Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
GEORGE E. BUTLER is a farmer
and stock raiser residing three miles northeast from Griffith and ten miles
north from Ritzville, and his farm lies in Lincoln county near the county
Mr. Butler was born on August 29, 1836, in
Jefferson county, Missouri, the son of Joel and Margaret (Morrison) Butler,
natives of Jefferson and Crawford counties, Missouri, respectively.
The father was a veteran of the Black Hawk war and a pioneer of California
of 1849. He died in that state during the year of his advent there.
The subject's grandfather, Edward Butler, was of Irish descent, born in
Kentucky, came to Jefferson county, Missouri, when a boy and purchased
a Spanish land grant where now stands the city of De Soto, where he lived
the remainder of his life. The mother of George E. Butler died in
her native state.
The brothers and sisters of Mr. Butler are:
William C., Mrs. Elizabeth Pratt, living, and John M., Sarah A., Mrs. Ella
Wilkinson and Mrs. Josephine Butt, deceased.
The school education of our subject was limited
to a few months spent in a primitive log school house. He crossed
the plains in the spring of 1853 with a train of seventeen immigrant wagons
drawn by oxen. The party arrived at Marysville, California, after
a long and perilous journey, having had a serious fight with the Indians
on the Truckee river in which two of the immigrants were killed.
In California Mr. Butler engaged in mining, which business he followed
until enlisting in the army in 1855 during the conflict with the Indians
known as the Rogue River war. His elder brother was also a soldier
during this war. On November 3, 1861, at Jacksonville, Oregon, Mr.
Butler enlisted in Company A, First Oregon Cavalry, and was made a sergeant
of his company. He did service in Eastern Oregon and along the emigrant
roads farther east against the Indians for three years, when he was given
an honorable discharge from service having been engaged in many desperate
skirmishes with the savages and on every occasion acquitting himself with
credit both to himself and his company. He is now receiving a pension
for his services. In 1863, during the month of April, he went to
San Francisco by boat, and ten days later he started by ship for New York
city, arriving at his destination twenty-three days later. From New
York he went to his old home and was there married, during April, 1867,
to Meka Garrett, a native of Jefferson county, Missouri, and daughter of
William and Eliza A. Garrett. In the fall of 1886 Mr. Butler brought
his family to the Big Bend and took a homestead near his present farm and
engaged in the stock business. He has lived on his present farm twelve
years, and now owns eleven hundred and twenty acres of good land.
His farm is one of the best in the county.
Mrs. Butler died on November 29, 1900, leaving
a family of eleven children: Belle, wife of Charles Herschberger, Ritzville;
Georgia, wife of William Johnson, Ritzville; Victor, married to Jessie
Leonard, Farmington, Washington; Edward, married to Pearl Sage, Ritzville;
Margaret, wife of Putnam Farrington, Farmington; Grace, married to Lewis
Lacey, Chewelah, Washington; Gertrude, wife of Hacom Lemman, Ritzville;
Estella, wife of John Lacey, Chewelah; Glene E., William R. and Mary Ellen.
Besides these Mr. Butler has lost four children, who died in infancy.
Mr. Butler is a member of the G. A. R., at
Ritzville, and with most of his children, belongs to the Christian church,
to which church his wife also belonged when alive.