biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
P. G. BUTLER, one of the early pioneers of the Hawkeye State, who located in Lee County, Iowa, in 1837, resides upon section 4, in Jefferson Township, this county. He was born in Onondaga County, N. Y., in 1820, and is a son of Martin and Cynthia (Potter) Butler, both of whom were natives of Connecticut. After coming to the West he became engaged on river improvements for the Government in the summer of 1838, after which he ran a sawmill at St. Francisville, Mo., for three years. In 1849 he came to Mahaska County, and entered 280 acres of land, then returned to Lee County and engaged in farming till 1853, when he went to California, making the trip across the plains with an ox-team, being five months on the road. Mr. Butler remained in California two years, engaged in herding cattle. He then returned by water on the steamer Golden Gate, and North Star, via the Isthmus of Panama, and was twenty days making the voyage from San Francisco to New York City, it being one month from the time he left San Francisco until he reached his home. The voyage was without adventure, the only rough water they encountered being the Gulf Stream. After arriving in New York Mr. Butler prceeded to Philadelphia, to have his gold assayed. Hee then returned to Jefferson Township, where he has since lived, and has one of the best farms in Mahaska County. In 1884 our subject made a trip to California by way of the Central Pacific Railroad, and was only five days on the road, the difference being very great between five days and five months, which was required for his first trip. He now says he would not cross the plains again with an ox-team for all the gold in California. After this last trip to California he remained one year. Mr. Butler was first married in 1841, to Miss Alvira Lampson, a native of New York, and daughter of Andrew and Paturah (Campbell) Lampson, who were also natives of the same State. Three children blest this union, one son and two daughters: Riley enlisted in the 33d Iowa Infantry, was taken prisoner on the Red River, in Texas, and died June 23, 1864, in Tyler (Tex.) prison, aged eighteen years; Livona is the wife of Watson Coder, of Washington County, Kan.; Lodoma became the wife of M. S. Harrold, of San Joaquin County, Cal., a prominent ranchman and miller, a large wheat-grower, and the owner of 25,000 acres of land. Mrs. Alvira Butler died Aug. 3, 1851, aged thirty-four years. Mr. Butler was again married, Oct. 5, 1851, to Mrs. Mary A. (Harrold) Taylor, the widow of John M. Taylor, by whom she had two children: Samuel, now in Oregon, and Margaret, the wife of Nelson Matthew. By the second marriage of our subject, there were five children: Jenny Lind, wife of E. M. Wilson, of Garfield Township; William M., in Dennis, N. M., where he has been engaged in railroading five years in the employ of the A., T. & S. F. R. R.; Alvira J., of Nebraska; Louisa, now at home; Aaron died when six months old. In 1882 Misses Alvira and Louisa Butler went to Colorado, where they remained two years, then returned east as far as Red Willow County, Neb., where they entered a tract of land, and Feb. 14, 1884, plowed the first furrow, and at once commenced to improve the claim. They have since paid for the same, securing the Government patent. As a matter of course, both feel proud of their achievement, and well they may, as with their own hands the greater part of the work was done. Mrs. Butler died Dec. 26, 1886, of heart disease. The main object of the visit of Mr. Butler to California was for the benefit of his wife's health, but the trip was in vain. Mr. Butler is the owner of 390 acres of land, nearly all of which is under cultivation. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, and was a member of the County Board of Supervisors seven years. He has also held the offices of Justice of the Peace, Township Trustee and Township Clerk.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy