J. B. V. BUTLER
Submitted by:  Lynn Mack
 
J. B. V. BUTLER, prominently identified with educational interests of
the state as vice president of the Oregon State Normal School at
Monmouth, is also well known in financial circles as vice president of
the First National Bank of Monmouth.  His life has been passed in this
state, for he was born in Monmouth in July, 1862, and is a son of J.
B. V. and Elizabeth (INGALLS) BUTLER, the former a native of New
Hampshire and the latter of Ohio.  The father became a resident of
Illinois and in 1849 started across the plains for Oregon with ox
teams but performed the greater part of the journey on foot.  He was
accompanied by his wife and three children and the family settled at
Portland, where he followed his trade of brick mason, later engaging
in general merchandising for several years in that city.  Subsequently
he removed to Polk county, opening a store at Eola and continuing to
operate his establishment in Portland.  He conducted both enterprises
for a considerable period and also made extensive investments in
wheat, which he stored in warehouses at various places in the state,
but lost heavily in the floods of 1862.  Soon after the founding of
Monmouth he took up his abode in the town and it was at this time that
Christian College was made the State Normal School, the institution
having been established in 1872.  He engaged in general merchandising
at Monmouth, in addition to dealing in wheat and pork, and was active
along those lines for several years, or until his retirement from
business life.  He was very successful in the conduct of his business
interests and his energy, industry and capable management secured for
him a substantial competence.  He became prominent in political
circles of his community and filled several town offices most
credibly.  He passed away in September, 1879, at the age of seventy,
and his wife passed away when she had reached the age of sixty-five.
 
Their son, J. B. V. BUTLER, attended the public schools of Monmouth
and also pursued a course of study in Christian College, from which he
was graduated with the class of 1884, while two years later, or in
1886, he was graduated from the State Normal School.  Subsequently he
filled clerical positions with various mercantile firms and also was
for a time active in the cultivation of a farm.  He then took up the
work of teaching, which he found most congenial, and has since
followed this profession.  He first engaged in teaching in the public
schools of Monmouth, in which he was very successful, imparting
clearly and readily to his pupils the knowledge he had acquired and
inspiring them with much of his own interest and enthusiasm in the
work.  His pronounced ability as an educator soon won recognition and
his work along this line has been most important and valuable, for he
is at all times actuated by a spirit of progress that take cognizance
of improved education methods and is ever ready to transform ideas in
realities when convinced of their worth.  He was for several years
secretary of the board of regents of the State Normal School and it
was largely through his efforts and those of Mr. POWELL and Mr. HAWLEY
that Christian College was secured as a state normal school, at which
time he became vice president of the institution and is now serving in
that important office.  His liberal educational training has well
qualified him for the discharge of his duties in this connection and
through broad reading and study he keeps in touch with the advancement
which is constantly being made in educational work throughout the
country. Mr. BUTLER is also occupying a prominent position in
financial circles as vice president of the First National Bank of
Monmouth, of which he was one of the organizers.  For one and a half
years he served as its president and is now vice president and
chairman of the board of directors.  He also has made investment in
farm lands in Polk county, being the owner of two hundred and fifty
acres of valuable and productive land.
 
On the 31st of March, 1886, Mr. BUTLER was united in marriage to Miss
Frances HARRIS and they have become the parents of four children,
namely:  Willis D., a successful physician practicing at Elgin,
Oregon; Cletus R., who follows farming in Polk county; Edna, who died
at the age of six months; and J. B. V., Jr. who is connected with the
First National Bank at Monmouth.
 
In his political views Mr. BUTLER is a democrat and fraternally is
identified with the Masonic order, belonging to Al Kader Temple of the
Mystic Shrine at Portland.  He is one of the leading educators of the
state, holding to high standards in his professional work, and he also
figures conspicuously in financial circles of Polk county, being
recognized as a sagacious, farsighted business man of known
reliability and integrity. His activities have been of a varied nature
and as a cooperant factor in many projects for the public good he has
contributed in no small degree to the upbuilding and improvement of
this district.  He is interested in all those things which are of
cultural value and which tend to uplift the individual, thus bringing
a higher moral plane to the community, and association with Mr. Butler
means expansion and elevation.
 
 
History of Oregon, Biographical, Vol. II, The Pioneer Historical
Publishing Company, 1922, Pages 467-468.