Joe Little Twig
No. 5, 9, 17     
Tackle / End
Personal information
Date of birth: 1893
Place of birth: Hogansburg, New York, United States
Date of death: March 6, 1939(1939-03-06)
Place of death: Canton, Ohio, United States
Career information
College: Carlisle Indian
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Oorang Indians (1922–1923)
Career highlights and awards
* GB Press-Gazette: 1st team all-NFL (1924)
Stats at
Stats at
Joe Little Twig
AllegianceUnited States United States
Service/branchUS Army seal U.S. Army
Years of service1917-1921
Battles/wars*World War I

Joseph Little Twig (Johnson) (1893 - March 6, 1939) was a professional football player, who played during the early years of the National Football League. For 1922 until 1926, he played in the league for the Oorang Indians, Rock Island Independents, Akron Indians and the Canton Bulldogs.


Joe, a member of the Mohawk nation, first played football at Catarague Indian School and then at the Carlisle Indian School located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Before starting his NFL career, Joe served in the United States Army from 1917 until 1921. He was stationed overseas during World War I. In 1922, he joined the Oorang Indians; Jim Thorpe's All Indian Football team in LaRue, Ohio. He spent two years with the Indians. After the franchise folded in 1923, Joe and Thorpe joined the Rock Island Independents for the 1924 and 1925 seasons. He finished his NFL career in 1926, playing with the Akron Indians and the Canton Bulldogs.

Post-football careerEdit

In 1927, Joe joined the Canton Police Department. While on the police force, he served as a patrolman on motorcycle duty. He left the force in 1931. In 1929 Joe married Gertrude Hale. Jim Thorpe attended the ceremony and acted as best man. In 1935 Joe divorced his first wife and married a Mrs. Winifred (Winnie) Wood. With this wife Joe had two daughters Norma Jean and JoAnn. He died on March 6, 1939 when his automobile struck a tree at the bottom of a hill in Canton, Ohio.


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