Henry Wirt Butler

Henry Wirt Butler

Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA
Death 30 May 1915 (aged 75)
Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA
Burial Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA
Plot Block 7, 114
Memorial ID 21238862 · View Source
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HENRY WIRT, born Feb. 11, 1840, in Springfield, graduated in 1859 at Brown University, Providence, R. I., and was married May 9, 1867, to Helen McClernand, daughter of Gen. John A. McClernand. She was born in Springfield, and died April 26, 1870, leaving one child, WILLIAM J.

Henry Wirt Butler, 75 years old, well known resident of Springfield, who received his name from Abraham Lincoln and during his youth was a great favorite of Lincoln's and read law in the latter's office, and who held important state offices under Governor John R. Tanner, died at the residence of his son, William J. Butler, 602 South Fourth street, yesterday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock. Mr. Butler was the son of William Butler, state treasurer during the civil war. He was born in Springfield, Ill., February 12, 1840.

When Mr. Butler was born, Abraham Lincoln, then a practicing attorney in Springfield, was living at the home of Mr. Butler's parents. He had just finished reading the life William Wirt and suggested that the baby be named after him. When the boy whom Lincoln had named grew to be a young man he became a favorite of the Great Emancipator's and read law for some time in his office. He was playing handball with Lincoln when the news of the latter's nomination for president came.

Mr. Butler was a classmate at Brown university with John Hay, who afterward was Lincoln's private secretary and later, under Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt, secretary of state. During the war Mr. Butler went as a nurse on a special train to the battlefield of Shiloh to help care for the wounded and served in the capacity of nurse a number of times while the struggle was in progress. On May 9, 1867, he was married to Helen Chase McClernand, daughter of Gen. John A. McClernand. The ceremony took place where the McClernand public school now stands. One son, William J. Butler, was born to this marriage. A year and a half later Mrs. Butler died and he was never married again.

Near the time of his marriage he embarked in the wholesale grocery business on the south side of the square. After the death of his father in 1875, Mr. Butler moved to the Butler farm, at the southeast corner of West Grand avenue and Laurel street, and engaged in farming for several years. In 1894 he became active in politics and was appointed by Governonr John R. Tanner to a place in the insurance department. Later he held positions in the labor bureau and in the state game department. He managed several successful political campaigns. In 1904 he went with his son to Jacksonville, Fla., and while there served as receiver for the First National bank of Jacksonville. He returned to Springfield because of poor health in 1906. In 1908 his health again became poor and he went to live with his son. He has made his home there since.

His sister, Salome E. Butler, died in 1909 and a brother, Speed Butler, in 1886. His mother died in 1896 and his father in 1875. He is survived by his son and four grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning at the residence of his son, 602 South Fourth street. Burial will be in Oak Ridge cemetery.

IL State Register, Springfield, IL 5-31-1915.

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  • Maintained by: BjJ
  • Originally Created by: Charles W Brown
  • Added: 29 Aug 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21238862
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Henry Wirt Butler (11 Feb 1840–30 May 1915), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21238862, citing Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by BjJ (contributor 46902476) .