Biography of Frederick W. Butler
FROM: History of Livingston County, New York
By James H. Smith
Assisted by Hume H. Cole
Published By D. Mason & Co. 1881


The subject of this sketch was born in the town of Hudson, Columbia county. Jan. 26, 1795. He is the son of Ezekiel and Lydia (Frisbie) Butler. The former was born in the town of Branford, New Haven. Conn. about 1761. At the age of sixteen he enlisted in the service of his country, and served faithfully in the war for Independence five years. Soon after the close of the war he settled in Columbia county and followed the carpenterís trade and farming, and died there in 1831. His wife survived him about twenty-five years. They had ten children only two of whom are now living, Frederick and William. The latter was born in 1804 and is now living in the old homestead in Columbia county. Frederick W. lived at home working on the farm until he was twenty years of age. His early years were filled with the many hardships and privations incident to the life of a poor farmerís son. What education lie gained was literally picked up in the district schools of a new and not prosperous country. He partially learned the carpenterís trade of his father, and on leaving home he went to the town of Kinderhook and followed that occupation one season. From thence he went to Albany in January. 1815, and worked at his trade by the day about two years.

On the last day of March, 1817, he started for the then, far west, and arrived in Geneseo April 10, following, having walked the entire distance. On determining to remain in Geneseo, he engaged to work for the Wadsworths, the great man of this section at that time. He followed his trade until 1840, having built many of the fine residences that now beautify the village of Geneseo. When the present Court House was built in Geneseo, he was employed by the building committee, consisting of Gen. Wm. Wadsworth, Col. Markham and Daniel H. Fitzhugh to superintend its construction. In 1823 Mr. Butler purchased ninety acres of the farm on which he now resides, and in 1824 moved into the house he is yet occupying. Since 1840 his life has been exclusively that of a farmer. During the war of 1812 he was called into the service of the United States, and now draws a pension of $8.00 a month. In politics Mr. Butler was an old line Whig, but on the formation of the Republican party he united with it, and has always given an intelligent and faithful support to its policy and measures. His townsmen honored him by electing him to the office of Supervisor two terms. In religious sentiment Mr. Butler is a Presbyterian and has been a member of that church in Geneseo since March, 1833. He was made an elder the following summer, and has held that position in the church since that time, and has been trustee of the society since 1831.

Mr. Butler has been an earnest worker in the cause of religion, and has been liberal of his means in support of the Gospel and in building and repairing their present church edifice. In all that tends to the good and well-being of society he has been an able and powerful worker. His life has been of that character to secure the respect and confidence of all that have the good fortune to know him. In 1824, the 12th day of August, Mr. Butler was joined in marriage with Eunice, daughter of Joseph and Rosanna (Gardiner) Barton, of Columbia county, N. Y. She was born Jan. 12, 1803, and is still living. To Mr. and Mrs. Butler have been born four children that grew to maturity, viz. :-Edward, now living in the town of Geneseo. Mary, married to Abram Magee, and now living in Columbia county, N. Y., and Martha and Cornelia, living at home. Mrs. Butler has been a member of the Presbyterian church fifty years.

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