John Butler, the Colfax druggist and an ex-sheriff of the county, was born in Canada May 17, 1833. He is descended on one side from the noted Poore family, who were prominent in the early history of Massachusetts. His father, William Butler, was born in New Hampshire, March 8, 1800. He married Elizabeth Coltman, a native of Canada and a descendant of United English Loyalists. The father had gone to Canada when he became of age and met his wife there. Six children, of whom five are living, were born to Mr. and Mrs. Butler and were reared in Canada. The father died in 1875, aged seventy-five years, and the mother passed away three weeks later, sixty-five years of age. During all their married life they had resided in Brighton, Canada, where Mr. Butler was engaged in the lumber business. Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Church and people of the highest respectability.
The son, John Butler, was educated in Canada. He was engaged in a mercantile business for a brief period and worked in his father’s carding-mill for a number of years. In 1863 he came to California and located at Iowa Hill, Placer County. He was appointed the assessor of that district and was afterwards elected to the office and served efficiently for seven years. In 1877 he removed to Colfax and became interested in the drug business, in which he has continued. He was the postmaster of Colfax nine years, during the administration of Presidents Hayes and Garfield. In 1886 he was elected the sheriff of Placer County; after serving a term of two years, acceptably, he was re-elected to succeed himself and served a second term of two years, acquiring the reputation of having been one of the most successful sheriffs of the county.
In 1856 Mr. Butler was married to Martha Ann Lyon, a native of his own country. The union was blessed with four children: William J., residing in Marshfield, Oregon; Walter L., residing in Reno; Elizabeth L., the wife of H. W. Nash, of San Francisco; and John L., in business with his father at Colfax.
Mr. Butler is a valued member of the Masonic fraternity, blue lodge and chapter. He is a past master of the blue lodge and a past high priest of the chapter. As soon as he became of age he presented his application for membership and received the sublime degree of Master Mason in 1854. He is also an esteemed member of the I. O. O. F. and is a past high priest of the Encampment, and is a charter member of the A. O. U. W. and its financier for the past ten years. He has been a staunch Republican since the organization of that party. As a citizen, Mr. Butler is of the highest reliability and as a businessman is friendly, good-hearted and obliging. He thoroughly appreciates and understands the tenets of the orders to which he belongs and is leading the upright life which they inculcate.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.