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Collection 315 Oral History Interview with Marie H. Little

Identifier: CN 315

Scope and Contents

Oral history interview with Marie Huttenlock Little (1918-2009) in which she describes her childhood in Philadelphia, training as a nurse and further education at Philadelphia School of Bible and the University of Pennsylvania; missionary service with China Inland Mission in 1947, working in Lanzhou and Wu Wei, Gansu province; return to the U.S. in 1950 to become a staff worker for Inter-Varsity. The time period covered by the interviews is circa 1918-1955.

Marie Little was interviewed by Robert Shuster at her home in Prospect Heights, Illinois on October 3 and December 4, 1985.


  • Created: 1985

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Marie Huttenlock Little was born April 28, 1918, in Philadelphia, PA, child of Theresa and George B. Huttenlock, and sister of George B. Huttenlock, Jr. When she was ten years old her father left the family permanently and her mother became a seamstress, choir director and organist for a Baptist church in the city. Marie attended Whittier School until 1930 and attended high school at Simon Gratz High School. After graduation in 1935 she entered the nursing school at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia and was there until 1939. While at the hospital, she was active in Nurses' Christian Fellowship. She worked in public health for two and a half years.

Marie's conversion during her teens, brought about through contacts with a Methodist church school teacher, caused a major change in her behavior and also affected her mother and brother. She subsequently became even more deeply involved in the youth program of the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, which included evangelistic team activity. As a singer, she also participated, with her brother, in a Salvation Army instrumental street group and attended jail meetings held by the Army.

As a result of her involvement with the church, Inter-Varsity, and other Christian activities, Marie began to study in the evening school of Philadelphia School of the Bible in 1942, where she received a certificate in 1946. Contacts there further influenced her to begin courses at the University of Pennsylvania, first in the evening after full-time work as a public health nurse, and then as a full-time student, with private duty nursing in the evenings as her vocation. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University in 1945. While on campus she initiated the installation of an Inter-Varsity chapter at the University. She also taught a weekly Bible class for children being ministered to as part of the program of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children in the Philadelphia area.

Marie's interest in missions began to develop through attendance at the first Inter-Varsity Mission Conference held in Toronto. She also visited China Inland Mission meetings in Germantown, and subsequently made the decision to apply to the Mission for assignment. By 1947 she had completed preliminary preparation and left in October to be stationed at Lanzhou, in Gansu Province. She remained with CIM until 1951 when that mission decided to leave China because of the Communist takeover there.

After returning to the United States, Marie was asked in 1952 to become a part of the staff of Inter-Varsity. She was assigned to work with Paul Little, who became her husband in 1953. The Littles had two children, Deborah Ann, born June 4, 1957, and Paul Robert Little, born November 30, 1958. Paul Little died in 1975. Marie lived in Mount Prospect, IL and other Chicago suburbs in the next few decades. She died July 28, 2009.


3 Audio Tapes

304 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials for this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Marie Little in October and December, 1985.

Accession 85-130, 85-168

November 20, 1986

Frances L. Brocker

J. Nasgowitz

Collection 315 Oral History Interview with Marie H. Little
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US