Best known as the "Idaho Sheep King".
1817-1941 | Artist: Othmar J. Hoffler (1893-1954)
Impact & Accomplishments
“Idaho Sheep King” Andrew Little was born in Scotland and immigrated to Idaho Territory in 1884, reportedly with just two herding dogs and $25. Little found work herding sheep for other Scottish immigrants who were pioneers in the region, and he accepted ewes as payment for his work, soon building a sizable herd.
He visited Scotland in 1901 to find a wife and bring his brothers to America. Little’s ranching methods were deftly calculated. He raised alfalfa and oats for winter feeding and ranged his sheep in the high mountains in summer. He employed a crew of up to 400 people to work the operation, and used licensed professionals from Boston to grade the wool.
By his peak in 1929, Little had 100,000 head of sheep (some sources say 165,000) and had marketed one million pounds of wool in a season. He would store wool in railcars, if the bids were lower than expected. His business acumen helped Andrew Little become one of the biggest sheep operators in the nation and helped Idaho become a leader in the industry.
Did You Know?
The Andrew Little Mansion. The three-level, 6,400-square feet house with five bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, kitchen and maid’s quarters is called the “Forever House.” The one foot thick walls are filled with junk metal, rebar and old iron farm implements. Photo credit: Idaho Press.