BUTLER, Thomas M.
Past and Present of the City of Rockford & Winnebago County, IL, C. A. Church. Chicago: Clarke, 1905, pp 299-300
Dr. Thomas BUTLER, of Rockford [WInnebago County, IL], who was born 21 Jun 1833 in Lycoming County, PA, was a son of Thomas and Hannah (FARR) BUTLER. In the paternal line he comes of Scotch-Irish ancestry, while in the maternal line he is of English lineage, the FARR family having been founded in America, however, prior to the Revolutionary war. Thomas BUTLER, Sr., was born in the north of Ireland, and came to America when 12 years of age, settling in PA about 1790. He served his country in the war of 1812 as a member of General Hull's Brigade. Following the close of hostilities he returned to PA, and was there married to Hannah FARR, whose people resided near the Potomac River. Their property was destroyed during the progress of war, and the government afterward gave to the family 1,000 acres of land in Lycoming County, PA. Mr. BUTLER became the owner of a farm in that locality, where he made his home until 1854, when he sold his property and came to Winnebago County. Here he purchased a farm in Rockford Township, and continued its further development and improvement up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1857. His wife long survived him, and died in 1891. They were the parents of nine children, three of whom died in PA before the removal of the family to the west. At the present time four sons and two daughters are yet living: John, a resident of Ogle County, IL; William F., who died in 1866; Ann, the wife of O. J. CUMMINGS, of Winnebago County; Thomas M; Bartlett F., also of this county; G. C., who is living in Marshall County, KS; Gillon T., who died at Clarksville, Butler County, IA, in the 1890's; and Margaret E., who is living in Winnebago County.
Thomas M. BUTLER was a student in the district schools of PA, and later attended an academy at Bloomsburg, PA, and afterward the Lewis University. He pursued a scientific course preparatory to entering upon the study of medicine. He rad medicine under the direction of Drs. HILL and BUTLER and later came west with his father. Subsequently he went to Cincinnati, OH, and continuing his preparation for the practice of medicine, was graduated from the Cincinnati Medical College in May 1857. He then located for practice in Rockford, opening an office in this city in connection with J. B. McFATRICH, with whom he remained for about a year. Dr. BUTLER then removed to IA, where he practiced for a time, after which he took up his abode in Jackson County, IL, where he continued in business for some time. He also taught school, and in 1861 he came to Pecatonica, Winnebago County, where he continued in th eactive practice of medicine and surgery for 16 years. In 1876 he was elected clerk of the circuit court, in whcih capacity he served for three terms of four years each, thus spending 12 years in that office, to which he was chosen as the candidate of the republican party. In 1888 he removed to Milwaukee, WI, where he followed his profession for two years, and later spent five years as a practitioner in Detroit. In 1895 he returned to Rockford, where he again opened an office, but about two years ago he retired from active life. He had enjoyed a large practice in many of the towns in which he had been located, and by careful husbanding of his resources had gained a handsome competence.
Dr. BUTLER was married in Pecatonica, 01 Sep 1864, to Miss Adelaide A. PROUTY, a daughter of William C. PROUTY, who came to Rockford in 1863, and was engaged in merchandising here until the time of his death in 1878. He was born in Brattleboro, VT, in 1844, and on coming to the west settled in Pecatonica, where he was engaged in business until his removal to Rockford. His widow long survived him, and died in 1892, at the age of 80 years. Dr. and Mrs. BUTLER have had two children: Anna C., who was born in Pecatonica, 07 May 1866, and is living at home; and W. H. P. BUTLER, who was born 13 Oct 1867, and was married in 1891 to Miss Mary BAKER. He died 28 Nov 1894. He had served as clerk with his father in the circuit court, and in his business career was connected with Lewis LAKE and afterward with the Holland Abstract Company. He had one child, Norman H., who is now 14 years old.
Dr. BUTLER is a Mason, belonging to A. W. Rawlson lodge of Pecatonica, and he has also taken the Royal Arch and Knight Templar degrees. He served as prelate in the commandery for ten years, and was also eminent commander, and in his life has exemplified the beneficent spirit of the craft, which is based upon mutual helpfulness and brotherly kindness. In politics he has been a republican since the organization of the party. Dr. BUTLER, in the practice of his profession, rendered valuable service to his fellowmen. Without capital, wealth or influence to aid him in his professional career, he placed his dependence upon his native intellectual force, his laudable ambition and his unfaltering energy, and these proved an excellent capital. His sucess resulted entirely from his close application and capability, and he is well known in Winnebago County as one who justly merits the esteem and confidence of all with whom he has been brought in contact.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.