Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1331
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
An early settler of Rice county identified with the development and progress here from early days, Mr Butler was born in Vermilion county, Illinois, October 10, 1835. His paternal grandfather was a native of Scotland, and became a pioneer settler of Vermilion county, where he developed and improved a farm, making it his home throughout the remainder of his life. He was a relative of the famous Ethan Allen, and his uncle, Ezra Butler, served as governor of the state of Vermont. James butler had six children, namely:
Asaph, Lewis, Biantha, Mary, Anna and Fidelia. The first, Asaph Butler, was the father of our subject. He, too, was born in the Green Mountain state, but in early life was taken by his parents to Illinois, becoming a resident of the Prairie state when eight years of age. There he grew to manhood and was married to Miss Eliazbeth Acre, who was born in Alabama and went to the Prairie state with her parents in early girlhood. Her father was of Welsh descent and was a blacksmith by trade, following that pursuit in connection with farming. His children were: Elizabeth, who became Mrs Butler; Joel, Brackton, John, Matilda and Ruth. In 1840 Mr Butler and his wife moved to Harrison county, Missouri, where he improved a tract of land, making his home thereon until called to his final rest, about 1891. He was an honored pioneer settler of Harrison county, and took an important part in furthering the development and substantial improvement of that part of the state. He aided in organizing the county and was elected one of the first judges of the court, which held its first session under a big elm tree, Mr Butler presiding. He became one of the most influential and leading residents of the community, and in business affairs was extremely progressive and prosperous. His pioneer home was noted for the old-time hospitality which was extended to all, whether stranger or friend, and was the stopping place for all newcomers, and he never would receive any payment for his entertainment. The poor and needy were never turned from his door empty-handed and he was widely known for his charity and kindness to his fellow men. His integrity was above reproach and his honor undisputed, and he left to his family the priceless heritage of an untarnished name. His political support was first given to the Whig party and afterward to the men and measures of Republicanism, and he was honored with several positions of public trust and responsibility. He passed away about 1891 and his wife died in February, 1880. Unto this worthy couple were born ten children: Calista, now Mrs A Brown; Mrs Clarinda Price; Horace; Orlin; Harmon; Norton; Albert; Mary, now Mrs Chapman; Oscar; and Mrs Alice Seymour. The mother was a consistent and worthy member of the Christian church. Three of her sons, Orlin, Norton and Horace, were soldiers in the Union army during the Civil war.
Horace Butler was reared to honest toil on the farm in Harrison county, Missouri, amid the wild scenes of frontier life. He assisted in the development and improvement of the fields until twenty-eight years of age, when he married. During the Rebellion he served in the state militia, doing duty in Missouri. He engaged in some skirmishes with the bushwhackers, but participated in no regular battles, his service being in the line of guard and escort duty. When he was mustered out he returned to his home and in 1864 he was married and took up his abode on a farm, where he remained until 1880, when he traded his Missouri property for the farm in Rice county, Kansas, upon which he yet resides. He came here in the spring of that year and moved into a little house. About forty acres of the land had been broken and he soon began farming in earnest. He has made splendid improvements, including the erection of a commodious and substantial residence, barns and outbuildings, the planting of an orchard and the building of fences. His fields are richly cultivated and annually he harvests good crops. When he arrived people were dissatisfied and were anxious to move away and farming was carried on only on a small scale, but the state was rapidly settled, improvements were introduced and today central Kansas is one of the most prosperous districts of the entire community. Farming and stock-raising are very profitable, and the wheat belt of Kansas is one of the richest and most productive in the entire nation. Lyons was only a village when Mr Butler arrived, but since that time he has seen many other villages established and hamlets grow into thriving towns and cities. His own labors have brought to him splendid financial reward, and today he is one of the most prosperous agriculturists of his community.
In 1864 occurred the marriage of Mr Butler to Miss Emma B Young, who was born in Harrison county, Missouri, January 22, 1843, her parents being Jeremiah and Ruth (Boring) Young, both natives of Tennessee, in which state they were married, but soon afterward removed to Illinois. Their two children were born unto them and later they went to Jackson county, Missouri, and from there to Harrison county, where Mr Young became a successful and prominent farmer. He and his wife both died in that locality. Both Mr and Mrs Young were Scotch Presbyterians in religious faith, holding membership with a church of that denomination. Their children were: Harvey, Rufus R, Mrs Mary E Patton, Mrs Rebecca Albin, Mrs Martha A Magee, Franklin B, Emma B, Mrs Amanda M Smith, Ruth E, deceased, and Sidney Smith. Unto Mr and Mrs Butler have been born nine children: Edgar, who died in childhood; Mrs Edith Wilson; Ethel, at home; Mrs Effa Miller; Ezra, of Oklahoma; Mary, a school teacher; and Helen, Orlin and Horace, who are yet with their parents. Mrs Butler belongs to the Presbyterian church and is a most estimable lady. Mr Butler was reared in the Republican faith, but is now identified with the Reform party, but claims the privilege of voting for the men at local elections whom he thinks best qualified for office, regardless of party preferment.