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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Benjamin F. Butler, another prominent business man of Osceola, was born on Frenchman’s Bayou, on the banks of Butler’s Lake, in the year 1839, and is the elder of two children born to Jesse and Urena (Clark) Butler, natives of New York and Kentucky, respectively. The father was a gentleman of education, and in 1826 came to Arkansas in company with his mother, sister and brother-in-law. They settled on a small lake about eight miles southwest of Pecan Point, and this lake was afterward, and is still, known as Butler’s Lake, so called in honor of its first settler, Mr. Jesse Butler. Mr. Butler and his brother-in-law each selected 160 acres, and proceeded to make a home in the wilderness. After making such improvements as were necessary, they turned their attention to stock-raising, which was very profitable from the fine range. These early settlers depended on their own labor for most of their supplies, spinning yarn and making their own garments, and were compelled to go to Randolph for groceries, etc. When Osceola was selected as the county seat, Jesse Butler helped to survey the road for their section to that place. This old settler assisted in the county organization, was elected constable of his section, and held that office almost continuously until his death, which occurred in 1844. During the time of the early history of this region, Mr. Butler was a very useful citizen, and being a man of education and good practical ideas, many sought advice and counsel from him. This family, like all others at that time, ground their meal by hand, and secured their meat from the forest. They endured many privations, and paved the way for future generations. Mr. Butler died in the house where he located at first, never having sought a change from his first choice of location. Benjamin F. Butler was born on the above described place, where he resided until eleven years of age, when he moved with his mother to the vicinity of Osceola, where she died in 1852. Benjamin was then a lad of thirteen, and began fighting the world’s battles for himself. He had but slight educational advantages, but by his own earnest endeavors secured a fair education. When the war opened Mr. Butler enlisted in Capt. Bowen’s company; was in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Dug-gap, Atlanta, Jonesboro and Franklin, where he was wounded, but he remained with his command until he reached Tupelo, Miss., where he secured a furlough and returned home. He then worked for several months in the field as a farm laborer, and in 1866 started in the saloon business, which he has carried on ever since. He has met with good success in his calling, and although his trade is large, he prides himself on his quiet and orderly house. His standing in society illustrates forcibly the truth that
Honor and shame from no condition rise—
Act well your part; there all the honor lies.
During 1882 and 1883 he ran on a steamboat in the Osceola and Memphis trade, but has always kept up his business in Osceola. On the 9th of May, 1867, his marriage with Miss Evaline Hale occurred. She was the eighth child in this family [see sketch of brother]. To Mr. and Mrs. Butler were born eight children, only one now living: Clarence E., who resides at home. Those deceased are Willie, Martha Lurena, Jesse Bird, Eva Aurena, Benjamin F., Carrie and Claud. In 1870 Mr. Butler bought a lot in Osceola, and has since erected a fine residence, which, surrounded with plants and flowers, and supplied with all the conveniences, makes a very attractive home.

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This family biography is one of 162 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Mississippi County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Mississippi County, Arkansas family biographies here: Mississippi County, Arkansas Biographies

View a map of 1889 Mississippi County, Arkansas here: Mississippi County, Arkansas Map

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