Mr. Richard P. Butler, our oldest citizen, died at his home in Carrollton on Thursday, January 8th, at about 2 o'clock, aged 92 years, 3 months, and 11 days. His death was not a surprise to any one as he had been quite feeble for several weeks. Everybody heard the announcement with sorrow. He had passed so far beyond man's allotted time on earth, as to cause all to feel a keen interest in his well-fare, with a hope that he might yet live many days, even to the age of five score years.
Every person naturally felt proud of the man who had dwelt among us so long that no one now living in the community could remember when he came, for, in truth, he settled in Carrollton years before any of her inhabitants were born. All felt a reverence for the old man, who had witnessed the founding of the town with its development, and all the changes and vicissitudes that entered into her history. But, the esteem in which he was so universally held, has for its foundation more important facts than these already stated; for, the community without regard to class, honored and admired him for his superior intelligence and culture, for his benevolence and charity, for his sobriety and fair-dealing.
Mr. Butler was born at the mouth of the Little Hickman in Jessamine County, September 27, 1792. He was the third son of Percival Butler who emigrated to Jessamine county from Pennsylvania in 1784. The other sons were Major Thos. L. Butler who died at Louisville, 1881, aged 91 years, Gen. William O. Butler, who died in August 1880, aged 89 years, Pierce Butler who died about 1850, aged 56 years, and Edward Butler who died many years ago, aged 21 years. Mr. Butler also had five sisters, only one of whom is now living -- Mrs. Judge James Pryor, of Covington, who age is about 84 years. Another sister was the late Mrs. Dr. U. E. Ewing, of Louisville, who lived to quite an advanced age, while three other sisters died at the ages of 36, 54, and 58 years. About 1795 the parents of Mr. Butler moved from Jessamine county to May's Lick, Bullitt county, from there they moved to Carrollton in 1796, and here the father died in 1821, aged 61 years.
The subject of the sketch was named after his uncle Richard Butler who was killed in St. Clair's defeat in 1791. He was between 3 and 4 years old when he came to this place. His boyhood days were spent here until he entered Transylvania University. From this institution he graduated at an early age. He then began the study of law under Cabell Breckinridge and acquired a fine legal education, but never practiced. Judge Joseph Underwood, the famous jurist, was his classmate.
The war of 1812 was now going on, and the war spirit fairly blazed throughout Kentucky. Accordingly when the Governor called for 1500 additional troops, shortly after Gen. Hall's surrender, young Butler was one of more than 2,000 volunteers who assembled at Louisville under Gen. Samuel Hopkins and from there made the famous expedition against the Indian villages of the North West. Young Butler's father, who became Adjutant General when the State was formed, was Adjutant General in General Hopkins' expedition, and young Butler was his aide-de-camp. For his service, he was some years ago granted a pension.
After the war he returned to his home and devoted himself to farming, which he followed with good success until about twelve years ago when he sold his farm. He was one of the most progressive farmers of the county, always first to adopt new methods and new machinery. He also figured prominently in the affairs of the county. It was he, more than any other man, who procured the organization of the county, overcoming much opposition; and he was its first clerk, as his father had been the first clerk of old Gallatin county. He filled this office for some time but never held any other office, we believe.
He was married twice; first to Miss Bullock, as a fruit of which union there were four children, none of whom are alive. His only grandchildren are Mrs. X. Hawkins (daughter of Judge J. W. Menzies), Mrs. L. X. Taylor and Richard B. and Miss Carrie Powell. His last wife was a daughter of Dr. Blythe, of Hanover College fame, and there were not children born of the marriage. She died twenty odd years ago.
Mr. Butler was a member of the Presbyterian church, having joined it more than 50 years ago. He was a consistent and honored member, filling official places in the church most of the time. The funeral will take place from the Presbyterian church today at 10'oclock. Services by Rev. S. W. Blain, of Louisville, assisted by Rev. T. J. Godbey of this place.
ADDENDUM: Jan 17, 1885. The remains were interred in the old family burying ground on H. J. Whitehead's farm near town.