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D. Clinton Butler

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D. Clinton Butler

Posted: 24 Feb 2006 9:48PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Butler, Smith & Campbell
"History of Huntington County, Indiana"1914 By Frank S. Bash pg. 685-86

D. Clinton Butler. One of the old and honored families of Indiana, which has been identified with the history of this state since 1806, is that bearing the name of Butler whose members have taken honorable positions in the various walks of life and have always ably filled them. A worthy representative of this family is found in the person of D. Clinton Butler, locomotive engineer in the service of the Erie Railroad, with a run from Huntington, Indiana, to Chicago, Illinois, and a resident of the former city. Mr. Butler, who is a descendant of Indiana pioneers on both sides of his house, was born in Whitler county, Indiana, November 10, 1862, and is the only son of Beale and Letitia (Smith) Butler.

The Butler family was of Quaker origin and was founded in Indiana by the great-grandparents of D. Clinton Butler, who came to this commonwealth many years before it became a state, in 1806. The grandfather, William Butler, was born in Georgia. The maternal grandfather of Mr. Butler was John Smith, a native of Virginia, who came to Indiana about the year 1820 and settled in Wayne county. Both the Butler and Smith families located in the green woods, their first houses being of log and very primitive in character. Neighbors were few and far between, but Indians were still numerous, although inclined to be friendly. All kinds of wild game, deer, bear and elk, were plentiful, and the family larder could be easily supplied by a few well-directed shots almost from the cabin door. While the country was new, the people were all on an equality, were at all times friendly and neighborly, hospitable and ready to help one another. The parents of Mr. Butler were born in Wayne county, the father in August, 1838, and the mother in May, 1841, and there both spent their lives in agricultural pursuits, Beale Butler passing away in 1905 and the mother one year before.

D. Clinton Butler acquired his early education in the district schools, and grew up as a farmer’s son, his work in the field giving him bodily strength and a good constitution. On leaving the district schools he went to Clarinda, Iowa, where he attended school for two years, and then returned to the home farm on which he remained until his eighteenth year. At that time he was attracted, like so many country boys, by the life of a railroad man, and he accordingly sought and secured a position with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad with which he remained one year. On July 8, 1883, he became a fireman on the Erie Railroad, and held that position on one of the first freight engines to pass over that line, running from Huntington to Chicago. He continued in this capacity until December 10, 1886 when he was promoted to freight engineer and still later to engineer on a passenger run. During his long and faithful service with this company, Mr. Butler has carried many thousands of people on his train, and has never had a serious accident. He is one of his company’s most reliable and trustworthy men, and has the unqualified confidence of his employers.

In 1888, Mr. Butler was married to Miss Annetta Campbell, of Huntington, a daughter of William I. Campbell, an old and well-known citizen of Huntington, and Sarah (Morehead) Campbell. To this union there have been born three sons and a daughter, as follows: K. Dean, now a resident of the Pacific coast, in Oregon; Mildred G., who married A. A. Piper and is a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio; Ben I. and Melville Clinton, both now students in the high school at Huntington.

Mr. Butler is a prominent Mason, belonging to Amity Lodge No. 483, F. & A. M.; Huntington Chapter No. 27, R. A. M., and Huntington Commandery No. 35, K. T. He also holds membership in the Elks Lodge No. 805, and is a member of the Commercial Club of Huntington. In politics he is a stanch republican and has taken an active part in local affairs, often representing his county as delegate to state conventions. He has often been solicited to become a candidate for local honors, but has refused. Mr. Butler has a neat and substantial residence on Henry street, one of the best resident streets in the city of Huntington, located on the South side, and has a country home at Bass Lake.

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