Butler - John Maynard - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Butler - John Maynard

Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal 9-20-1895 p10

On Saturday evening the relatives of John M. Butler received word that he was sinking rapidly at the Fifth Avenue hotel in New York.  On Monday the word of his death, which occurred 12 o’clock Sunday night was received. He had been in failing health for several months. From the Indianapolis Journal we take the following account of his life:  John Maynard Butler was born in Evansville Sept 17, 1834 and was consequently 61 years of age at the time of his death. His parents were Calvin Butler and Malvin French Butler, the latter being a lineal descendant of Governor Bradford, of Massachusetts. Both were natives of Vermont and of strong, sturdy ancestors. His father followed the trade of shoe making until 31 years old when a desire for education seized him and he worked his way through Middlebury College, consequently taking a theological course at Andover Seminary, Massachusetts. He came West to enter the ministry and first settled at Evansville. The parents being in humble circumstances, the subject of this sketch was forced to rely on his own exertions to obtain a livelihood and acquire an education,  a desire which he manifested at a very early age. At the age of 12 he began a career as a clerk, but being determined to acquire a thorough education, he entered Wabash College at Crawfordsville in 1851 and mainly through his own indomitable exertions, succeeding in graduating in 1856.  The day on which he obtained his diploma he was elected to the Presidency of the Female Seminary of Crawfordsville and he held the position for three consecutive years.  Then he became principal of the high school in that city and at the same time mapped out an pursued a thorough course in law.  Early in the fall of 1861 he began a tour of the Northwestern states, seeking a suitable place to establish in his chosen profession. None suited him so well as Crawfordsville, however, and returning there he settled down to the practice of the law in November 1861.  His practice from the start was a success, and the first case with which he connected was one that successfully passed through the Circuit and Supreme Courts of Indiana, thus establishing the reputation of the young lawyer. From that time on his practice steadily increased, until in 1871 he came to Indianapolis and became the partner of Hon. Joseph E. McDonald, as successor to Judge AL Roach. During the entire term of Mr. McDonald as US Senator the law business of the firm of McDonald & Butler steadily assumed larger proportions, notwithstanding the senior member of the firm was absent the greater part of the time performing his official duties in Washington. Until his death Mr. Butler was an active member of the Second Presbyterian Church in which he long officiated as elder and member of the board of trustees. As a jurist he stood at the head of the bar in the city and state and his insight into the intricate problems of law was almost remarkable.  Mr. Butler was a remarkable specimen of physical manhood, being tall, well proportioned, broad shouldered and with a face on which force of character was written in every lineament. In April 1852 he was married to Miss Sue Jennison of Crawfordsville. In his political work Mr. Butler was not like most of the speakers. He neither had ay aspirations to hold office, nor did he put his time to the work in the campaign for any reward. It was a work of love without hope of other reward than the feeling of a duty to his country well done. His last work of his character was at a mass meeting held during the last State campaign. He addressed the last meeting of the campaign, held just before the election in English’s opera house. Mr. Butler leaves two children: Morris Butler, a member of the firm of Butler, Snow & Butler and Mrs. Alpheus H. Snow, the wife of the other member. He was a very successful man in the practice of law and leaves behind a large fortune, variously estimated at from $300,000 to $400,000. It is not know what if any insurance he carried. - transcribed by kbz

Source: Greencastle Daily Banner & Times 16 Sept 1895 p1

New York Sept 16 – John M. Butler, a member of the law firm of Butler, Snow  & Butler of Indianapolis, died yesterday evening in the Fifth Avenue hotel.  Death was due to heart failure, resulting from a severe attack of grip. Mr. Butler had been stopping with his wife, son and daughter at Newport, RI but his condition became so alarming a week ago that he was brought to this city, stopping at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. When he died his family and his family and son-in-law and partner, Alpheus Snow were at his bedside. His remains will be taken to Indianapolis. Mr. Butler was born in Eansville 61 years ago. He was graduated from Wabash College in 1853 and studied law in an office at Corbettsville. He was very successful and was quite prominent in railroad litigations. He was a political stump speaker and was prominent in the campaigns of Blaine & Garfield and other Republicans. He never held office, but his name was sometimes mentioned in connection with one. – thanks to Kim H

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