!

FINALLY, MANY THANKS to all our web visitors who sent emails of encouragement, sent personal stories (many extraordinarily touching) and who may have posted comments in our "Good Times Book." They have been a joy to read and make us all feel like our efforts here have not been in vain.  Thank you again and again!