MRS. MARY A. BUTCHER is a resident of section 23, township 16, range 13, and is a native of Pike County, Ohio, where she was born Feb. 16, 1826. She was a daughter of Thomas R. and Sarah (Boiler) Butcher. Her father was a native of Pennsylvania, and her mother was also born in that State. Her father was a soldier in the War of 1812. He enlisted at the beginning of the war under the general call for troops, and remained in the army until the close of hostilities.
Mrs. Butcher's parents were among the very first settlers of Pike County, Ohio, and lived there until their death. They were well-to-do farmers, and reared a family of five children, of whom the subject of this sketch is the only survivor. She was reared to womanhood in her native county and State. She received her education in the early log cabin subscription schools, and, of course, the learning she obtained was necessarily through difficulties that now would seem almost insurmountable. It may be pessimistic to indulge in the thought that the youth of two generations ago, or even of one, were constructed of different material from those of today, but it is no flight of fancy to record that simple fact that our fathers and mothers would have been many times discouraged in their search for knowledge, had they not been built of the sterner stuff that makes true men and women. In their day there were but few sources of amusement, and not many ways to divert one's attention from hard, dull work. The youth of the present generation ought to be thankful for the advantages they possess, and, as they read the histories of their ancestors, glean therefrom profitable lessons.
Mrs. Butcher was married Dec. 29, 1850, in Pike County, Ohio, to Adam Butcher, a native of the Buckeye State, and whose birth occurred Jan. 20, 1826. He was a son of John and Sarah Butcher, who were also natives of Ohio, their ancestors all being of German descent. Mrs. Butcher was the mother of nine children, six of whom are living: Roland C. lives in Colorado; Royal is a resident of Christian County, Ill.; Josiah lives in Morgan County, while George, Albert, and Ida are at home. Mr. Butcher and wife emigrated to Morgan County in 1851. Their journey from Pike County, Ohio, consumed nineteen days. They landed in Jacksonville, Ill. Their means of transportation was by a "prairie schooner' drawn by two teams. They were accompanied by two other families, making a party of about a dozen persons in all. Mr. Butcher rented a farm soon after his arrival in Morgan County, and continued to do so for five years, when he purchased a farm of a quarter section of land, where his widow now resides. He paid about $30 per acre for this land, and afterward bought forty acres more. As a matter of course Mr. and Mrs. Butcher were obliged to live economically until they obtained their start in the world, and the lot of a pioneer of Illinois was theirs. Mr. Butcher died Jan. 5, 1883. He was one of the leading citizens of his township, and enjoyed an extended acquaintance. Politically, he was a Democrat, with Greenback proclivities, but, being of a modest disposition, he never sought office. He was a kind and loving husband and father, and enjoyed the reputation of being an honest man.
Mr. Butcher was a member of the Union Baptist Church, and always took an active part in church work. He was also a member of the Masonic fraternity. Mrs. Butcher and her children are active members of society.