MEMORIES OF JESSIE BUTLER ERLEWINE - NOVEMBER, 2001
Submitted by Shannon Butler Ventuleth
According to Shannon, "Jessie (the writer of this article) was the daughter of my grandfather’s older half-brother James Harney Butler. James Harney Butler was the son of James William Butler and Lucy Ann Carr. Several Butlers (Clinton, James Harney, Melissa, Ida and Henry) moved to Idaho around 1905. Jessie corresponded with my grandfather Clarence “Mote” Butler during WWl. She sent me this one month prior to passing away at the age of 98."
I am (by Nov. 7th) to be 98 years old and am in a nursing home (rehab) but hopefully you can read this (arthritis has taken its toll in the use of my writing apparatus). My father, James Harney Butler, received his name “Harney” as a tribute to Jim Butler’s Captain who had befriended him in the Civil War. His wife Veda was a devoted Christian. He was a fiddler and played for country dances for years, even before he was out of his teens. He was 68 when he died. He had a compulsion to study penmanship and for several years taught a writing class for 10 days at the close of the regular school term in several counties. He taught how to change manuscript to cursive. He had his own “logo” for signing his letters which was a bird on its nest of eggs in a tree. James Harney Butler was a small man who worked too hard trying to farm and raise feed for his horses and mules and a new family of 3 girls. As he grew older, but not stronger, the total of 5 girls grew up and moved away. My sisters were Sylvia Gertrude, Nelda Sybil, June Lee, and Velma Leah.
I did not know all of his half-brothers, only “Mote” while he was in the Philippines and I was in high school. We wrote and answered letters until he didn’t write any more. I never knew what happened to him.
Henry Butler taught in the Lapwai school in Idaho for a time. Melissa Butler married my grandmother’s half-brother, John Mathes. I lost track of Ida.
I was a teacher in Idaho schools for 35 years under contract and 8 years
substituting after retirement.