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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  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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Walter T. Butler, living in Lenox, Iowa, was born in this county on the 11th of August, 1869. His father, Thomas Butler, was a native of Ireland and when a young man crossed the briny deep to the new world, making his way to New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a painter by trade and followed that pursuit in New Orleans and St. Louis for some time. There he married Rachel Bell, also a native of Ireland, and in 1850 they became residents of Jefferson county, Iowa, removing to Union county in 1864, which remained their place of residence until 1894. In Union county the father purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land and their first home was a little log cabin which he built. His time and energies were devoted to the reclamation of the wild land, which he converted from a raw prairie into rich and productive fields. Here he carried on general farming until his death, which occurred in January, 1873. He left a wife and nine children, while one child, Edwin Butler, a twin of Walter, had died at the age of three years. Our subject has two brothers, William W. and John C., living in Union county. Following her husband’s death the mother kept her family together and managed the farm.

Walter T. Butler, the youngest of the family, remained at home, attending the district schools and working in the fields through the summer months or until after crops were harvested. In his twenty-fifth year he was married on the 3d of October, 1894, to Miss Nellie Roberts, a native of Platte township and the youngest daughter of Josephus Roberts, one of the worthy pioneers and an old soldier of the county, who is now living here with his daughter, Mrs. Butler, at the age of eighty-three years. Following his marriage Mr. Butler purchased the interest of the other heirs in the old home property on section 33, Platte township, and made it his place of abode until his removal to Lenox, Iowa, in March, 1908. His mother, leaving the farm in 1894, removed to Lenox, Iowa, where she died in 1902 at the age of seventy years. In his farm work Mr. Butler has been very progressive and enterprising. He has added to the barn, put up outbuildings and made a well improved place, and the fields annually bring forth rich crops as a reward for the care and labor he bestows upon the place. He also raises good grades of stock of all kinds, and his land is largely devoted to pasturage and to the raising of hay.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Butler have been born three children: Bernice, Helen and Edwin, all now in school. The family is well known in this part of the state. The parents are members of the Presbyterian church of Prairie Star, assisted in building the house of worship and became charter members of the congregation. Mr. Butler is now serving as one of the elders of the church and takes a most active and helpful part in its work. In politics he has been a life-long republican in his endorsement of the principles and policy affecting the state and nation but at local elections casts an independent ballot. He has served as school director but otherwise has held no offices. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen Camp at Kent and in every relation of life has manifested sterling traits of character. He well remembers seeing Indians in this locality. He has aided in breaking the sod and bringing the fields under cultivation for the first time and as the years have gone by has worked laboriously and continuously to improve his farm property, while as the result of his determination, energy and well directed effort he is now one of the representative agriculturists of Platte township.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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