Biography of A. D. Butler
Napa County, CA Biographies





A. D. BUTLER.
In the death of A. D. Butler, which occurred October 27, 1923, there was removed another prominent citizen of Napa county who had made his way in life by the force of his own merit and industry from a small beginning to great success His memory will long be revered and his influence for good felt in this section, for he belonged to that class of worthy and noble citizens who leave behind them much that is deathless. He was regarded as one of Napa's most useful and enterprising men of affairs and had been an active and influential citizen of that community for many years. Mr. Butler was born in Monmouth, Illinois, on the 21st of May, 1843, and was therefore eighty years of age at the time of his death. When but a mere lad he crossed the plains with his parents, who settled in the Williamette valley, Oregon. He secured his education in the schools of that locality and remained there until he was twenty one years of age, when he returned to Illinois and entered Abingdon College. He was graduated from that institution in 1869 and returned to Oregon, where he served for a time as principal of the Christian College at Monmouth.

In 1872 Mr. Butler came to Napa county and settled in Brown's valley, being among the first to locate there. He taught school there for ten years and then turned his attention to fruit raising, and to him belongs the distinction and honor of being one of the very first to plant fruit trees in Napa county. His fine cherry orchard was long known as "Fern Hill" and became widely recognized as one of the first successful orchards in this part of the state. After he had demonstrated the practicability of growing fruit here, Mr. Butler extended his field of operations and began packing and shipping his fruit. So successful and entirely favorable were his experiences along that line that in 1892 he became one of the organizers of the Napa Fruit Company, and he served as its president from its organization up to the time of his death, a period of thirty years. About 1917 Mr. Butler sold his ranch and moved to Napa, where he lived quietly and leisurely during the remainder of his life, enjoying the rest which he had so richly earned.

Mr. Butler was twice married, first, in 1868, to Miss Melvina Morris, who died in 1879; and in 1886 he was married to Mrs. Hazzie Caldwell Garr, who was a native of Lewis county, Missouri, and came to California in 1872. To the first union was born a son, Ralph, of Napa, and a daughter, Lena, who married Ira Powell, of Monmouth, Oregon, where she passed away, leaving three sons, all of whom survive. To the second union were born two sons, one of whom, Ira C., died in 1900; his death being the result of a hunting accident. The other son, William D., is a successful horticulturist of this county. Politically Mr. Butler was a democrat and in his earlier years in this county he had taken a very active part in local political affairs. He was very public spirited, giving his unreserved support to all measures that promised to be of material benefit to the people of his locality. His religious membership was in the Christian church at Napa, of which he was an elder for many years. He served as a member of the board of education for twelve years and had served as president of the Napa County Grange. Mr. Butler was a man of many sterling characteristics of head and heart and his life was replete with duty faithfully and conscientiously performed, while his career in the humble sphere of private citizenship was such as to commend him to the respect and esteem of the best people of the city and county where he had so long maintained his residence.

From:
History of Solano County, California
BY: Marguerite Hune
and Napa County, California
BY: Harry Lawrence Gunn
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1926


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