My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  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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ADDISON W. BUTT. Closely identified with the recent history and development of the city of Springfield is the record of the life of Mr. Butt, whose portrait* appears on the opposite page, and the principal events of whose life we record. He is President of the Springfield Implement Company of this city, where he is recognized as one of the stirring citizens and is identified with the leading enterprises. He is a New Yorker by birth, his early home being in Chautauqua County near the Pennsylvania line, and he first opened his eyes to the light October 14, 1835. His father, George Butt, a native-born Pennsylvanian, was from Erie County, and his paternal grandfather was Wendell Butt, a native of Germany. The latter emigrated to America with his parents when a lad of six years, they settling in Pennsylvania where they all spent the remainder of their lives.

The father of our subject was a farmer by occupation and was also master of the miller’s trade which he followed considerably in his native State, he left Pennsylvania in 1836 and located on a farm near LaPorte, Ind., where he carried on agriculture successfully and invested some of his capital in city lots at Milwaukee, Wis. On account of the hard times which followed, however, most of these were subsequently sold for taxes. The mother, Mrs. Olive (Wyllis) Butt, died in Indiana in 1838. She was born in Chautauqua County, N. Y., and was the daughter of Orin Wyllis, who was likewise a native of the Empire State and spent his last days in LaPorte County, Ind.

After the death of his wife George Butt returned to Erie County, Pa., and became interested in milling, which he carried on for a number of years. Then returning to Indiana he embarked in the same business at LaPorte, continuing thus employed until 1854. At that time, in company with his son, A. W., he established a general store under the firm name of George Butt & Son, which they conducted until 1857. Addison then disposed of his interest in the business and the father, later selling out, crossed the Mississippi into Kansas where he sojourned four years.

Returning now to LaPorte, Ind., our subject in the spring of 1861 established an agricultural implement house and continued in the business until 1865. Next he operated as a traveling salesman and general agent in the States of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, for the John H. Manny Reaper Company, remaining in the employ of this firm until 1868. Next he became connected with the firm of Thomas & Mast, of Springfield, Ohio, traveling through the East as far as New York City, north to the lakes and west to Nebraska and continued with this firm until it was dissolved. Later he was a member of the firm of P. P. Mast & Co., and became a stockholder of the company, which engaged in the manufacture of farm implements.

Mr. Butt disposed of his interest in the above enterprise in 1886 and then became connected with the Albion Manufacturing Company, of Albion Mich., of which he was President, remaining with this company until the year of 1888. At this time, accompanied by his wife, he made an extended tour through the West, visiting Colorado, California and Oregon, and on his return visited Denver, Omaha, Kansas City, and Chicago. During the following spring, going to North Carolina, he invested a sum of money in the Asheville Furniture Company which was subsequently merged into the Asheville Furniture and Lumber Company. Upon the organization of the latter Mr. Butt was made President. In 1889 he purchased the old Springfield Manufacturing Company and formed it into a stock company which was organized under the name of the Springfield Implement Company of which Mr. Butt was made President, which position he still holds, not only in that company, but also in the Asheville Furniture and Lumber Company.

The marriage of Addison W. Butt and Miss Frances G. Bagley, of LaPorte, Ind., was celebrated at the bride’s home November 4, 1862. This lady was born March 18, 1840, in Mercer, Pa., and is a daughter of Asher F. and Elizabeth Bagley, the former of whom was a native of Avon, Genesee County, N. Y., and the latter of Pennsylvania. They first settled in Lake County, Ohio, and subsequently removed to LaPorte, Ind. They are now deceased. Nine children have been born of this union, four sons and five daughters, all of whom are living. They bear the names, respectively, of Edwin B., T. Albert, George A., Frances, May and Maude (twins), Addison W., Daisy E. and Nina O.

Politically, Mr. Butt is a sound Republican and a warm defender of the principles of his party. In 1882 he was elected President of the Springfield Athletic Club, which at the time was greatly straightened financially and in debt $700. Mr. Butt assumed charge of affairs and introduced many attractions so that the young men of the city were furnished with a pleasant place of resort and in a large measure kept away from saloons and other objectionable places. At the end of three years under his wise management the debt was liquidated and the club had over $1,000 in the treasury. Mr. Butt was one of the charter members of Anthony Lodge No. 45, F. &, A. M., and belongs to Springfield Chapter No. 48, R. A. M., also Palestine Commandery No. 33, K. T.

Asher F. Bagley, the father of Mrs. Butt was in former years a prominent merchant of Pittsburg, Pa., and at one time a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature from Mercer County. After removing to Ohio he settled in Painesville and engaged in the manufacture of carriages and buggies. Upon his removal to LaPorte, Ind., he extended his business as a carriage manufacturer and engaged in this until his death, in the seventy-seventh year of his age. His wife, Mrs. Elizabeth (Scott) Bagley, died in her seventy-sixth year. Mrs. Butt received careful parental training and a good education and grew up an attractive and intelligent young lady. She has proved herself in all respects the suitable partner of her husband and has preserved in a marked degree the beauty of her younger years. The family residence is a handsome modern structure, with extensive grounds, pleasantly located on Fernscliff Avenue.

*Portrait was included in the original printed volume.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

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