As the standing of a community best illustrated by the character and attainments of its legal exponents, Newberg is fortunate in being represented by Clarence Butt, a self-made man, and one of the most promising and brilliant of the younger generation of orators as well as lawyers. Born in Columbia county, Pa., May 27, 1871, Mr. Butt comes of reliable English ancestry, and from that source inherits not only professional, but business and social abilities. The family was first represented in America by the paternal great-grandfather, William, who came across the sea with his sons, Joseph and Zephaniah. Zephaniah became a college man and medical graduate, and after settling in Ocala, Fla., managed to amass quite a fortune, being worth at the time of his death, $150,000. His son, Joseph, the paternal grandfather, was born in 1812, and in his young manhood settled in the eastern part of Pennsylvania. For a time he ran on the canals of that section of the state, but in after years turned his attention to farming, an occupation engaged in almost up to the time of his death at the age of seventy-two years. Although not moderately successful financially, he yet wielded an important influence in his community, especially from a political standpoint. He was an almost rabid Republican, and did not hesitate to show his colors in the Fishing Creek Confederacy.
Zephaniah A. Butt, the father of Clarence, was born in Pennsylvania, May 18, 1849, and at the present time is one of the leading Republicans and citizens of his community. He lives on the home farm in Yamhill county, and conducts lumbering in connection with farming, and is fairly successful in both occupations. Although in a strong Democratic community he courageously waves the Republican banner whenever opportunity offers, and in this connection is one of the strongest supporters of the party in those who have known him for a lifetime. When comparatively young he married Clara Everhart, a native also of Pennsylvania, and daughter of Daniel Everhart, born in eastern Pennsylvania, and by occupation a lumberman and farmer. Mr. Everhart, who was a Democrat in politics, and fairly successful from a business standpoint, died in his native state at the age of seventy years. Of the two sons and two daughters born to Zephaniah A. Butt and his wife, the popular lawyer of Newberg is the oldest; William lives in Benton, Pa.; Mary is an educator in Pennsylvania; and Anna lives at her home in the Quaker state.
After completing his education in Pennsylvania, Clarence Butt attended the Bloomsburg State Normal, and then entered the law department of the Northern Indiana Law School. At the expiration of two years he graduated from the latter institution with the degree of LL. D., and after being admitted to the Indiana bar removed to Hamilton, Mont., where a residence of three months convinced him of its undesirability as a field of practice. Fairview, Ore., was a future field for experiment, and in 1895 he came to Newberg, and has since engaged in a general practice of law. Since coming here Mr. Butt has entered enthusiastically into all Republican matters, and has made an honored place for himself among the higher ranks of politicians. Possessing a ready command of language, and concise knowledge of all facts in connection with his party, his services have been in great demand upon all important occasions. He was a delegate to the state congressional convention in 1896, and was chairman of the Republican county convention in 1898. The same year he was nominated and elected state representative, and re-elected again in 1900. During both terms he was on the railroad committee, and during the first term was on the committee to investigate state university affairs. During the second term also he was chairman of the banking and business committee, and a member of the special committee on the state land board. During his second term in the house Mr. Butt caused considerable excitement by his effort to reduce the railroad fare in the state from four to three cents. Although the only one of the committee in favor of it, he submitted three minority reports adopted by the balance of the house, an act which led eventually to the desired reduction by the railroads themselves.
In Fairview, Ore., Mr. Butt was united in marriage with Inez Barrett, who was born in Elmwood, Peoria county, Il., and whose father, George Barrett, was a farmer and stock-raiser in Illinois, where his death occurred. Mrs. Butt received her education in her native state and at the Northern Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso, Ind., and after coming to Oregon a year before her husband, she engaged in educational work for a couple of years. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Butt, Ralph and Dale who are living at home with their parents. Mr. Butt is fraternally associated with the Blue Lodge of Masons, with the Eastern Star, and the Artisans. In the Methodist Church, of which he is treasurer and trustee, he is active in promoting its charities and general work, and contributes generously towards its financial necessities. Mr. Butt possesses a judicial mind and temperament, excellent business ability and judgement, and a capacity for hard work well developed. A minute comprehension of the theory and practice of the law, supplemented by those admirable characteristics, faithfulness and energy, assure him not only a continuation but an increase of his present professional prominence.
"Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley", pages