Biography of James D. Butler, Jr.
Iowa County, IA Biographies





James D. Butler, Jr., whose death was felt in North English as a loss to the community as well as to his family and intimate friends, was by profession a lawyer and won a large measure of success in his chosen calling, but the high place which he held in the estimation of his fellow citizens was due not so much to his professional attainments as to the marked spirit of self forgetfulness which he displayed, putting at all times the general good before his personal interests. Born in Vermont on the 9th of June, 1847, he was a son of James D. and Rizpah (Morgan) Butler. Their family numbered eight children, all of whom have passed away.

James D. Butler, Jr. continued to reside in his native state until he was fifteen years of age and had acquired a public school education, when, as a youth, he answered President Lincoln's call for troops, enlisting in the Ninth Regiment, Vermont Volunteer Infantry. He was one of the eleven thousand prisoners taken by General "Stonewall" Jackson at Harpers Ferry but was at length exchanged and continued at the front throughout the war. He believed that the practice of law offered excellent opportunities for the young man and accordingly prepared for the legal profession and was duly admitted to the bar. It was in 1882 that he came to North English, Iowa, and from that time until his demise, which occurred on the 5th of November, 1912, he was a representative of the bar of Iowa county and there were few attorneys of this part of the state who commanded the respect of the general public and the profession alike in such measure as did he. His practice grew steadily and, as it was of an important nature, the preparation of his cases demanded not only much care but also a great deal of time. However, he always found opportunity to assist with his advice and active cooperation in carrying out projects whose aim was the civic, commercial or moral advancement of his town, and his example in unselfish public service was so forcible that it could not be ignored. In private life he manifested the same thoughtfulness and care for interests other than his own and friendship held a large place in his life.

Mr. Butler was married in early life and as his first wife had died some years before he was married in 1881 to Miss Eliza Culiton, who was born in Vermont, a daughter of John and Mary (Reynolds) Culiton, natives of Ireland, who in 1847 took up their residence in the Green Mountain state. By the second marriage there were eight children, namely: James D., a resident of Sioux City; Frederick, deceased; Frank, of North English; Laura, who is principal of the Ladora schools; A. Owen, deceased; Helen, who is teaching in Millersburg; and Mary and William J., both in high school.

Mr. Butler was a democrat and in the councils of his party his word or suggestion carried more than ordinary weight. As a member of the public school board he was instrumental in giving to North English the fine schools which are the pride of the town. Fraternally he was connected with the Masonic order, belonging to the blue lodge and the Eastern Star, and he also maintained membership in the Grand Army of the Republic. Much of the moral strength which underlay his whole life was due to his religious faith, which was attested by his membership in the Methodist church. Although he was not indifferent to the material and professional success which he gained, he valued most highly the esteem and goodwill of his fellowmen and it is for his great hearted interest in others that he is chiefly remembered.

Mrs. Butler received a good education in Vermont, her native state, and for several years taught school, proving a popular and capable instructor. She has been appointed postmaster of North English by President Wilson and the appointment has the indorsement of the people of North English, who recognize her worth and ability. She is quite prominent in the Eastern Star and for six terms has held the office of matron.

From:
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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