Butler, William

Born: 1797-12-15 Adair County, Kentucky

Died: 1876-01-11 Springfield, Illinois

William Butler served as a messenger during the War of 1812, delivering communications from the Kentucky Governor Isaac Shelby to General William Henry Harrison in the field. After working as a deputy clerk of the circuit court of Adair County and later as a clerk on a steamboat, Butler purchased a farm and settled in Sangamon County, Illinois, in 1828. On December 18, 1832, he married Elizabeth Rickard, and the couple had three children. On March 19, 1836, Stephen T. Logan, judge of the First Judicial Circuit, appointed Butler as clerk of the Sangamon County Circuit Court, a position he held until March 22, 1841. Butler was an active Whig and later joined the Republican party. In August 1859, Governor Bissell appointed Butler as state treasurer and in 1860 he was re-elected for two more years.

History of Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1881), 520-21; John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 165; Joseph Wallace, Past and Present of the City of Springfield and Sangamon County (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1904), 2:1077-78; Illinois Daily State Journal (Springfield), 12 January 1876, 4:2; Gravestone, Oak Ridge Cemetery, Sangamon County, IL. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.