Lumis Little attempted to save William A. Hall from suffocation, Sugar Valley, Georgia, September 6, 1913. Hall, 46, school teacher and farmer, entered a well 26 feet deep in an attempt to save a man who had been overcome by dynamite fumes. He tied the man to a box at the end of the well rope, and the man was raised to the surface. Hall was overcome before the box was lowered to him. Little, 50, well digger and farmer, was brought to the scene from a point 1.5 miles distant. Knowing the danger he was about to encounter and that the 15 men present were afraid to enter the well, Little said that he would go. He tied himself to the well rope and was lowered. He tied another rope around Hall and was then hoisted, but he was unconscious when he reached the surface. Little was given medical treatment but was disabled four or five days. Hall was dead when removed from the well shortly, and the original victim died two days later. 13110-970
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Lummus was “little” in name only, for his was the spirit of heroes. By occupation, he was a ditcher and well digger. It is estimated that if his wells had been placed end to end, they would have formed a pipe line to China, and his ditches were hundreds of miles in extent.
In 1914, he risked death in the effort to save three white men from asphyxiation in a gas filled well at Fairview. He received from the Carnegie hero fund one thousand dollars and a medal in recognition of his bravery, but Lummus jeopardized life for his fellowman with no thought of compensation. He had never heard of Carnegie nor his benefactions, but was inspired only by human kindness which brings its own reward.
He died in 1932 at the age of eighty-one years.