By Rev. T. E. Spilman

This little work was undertaken without any model before the mind of the Author which it was his intention accurately to follow.

The object was to prepare a brief outline history of those in Butler Grove Township who had passed the age of fifty years.

Such a sketch was desired as would preserve to posterity the date and place of birth, the different residences, the time and place of marriage, names of children etc. of those who had reached the age above mentioned.

As we advanced with the work, other ideas than our original ones presented themselves, and as a consequence the narratives in the latter part of the book are a little more full than those at the commencement.

In such a multiplicity of dates, gathered from such a multiplicity of sources, notwithstanding great care has been taken, we can scarcely believe that these sketches will be free from all mistakes. We have inserted four pages of blank ruled paper in order that any additional remarks may be made, or any mistakes corrected with a pen.

That these brief sketches may assist in keeping fresh the memories of parents, and cherishing their names when they sleep in the dust is the fond hope of your sincere friend, T. E Spilman.

To the children of those whose histories are herein briefly given are these Sketches respectfully and prayerfully dedicated.

"Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."

A Brief History of the Village of Butler

In gathering up the scraps of history contained in the following pages we have been obliged to rely largely upon the memories of persons who have been long residents of the community. Some of the dates, therefore, which we give, may be only approximates to truth; some names may be omitted, and some facts not accurately recorded. Yet, with the pains which we have taken to secure accuracy, we believe that following statements may be relied upon as an outline history free from any serious error.

The Village of Butler derived its name from the fact that many of its earliest settlers came from Butler County, Ohio.

The Village was built upon land belonging to William Seward, and laid out by him about the year 1855.

In the first survey, which was by James Starr, eighty-six lots were laid out. Some time afterward the most of the remaining lots which constitute the Village were surveyed by a Mr. Bayless.

The town was incorporated about the year 1865.

The first School-house built in the District was of logs, and built in 1849, near the residence of Geo. Seward. It was afterwards purchased by Dennis Crowley, removed to the village, and now constitutes a part of his residence.

The first School-house erected in the village, was built about the year 1857, by John H. McGowan. About eight years afterward ail addition was made to it so that it consisted of two rooms.

When there were more pupils than could be accommodated in these two rooms, the deficiency was met by securing a private room for a portion of the school until the year 1863, when, at the cost of about $10,000 the present neat and commodious building was erected, which is free from debt.

We give below, according to the best of our information the names of those who have taught school in the Village of Butler.

We have not attempted to fix upon the dates of the service of those who taught in the earlier history of the Village, but give names as we have received them from those who are familiar with the history of the place.

This record commences about the year 1857.

Teachers of the Butler Public School

Charles Seward, George Paisley, Rev. Daniel Lee, Rev. Mize, Edwin Keeler, Charles Parks, Jesse C. Barrett.

We have dates from the year 1863. The School term generally commences in one year and closes in the next. During the term there may have been assistant teachers who taught but a short time, but we mention their names in connection with the year in which the school commenced.

In 1863, Andrew Waters.
In 1864, James W. Colvin.
In 1865, Jesse Barrett and Miss Abbie Cunningham.
In 1866, E. Hodson and Miss Jane Hickman.
In 1867, S. T. Sanford and Miss Jane Hickman.
In 1868, J. C. Barrett, Miss Jane Hickman and Miss Lucy Stuckey.
In 1869, J. C. Barrett, Mrs Helen Colvin and Miss Lucy Stuckey.
In 1870, Miss Fannie Kiddoo, Mrs. Helen Colvin and Miss Lucy Stuckey.
In 1871, M. V. Zimmerman, Mrs. Helen Colvin and Miss Lucy StucKey
In 1872, George B. Mitchel, Mrs. Helen Colvin and Miss Florence Seward.
In 1873, C. L. Howard, Miss M. E. Richardson and Miss Alice Hickman.
In 1874, R. M. Henderson, Mrs. Mary B. Mitchel and Miss Etta C. Doerr.
In 1875, L. B. Whitham, Miss Mary E. Smith and Miss Sylvinia Gardner.
In 1876, William S. Cress, Miss Alice Hickman, Miss Sylvinia Gardner and Miss Susie Hostetter.
In 1877, George A. Franklin, Miss Camilla Jenkins, Miss Sylvinia Gardner and Miss Annie Anderson.
In 1878, Geo. A. Franklin, Miss Cammilla Jenkins, Miss Sylvinia Gardner and Miss A. E. Luderman.

Teachers of Subscription Schools

Charles Seward, Miss Sarah Casey, Miss Carrie Lockhart, Miss Frncina Sargent, Miss Mary Pogue, Miss Mary Pool, Mrs. Maria Brooks, Mrs. M. M. Stuckey, Miss Fannie Seward, Miss Jane Hickman, Mrs. Helen Colvin, Miss Fannie Kiddoo, C. L. Howard, Miss Stroud, T. J. McGrath, Mrs. J. B. Christy, Miss Millie Stuckey, Miss Jennie Van Doren.

Names of Butler Merchants, Mechanics, Physicians, etc.

Dry Goods, Grocery, Boot & Shoe Merchants

William Wood, Samuel Haywood, Thomas Wallace, Wallace & Nelson, Alexander Goudy, Coudy & Mehagen, Thomas Morrison, C. Meisner, G. Geist, Henry Wilson, S. M. Hedges & Bro., J. R. Roth, Staten & Wickersham, J. Baum & Co., L. D. Washburn, A. W. Marshall, Cheatham & Bros., A. H. McCallister, Fred Arnsted, Mrs. Susan Gunderman, Watkins & Mackey, A. B. Seward & Co., J. H. McGown, Brown & Bro., Cannon & Williams, Williams & Colvin, Colvin & Son, McReynolds & Garrett, McGowan & Watkins.

Grain Merchants

Wm. Wood, Samuel Haywood, Charles Condy, Frank Lyford & McGill, M. McMurtry, J. H. Haywood, John Nelson, Alex. Hoxey, G. D. Brookman, Kirkanbaum & Co., Thomas Elliman & Bro., Dickerson & Bro., Capt. Wm. Young, John G. Moore, H. & J. S. Weaver, Mr. Hay, (bought for Soule & Gibson, Indianapolis, Ind.,) George Vanneevar, Brown & Bro., (bought for Soule & Gibson,) A. B. Davis, Davis & Elliman, John Noonan, L. Washburn, Brown & Bro.

Hay Press

The Hay Press of Butler was built by J. B. Christy, about the year 1871.

Hay Merchants

J. B. Christy, S. M. Haywood, J. H. McGowan, and J. R, Mitchel.


William Wilson, Henry Wilson, S. M. Haywood, J. H. McGowan, Joseph Chenneworth, Milton Chenneworth, Charles Coudy, Charles Vorhees, George Vansandt, Jerome Vansandt, John Hostetter, Athan Cannon, Marcus Cannon, M. M. Stuckey, Wm. Brookman, H. H. Titcomb, T. J. Watkins, Charles Westcott, William Wharton.

Cabinet Makers

Carl Brell, Conrad Schroeder, Wm. Vansandt.

Wagon Makers

John Born, Hermann Tetzlaff, George Cooper.

Harness Makers

John Fehr, John Vrooman & Bedford Stanley, Charles E. Moore, Alexander Mutchler, Bedford Stanley.

Tinners & Hardware Merchants

Fred Schmidt, Tinner & Hardware merchant. Thomas Kessinger, Hardware merchant.


John Cunningham, John Cunningham & George Baker, L. Hoffman, August Roth, B. F. Rhodes, John Strunk, Thomas Kessinger, J. N. Wood.


Wm. Weber, Fred Klemme, Hamilton Hose, John Hose.


Robert Bryce, Joseph Rogers, J. C. Sammons, Balford Richmond, Lewis Schardon, Peter Simons.


James Brookman & Bryant McReynolds, Wallace Nelson, & Thompson, Fred Luddeke, John Van Doren, Fred Anderson & Amasa Washburn, and Henrv Stanley.

Shoe Makers

McReynolds & J. C. Railing, L. D. Washburn, Manufacturer and Merchant. Christain Keachley, Hermann Wygant, Frank Shuford. Claudus Hough, Rollond Rakow, Frank Shuford (2nd time.)

Proprietors of the Butler Hotel

Bryant McReyriolds, Richard Barrett, Mrs. Elnora Duke, Mrs. Mary Pollard, Thomas Kessinger, William Brookman, Mrs. Menerva Steere, J. W. Webb, Wm. Brookman (2nd time,) Henderson Howard.

Post Masters

Henry Richmond, Samuel Haywood, Alexander Coudy, Bryant McReynolds, J. H. McGowan.

Dress Makers & Milliners

Mrs. Lewis Vansandt, Dress-maker & Milliner. Miss Carrie Lockhart, Dress-maker. Mrs. Cordelia Schardon, Milliner. Mrs. Laura Gray, Milliner. Miss Annie Boyd, Dress-maker & Milliner.


Charles Witherspoon and J. W. Webb,

Justices of the Peace

Henry Richmond, James Ghaston, George Burnap, Wm. Wood, James Judd, Wm. Elliman, G. D. Brookman, Jerome Kendrick, A. W. Marshall.

Police Magistrates

Henry Richmond, James Judd, J. B. Christy, and George W. Brown.


D. W. Manners, Wm. Wharton, M. M. Stuckey. John Van Doren, Charles Wright, Daniel Bost.

Village Clerks

D. W. Manners, J. H. McGowan, James Judd, J. E. Hickman, A. W. Marshall.

Cheese Factory

The Butler Cheese Factory is owned by a Stock Company called The Mont Cabanne Creamery Co. It was built in the year 1875, at a cost of about $3,000, with apparatus costing about $1,600.


Charles Harper, __ Sargent, J. B. White, Jesse Stick, C. R. Ross, Daniel Schardon, P. L. Brown, Benjamin Perlee, J. H. Kester, John Enlow, A. Gilford.

The physicians at the present time are Charles Harper, Daniel Schardon, and A. Gifford.


Ross & Brown, E. L. Thomas, Frank Seward, Charles Slayback, Wm. Diddle, G. W. Parr, W. A. Wesner.

Express Agents

Thomas R; Wallace, A. R. Fink, Coudy & Mehagen, James Judd, Thomas Elliman, William Elliman.


In 1866 a Store belonging to J. R. Roth, near the Rail Road, and also an adjacent Drinking Saloon, were destroyed by fire.

A Plaining Mill, located in the western part of the town belonging to D. W. Manners was burned about the year 1867. It had been in operation about one year.

In the Spring of 1875 a small dwelling house belonging to Wm. Vansandt near Robert Bryce's Blacksmith Shop was destroyed by fire.

Concerning a destructive fire in the early part of Oct. 1877 we copy the following minute from the Revised Village Ordinances of Dec. 1877.

"On the night of the first, or morning of the second October 1877, a fire broke out in the Buildings adjoining Seward's Hall and continued its destructive work until all the Buildings and the Hall containing all the Village records, papers and other property belonging to the Village were consumed by the devouring element against all the efforts made to save them."

On the 31st of Oct. 1877, the private dwelling of Charles Casselberry in the north-western part of the town was destroyed by fire.


The only Firms engaged in General Merchandise in Butler at the present time, (Sept. 1878) are those of Brown & Bro., and McGowan & Watkins.

George W. Brown commenced business as a Grocery & Queens-ware merchant in Butler, in the building known as Haywood's Old Stand, in April 1867. In a few months he and his brother, Charles O. Brown, entered into partnership constituting the Firm known as Brown & Bro. In the early part of the year 1869 Brown & Bro. purchased the Haywood building, at that time belonging to Moses Berry, and continued to do business in it until 1873. In 1871 they added to their Stock Dry Goods, Boots & Shoes. In May 1873 they purchased what was called the McReynolds property nearly opposite the Butler Hotel, and in Sept. of the same year moved their goods to this building, adding to their stock Ready made Clothing. They have recently enlarged, remodeled and repainted this Store, adding much both to its convenience and appearance.

J. H. McGowan commenced business in Butler as a Merchant with Samuel Haywood in the year 1865. He was associated with Mr. Haywood for about one year. During this year he was appointed Post Master. After dissolving partnership with Mr. Haywood he clerked a year or two for the Firm of A. B. Seward & Co., keeping the Post Office in their Store. He then removed to the small building south of the Hotel owned by Thomas Coivin, and now used as an Office by A. W. Marshall, Justice of the Peace. Here he kept the Post Office, Stationary, School Books &c., until about the year 1867, when he built the house north of the Hotel now used as a Shoe & Harness Shop, to which he removed the Post Office and his merchandise. In this building he remained until he entered into partnership in 1872 with Thomas J. Watkins.

Thomas J. Watkins and George Mackey commenced business as General Grocery Merchants in Butler, in the Spring of 1866, occupying the building belonging to L. D. Washburn, and standing a little to the south of the residence of C. O. Brown.

T. J. Watkins continued in business with George Mackey about one year, but a portion of this time he spent working at the carpenter's trade. He then clerked for the Firm of S. M. Hedges & Bro., for about five years, with the exception of a few months, during which time he sold goods for A. B. Seward & Co.

In the Spring of 1872 he and J. H. McGowan bought out the Firm of Hedges & Bro. and formed a partnership in General merchandise, under the name of McGowan & Watkins, and have ever since occupied the building formerly owned by Hedges & Bro. J. H. McGowan still remains Post Master, and has the Office in this building.


Butler M. E. Church

The M. E. Church of Butler was organized tinder the ministerial labors of Rev. Boon, a local preacher, about the year 1856.

The original members were as follows:

Mrs. Alexander Gray, Moses Berry, Mrs. Eliza Berry, Mrs. J. M. Ghaston, Mr. Thomas Wood, Wm. Williamson, Mrs. Eliza Williamson, James Wood, and his wife and Mrs. Benaiah Kelly.

Its pulpit has been regularly supplied by the following ministers:

Revs. J. E. Lindley, __ Aldridge, ___ Cabric, R. W. Travis, T. S. Johnson, A. E. Orr, J. H. Holloway, W. F. Lowe, M. M. Cooper, J. D. Bodkin, D. Stubblefield, S. T. McIlheren, George Barrett, R. M. Beech, J. W. Lapham, and E. D. Randle.

The Church Edifice in which the congregation now worship, was erected in the year 1863 at a cost of about $2,350.

Presbyterian Church

The Butler Presbyterian Church was organized in the School House in Butler, Aug. 29th, 1858, by a Committee consisting of Rev. R. M. Roberts, Minister, T. W. Washburn, M. D., and J. T. Eccles, Elders. The original members were fourteen in number and their names were as follows:

Mrs. H. K. Harper, Mrs. Catharine Coudy, Israel Seward, William Seward, Mrs. Mary Cunningham, Mrs. Susana Cunningham, Mrs. Martha Burnap, Robert Bryce, S. M. Hedges,
Mrs. Margaret Seward, Mrs. Deliverance Hugg, Mrs. Mary McReynolds, Minerva Mrs. Steere, Mrs. Sarah Ware.

The names of the Ministers who have statedly supplied the Presbyterian Church are as follows:

Rev. R. M. Roberts, Rev. W. L. Mitchel, Rev. __ Todd, Mr. Cornelius V. Monfort, Licentiate, Rev. __ Longheed, Mr. Moses Paisley, Licentiate, Rev. T. E. Spilman.

The Church Edifice belonging to the Presbyterian Congregation was built at the cost of about $2,200 and dedicated to the service of God, July 3d, 1864, Rev. T. W. Hynes preaching the dedication sermon, and Rev. R. M. Roberts assisting in the service.

Baptist Church

About the year 1868 a Baptist Church, consisting of about thirteen members, was organized in Butler, by Rev. __ Johnson, and enjoyed for a time the ministerial labors of Rev. Mize, then teaching school in Butler.

No efforts, of which we are aware, have been made for some years to revive or retain the organization.

We give as, follows, a brief account of the other Churches in the Township, outside of the Village.

Cherry Grove M. E. Church

We find that as early as the year 1843, there was existing a church with a considerable membership in the community now called Cherry Grove, three and a half miles N. W. of Butler. Just what its membership was, and how long it had existed as a Church we have not ascertained. But from some cause, probably deaths and removals, this Church so declined that in a few years there remained of it but a feble remnant. About the year 1852 it was reorganized, and probably for the first time, elected regular Trustees, and assumed the name of Cherry Grove Church.

The following, so far as we are able to give them, are the names of those who assumed the responsibilities of membership at the re-organization:

John Nail, Mrs. Martha Nail, Nathan Nail, Mr. Sarah Nail, Mrs. Susan Williams, Anderson Walker and wife, Menassah Camp and wife, Wm. Williams and wife, James Roberts and wife and Mrs. Sarah Baker.

The congregation, in an early day, worshiped in a private dwelling house upon the farm now belonging to D. C. Burris. The building now known as Cherry Grove Church was erected about the year 1856.

Montgomery M. E. Church

five miles north of Hillsboro, and about the same distance N. E. of Butler, was organized in the year 1836, and consisted of the following members:

James Osburn and wife, Michael Webber, Mrs. Sarah Webber, Henry Nichols, Mrs. Ellen Nichols, Joseph Webber, Mrs. Eunice L. Webber, James Wiley, Mrs. Sarah Wiley, Nicholas Webber and wife, Albert Dryer and Mrs. Eunice L. Dryer.

The Church was organized under the pastoral labors of Rev. __ Hale.

For some years the congregation worshiped in a School House. The neat and comfortable Church Edifice in which they now worship was built in the year 1872. The dedication sermon was preached by Rev. C. P. Baldwin.

Ware's Grove Church

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ware's Grove was organized Dec. 24th. 1860 under the pastoral labors of Rev. J. Livengood.

The names of the original members are as follows: Jacob W. Scherer, Mrs. Electa Scherer, Henry Misenheimer, Mrs. Rachel Misenheirner, Mrs. Mary Scherer, Mrs. Rebecca A. Cress.

The Church Edifice in which the congregation now worships was built in 1862, and dedicated in Dec. of the same year, the dedication sermon being preached by Rev. George A. Bowers.
In Memoriam
Since writing the brief memoirs of John S. Fogleman and Grandberry Williams, contained in the foregoing pages, these two persons have departed this life.
John S. Fogleman died near Butler, Ill., Sept. 5th, 1878, in the 74th year of his age.
Grandberry Williams died near Butler, Ill., Sept. 18th, 1878, in the 69th year of his age.

Extracted 2021 Aug 17 by Norma Hass from Semi-Centenarians of Butler Grove Township, Montgomery County, Illinois, by Rev. T. E. Spilman, published in 1878, pages 124, 129-141.

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