The family of the deceased distributed printed memorial cards like this to people at the funeral as a remembrance of the deceased. They often featured appropriate verse and imagery.
Joseph Littlefield lived a long and eventful life. Born in Peoria County, Illinois in 1840, Littlefield served almost three years in the Civil War as a private in company C of 102nd Illinois volunteer regiment. After the war he returned to Illinois and married Hellen Crandle. In 1879 Joseph Littlefield and his family that included his mother Joanna, who was 71 at the time, came to Nebraska Clear Creek area, Sherman County to homestead. Hellen died in 1881 and six years later Joseph, now 47, married 24 year-old Lotta (Charlotte) Roberts, and had 7 more children with her, of whom only 5 survived. Littlefield moved to Aurora, Nebraska in 1904 and died there in 1911.
After the war Littlefield was very active in the local Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) chapters, always travelling to the veterans' meetings wherever he was. The Grand Army of the Republic was a fraternal organization of the Union Civil War veterans founded in 1866 in Decatur Illinois and dissolved in 1956 when the last GAR member died.
The photograph comes from the collection of Terri and Dave Mabon. Dave Mabon is Joseph Littlefield's great-grandson.
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