Born: 1789-04-02 Pulaski County, Kentucky
Died: 1856-06-24 Monmouth, Oregon
Flourished: 1830-1853 Warren County, Illinois
Butler married Rachel Cook Murphy in 1811, and together they had 10 children. Butler served during the War of 1812 as a major, and subsequently moved to Warren County, Kentucky, in 1816. In 1830, Butler moved his family to Warren County, Illinois, where he became an early and prominent settler. After surveying what would become the town of Monmouth in 1831, Butler also served as the town's mayor and the county's sheriff and county commissioner. He helped establish the first school in the county in 1831, and in 1832, he served as captain of a battalion of mounted volunteers raised in Warren County for the Black Hawk War. Butler was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1834, and to the Illinois Senate in 1836 and 1838. Butler was primarily a farmer by occupation, and his farm was fairly large. By 1850, he claimed over $12,000 in real estate, and his household included three farm laborers. In 1853, Butler and members of his family formed a wagon train to move west, eventually settling in Monmouth, Oregon.
Gravestone, Butler Davidson Cemetery, Monmouth, OR; "Guide to the Butler Papers," Western Oregon University Archives, Monmouth, Oregon, http://digitalcommons.wou.edu/butler-peter/; Past & Present of Warren County(Chicago: H. F. Kett, 1877), 109, 113-14, 130, 141; History of McDonough County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Continental Historical, 1885), 270; John Clayton, comp., Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 204, 205, 206; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Warren County, IL, 16.