THOMAS BUTLER, whose place among the prosperous and progressive farmers and stock-raisers of Morgan County is unquestioned, resides on section 21 of township 14. He was born near the ancient city of Chester, England, in the year of 1832. He was the fourth child in a family of eight born to William and Mary Sheffield) Butler both of whom were born in the same country. His father followed the avocation of farming throughout the greater part of his life and died in the year 1871. His wife survived until the year 1885, and during that time did everything in her power to fill the place of both parents to the children that had been given her.
Our subject was raised upon a farm, and from his earliest years fulfilled various tasks of ever increasing magnitude and importance, until he was enabled to take charge of any department of agricultural labor; his education was received in the district schools of England. He came to this country when twenty-six years of age, brining with him his wife and family. He had been married in the year 1858 to Miss Sarah Filkin. This lady was born in the year 1833 near Chester, England, and was the fifth of nine children, who comprised the family of Richard and Elizabeth (Fisher) Filkin.
Mr. Butler sailed from Liverpool in the year 1858 on the Ocean Monarch, a sailing vessel that occupied three full weeks in making the trip partly owing to the rough weather encountered throughout the greater part of the passage, which we may rest assured did not greatly assist in making those who were on shipboard for the first time feel at home and in no wise added to the comfort of their ocean experiences. Landing at Castle Garden, new York City, they came direct to Morgan County, arriving on the 12th of June, 1858. They finally determined to settle in Lynnville, in this county, and there made their home for about two years, when they removed to a farm at Franklin, and remained for a like period. From that place they went to Woodson and remained for one year.
About that time our subject made his first purchase, buying eighty acres of improved land in township 13, and operated the same for about two years. In 1866 an additional eighty was purchased, situated on section 22, township 14. This also was improved land, and upon it the family lived for eight years. In 1874, he was enabled to buy a farm of 160 acres of well-improved land, which is that upon which he now resides. He has retained possession of his former purchases and is therefore the owner of 240 acres, situated on sections 21 and 22. His farm is stocked with good full blooded Short-horn cattle and a large number of Berkshire and Poland-China hogs.
In political matters our subject is not very active, although on the other hand he is not neglectful of his duties as a citizen and usually votes with the Democratic party. For several years our subject has been one of the School Directors and holds that office at the present time. The religious home of Mr. and Mrs. Butler is in the Episcopal church of which they have been devoted members from their youth.
There have been born to mr. and Mrs. Butler seven children, whose names are as follows: Samuel Milford, William Ritchie, Charles Edwin, Thomas Henry, Beatrice Elenor, John Simpson, and Edna Jane. Samuel M. is married and resides in this county; the remainder of the family still reside at home - the two youngest are attending school.
Mr. Butler was one of the early settlers in Morgan County and despite many difficulties in the beginning and that it was hard work in obtaining his start, he has continuously progressed from the very first. Slowly he accumulated sufficient to make his first purchase and from that time he has gone on more rapidly until he occupies a place as one of the most successful farmers in the county. He takes a lively interest in all matters pertaining to the promotion of educational and religious affairs and is never weary of well-doing in this direction. He is proud of the growth of Morgan County, and is happy that it has been his privilege to help at least in some measure to that end.