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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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Henry H. Butts.

Henry H. Butts, engaged in farming on section 29, Union township, was born in Pontiac, Michigan, on the 25th of September, 1842, his parents being Henry and Cornelia E. (Hinman) Butts, natives of Pennsylvania and New York respectively.  They were married in the latter state and soon afterward removed to Thunder Bay Island, where they spent the summer months but lived in Pontiac, Michigan, during the winter seasons.  When on Thunder Bay Island the father was engaged in fishing in Lake Huron, spending several years in that way.  In 1848 he removed to Evansville, Indiana, where he conducted business as a dyer and tailor, there opening a tailor shop and afterward establishing the first steam dye house in the town.  He continued a resident of Evansville until called to his final rest.

Henry H. Butts was a lad of only fourteen years when he came to Iowa and for fourteen years he made his home with an uncle, A. C. Hinman, a farmer of Johnson county, and later a merchant of Iowa City.  Mr. Butts began his education in the public schools of Evansville, Indiana, and continued his studies in the Iowa City schools.  In 1871 he arrived in Adair county and took up his abode upon the farm which is now his home.  He had visited the county the previous fall and had purchased the land from his uncle, Chauncey Hinman.  This tract of one hundred and sixty acres had been entered by an aunt on two soldiers warrants of the War of 1812 and has never been out of possession of the family.  Not only is H. H. Butts descended from ancestors who served in the War of 1812 but also from those who fought for independence in the Revolutionary war.  One of his great-grandmothers on his mother's side, a Mrs. Bailey, at the time of the Revolutionary war, when a battle was in progress and the soldiers had no wadding for their guns, took off her woolen petticoat, tore it into strips and thus furnished the soldiers the necessary wadding, thereby winning the day for the Continental troops.  The government later rewarded her by making her postmistress in Middlebury, Connecticut, for life, and she lived to be one hundred years old.

Mr. Butts has resided on his present farm for forty-four years and is now the owner of four hundred and eighty acres, which for some years has been cultivated by his two youngest sons.  Industry has ever been one of the chief traits of his character.  He has worked hard and after gaining a start, so directed his efforts that his labors brought him substantial return.  His property is now valuable and brings him a gratifying annual income.  His fields have been carefully tilled and the work of the farm has been carried forward in keeping with the progressive spirit of the times.

In August, 1871, Mr. Butts was married to Miss Fannie Smith, of Orient township, a daughter of Michael Smith, who came to Adair county from Ohio some time in the '60s.  Mr. and Mrs. Butts are the parents of nine children, of whom five are yet living:  Lawrence, a resident farmer of Union county;  Delmer and Ernest, who are carrying on the home place;  Pearl, the wife of C. J. Weston, living with her father;  and Elsie, the wife of Nelson Brooks, a farmer of Clarke county.

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Butts has been an earnest advocate of republican principles.  He has long been recognized as one of the substantial residents of Adair county and as a citizen of worth, for he has ever supported and advocated those measures which are of value in producing a higher standard of citizenship and in furthering the best interests of the community.  He has almost reached the seventy-third milestone on life's journey but while his sons now actively operate the farm he still gives personal supervision thereto and it is not unusual to find him busily employed with some work which improves conditions upon his place.



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