JOHN BUTLER is numbered among the well-to-do farmers of Pope County, his place comprising two hundred and thirty acres, being situated on section 15, township 12, range 6. He formerly owned three hundred and thirty acres, a portion of which he gave to his children. Of his present farm one hundred acres are heavily timbered, and on the remainder he is engaged in general farming, raising considerable quantities of corn and wheat. He grows from twenty to thirty bushels of corn to the acre, and from ten to twenty bushels of wheat. Though his farm is well stocked, he is not specially interested in raising live stock. In 1886 he erected a substantial frame residence, which is 16x32 feet. In 1864 he erected a good barn, 40x40 feet in dimensions, and has other substantial farm buildings.
Mr. Butler, of this sketch, was born in Stewart County, Tenn., in 1829, and is a son of Martin and Margaret (McGee) Butler. The latter was a daughter of Adam and Anna (Whiteside) McGee. After his marriage Mr. Butler engaged in farming in Tennessee until 1832, when he was called from this life, leaving his young widow with two sons and a daughter, of whom our subject is the eldest. The mother came with her children to southern Illinois in company with her parents. They made the journey most of the distance on the river and settled on wild land in what is now Eddyville Precinct, where our subject's grandparents subsequently died, the grandmother dying in 1849, being then about sixty years of age, and her husband not long surviving her. About the year 1845 Mrs. Butler removed to the farm now occupied by William Elam, becoming the wife of James Jennings, and within two years, while in middle life, was called to the home beyond, the date being about 1847. The brother and sister of our subject arc still living. Allen is a farmer of Franklin County, and Anna is the widow of James Burns, who was a farmer in Eddyville Precinct. These children were left orphans at an early age and were scattered.
John Butler, of this sketch, soon after his mother's death worked on a neighboring farm, cutting cordwood during the winter. He then engaged with John Whiteside to work on his farm until he was twenty-one, but about that time met the lady who afterward became his wife, and concluded to change his plans. In January, 1850, Mr. Butler and Priscilla S. Barger were united in marriage. Mrs. Butler is the daughter of Jacob S. Barger, one of the well-known farmers of this region. After his marriage Mr. Butler entered eighty acres of Government land in the wilderness and made good improvements upon the place, which is the farm on which John Holloway now resides. In the fall of 1854 he traded this farm for eighty acres of his present homestead, which has been his place of residence for thirty-eight years.
In 1861 Mrs. Butler died, leaving three sons and a daughter: Jacob, now a practicing physician of Elizabethtown, who is married and has two sons and a daughter; Margaret, wife of Thomas H. Lechton, a farmer of this neighborhood, and the mother of five sons and two daughters; John F., who is engaged in farming in Clinton County, Ill.: and Aaron, who makes his home in Creal Springs. and is married and has a son and daughter.
Mr. Butler was again married, November 10, 1863, at which time Miss Mary E. Rose, a native of this county, became his wife. She is the daughter of Asa and Penina (Shelby) Rose, natives of Alabama and Hardin County Ill., respectively. Mrs. Butler is the third in order of birth of four children. Clarissa, a sister, is the widow of Wiley Cummings; Margaret became the wife of Abijah King; and Thomas N. died at Bay City, in this county, in 1885, leaving a family. Mr. and Mrs. Butler have lost an infant son and daughter. Their living children are: Miranda J., wife of Logan Ray, a farmer of this locality; Clarissa, wife of Ed Smith, a carpenter at Creal Springs; Charles A., at work about St. Louis; Seaman O. and Thomas O., the two latter attending school. They have all been given good educational advantages and are worthy members of society. Mr. Butler is a Master Mason and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Politically, he is a Republican, and, religiously, he and his esteemed wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Extracted from Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, published in 1893, page 280
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