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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Butler

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1343-1345 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The pages of this work illustrate the lives of many successful men who have risen from poverty to opulence and influence, but of none can it be said more truthfully than of Charles Henry Butler, that his work from the beginning to the present time has been actively creative, public-spirited, inspired by a generous, proud and loyal heart, and useful to the last degree. In comparing the humble beginnings of many years ago with the magnificent results of the present time, we can but be struck with the commanding force of energetic perseverance in a worthy cause. Mr. Butler is the same unprententious, earnest man that he was then, but in the meantime he has abundantly verified the good opinions of his friends.

(I) William George Butler, father of Charles Henry Butler, was born at Broadalbin, Fulton county, New York, July 10, 1827, and died during the progress of the civil war. He was a carpenter by trade, and descended from sturdy Scotch ancestry. Although his children were all young at the outbreak of the civil war, and had lost their mother but a short time previous, Mr. Butler, who was imbued with the true spirit of patriotism, felt that the country had need of the services of every man able to fight in her defence. He accordingly made arrangements to have his young children cared for by others for a time, and offered his services to his country. He was enrolled at Mayfield, New York, August 27, 1862, for a term of three years, as a corporal in Company D, One Hundred and Fifty-third Regiment, New York Infantry Volunteers, and was appointed sergeant in August, 1863. While in active service he was stricken down by an attack of typhoid fever to which he succumbed November 3, 1863, at Camp Hospital, Capitol Hill Barracks, Washington, District of Columbia. He had served bravely and gallantly, and his comrades had his body embalmed and sent to his late home for burial. He married, November 28, 1848, Mary Walker, who was a descendant of Yankees, who had settled in New England early in the colonization of this country, and presumably had come from England. She was born at Broadalbin, Fulton county, New York, November 10, 1831, died at Vail Mills, New York, March 26, 1860. Children:

  1. Caroline, married Andrew Hutchins; children:
    1. Sadie, married Roland Whitney;
    2. Bessie, married ———— Stoddard.
  2. Archibald G., married Caroline Hastings; children:
    1. Alice, married William T. Klohck;
    2. Florence;
    3. Charles;
    4. Helen;
    5. William;
    they live in Gloversville, New York.
  3. Charles H., (see forward).
  4. Frederick.
  5. William.

(II) Charles Henry, son of William George Butler, now of Johnstown, New York, was born in Mayfield, near Vail Mills, Fulton county, New York, November 12, 1854. He was a very young child when he lost his mother, and was practically brought up by strangers. His education was acquired in the district schools of the town of Mayfield, the village schools at Vail Mills, and he had one term each at the Broadalbin school and the Union Seminary at Gloversville. When his father made the arrangements for the care of his young children, Charles Henry was adopted by a farmer and his wife in the town of Mayfield, Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Phillips. He remained with them until ill health obliged them to dispose of their farm, when Mr. Butler commenced teaching at the age of eighteen years. He was engaged in this occupation for a period of three terms, then finding that he would be able to get on in the world more rapidly along commercial lines, he entered the store of James L. Hagadorn as a clerk in the early part of 1877. In October of the following year he resigned this position in order to become editor and manager of the Broadalbin Herald, the rights of which he had purchased from Rev. R. G. Adams. Under his able management and direction the circulation of the paper had largely increased and matters were in a most satisfactory condition, when the terrible fire which wiped out a large part of the business part of the village, also destroyed the plant of the Herald. Prior to this catastrophe he had purchased the insurance business of Samuel D. Demarest, and he concluded to henceforth give this his almost undivided attention. He, however, became the Broadalbin correspondent of the Herald, William J. Kline, of the Amsterdam Democrat, having bought the good will and subscription list, until 1880. In that year he associated himself in a partnership with James P. Rosa, who was at the time engaged in the general mercantile business at Vail Mills, and together they purchased the hardware and stove business of William Beers at Broadalbin. Five years later Mr. Butler purchased the interest held by Mr. Rosa in this concern, and continued the business alone until March, 1891, when he sold it to Hagadorn & Vail, Mr. Vail having been in his employ for some time previous to the sale.

In May, 1888, Mr. Butler was elected as president of the Broadalbin Knitting Company, an office in which his executive ability was capably displayed until January, 1893. In May, 1891, he was elected to the office of treasurer of the company to fill the unexpired term of the late George O. Dickinson, and was the incumbent of both offices until his resignation from them in January, 1893, when he entered upon the discharge of the duties of county clerk. When this time arrived, the directors of the Broadalbin Knitting Company adopted the following resolutions: "Whereas, The directors of the Broadalbin Knitting Company, Limited, desire to acknowledge their appreciation of the faithful labors of our late president, C. H. Butler, during his connection with this company, Resolved, That we tender to him our sincere thanks for his energy and tireless efforts to make the Broadalbin Knitting Company, Limited, a success, and we also desire to express our regret that the Village of Broadalbin is to lose him as a citizen, and all unite in wishing him success in his new field of labor." The paid-in capital stock of the Broadalbin Knitting Company was seventy-five thousand dollars, and during the last year of the presidency and treasurership of Mr. Butler, the annual report of the company showed net profits of over twenty per cent on the capital stock, and a cash dividend of ten per cent was declared and paid to the stockholders. Mr. Butler was one of the organizers and promoters of the Fern Dale Cemetery in 1898, which is located between Johnstown and Gloversville. This company has already paid a two per cent cash dividend to its stockholders. Mr. Butler was elected as its first president, and re-elected the three following years. He was also one of the organizers of the Diana Knitting Company at Johnstown in 1900, was elected as a member of the board of directors, and also as a member of the executive committee. He was one of the leading spirits in the organization of the board of trade of the city of Johnstown in 1900, was elected director-at-large, to take the place of the late Charles Schoenfeldt, and was re-elected at the annual meeting, which took place in December of the same year.

His political career has been a notable one, showing, as it does, his personal as well as his political popularity. He was nominated for the office of county clerk for Fulton county for a term of three years in 1892, and was elected with a plurality of one thousand and eighty votes. In 1895 he was renominated without opposition, and elected with a plurality of two thousand four hundred and eight votes. In 1898 he was again nominated, and again without opposition, and was elected with a plurality of two thousand two hundred and twenty-eight votes, the largest of any candidate on the county ticket in that year. In 1901 Mr. Butler had formed a business association under the firm name of Karg, Tomlinson & Butler, manufacturers of gloves, but this was discontinued at the end of about two years. In 1904 he started in the shoe business with John Koller. His religious affiliations are with the Presbyterian church, and he is a member of the following organizations: Colonial Club; Lotus Club of Johnstown; Lodge No. 808, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Johnstown; member and assistant recording secretary of the Johnstown Historical Society; honorary member of the Keck Zouaves, of Johnstown.

Mr. Butler married, February 20, 1884, Kate, daughter of James T. and Mary Bradford, of Broadalbin. Children:

  1. Mabel Candace, born October 8, 1886;
  2. Blaine Raymond, February 9, 1890.

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