Festus Orestes Butt

Festus Orestes Butt

Livingston County, Illinois, USA
Death 30 Jun 1972 (aged 97)
Washington County, Arkansas, USA
Burial Eureka Springs, Carroll County, Arkansas, USA
Memorial ID 88247264 · View Source
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Festus Orestes BUTT
Sex: M
Name: Festus Orestes BUTT
Birth: 3 FEB 1875 in Lovington, Illinois
Death: 30 JUN 1972 in Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas
Burial: 100 F.Cemetery, Eureka Springs, AR
Event: Christened 1892 Disciples of Christ, Harrison, AR

Festus Butt was a well-known attorney in Carroll County, Arkansas.Green Forest Tribune, May 25, 1901: On Wednesday, F.O. Butt, trustee for the Green Forest guarantee committee, paid O.W. Watkins, the railroad attorney, the remainder due the company for right of way in the Green Forest area (p. 3, col 3.)

Green Forest Tribune, June 1, 1901: F.O. Butt and Miss Esie Cox went by buggy to Berryville Thursday of last week, got the necessary papers and were married by Judge Pittman in the LaBelle Hotel, returning to Green Forest that day tother respective homes and did not announce the nes until last Saturday. (p. 1, col. 1) Masonic resolution of respect published June 8, 1901 (p. 4, col 2)

..."I wondered about the apple tree. Since it was in spring, was the apple tree in bloom?"

"When I was living in Green Forest, I had my own little 6 room cottage that personally I had built myself with the help of the Methodist preacher and a little outside help, and sleeping there once in a while, but largely still living at home with Father and the boys."

"This girl whose attention had attracted me a time or two... at that time I didn't have any sweetheart and I don't know that at any time in my whole life I ever did have, as far as that's concerned. Anyway, on this particular afternoon I drove around her father's house with my own little sorrel team of mares. They were a pair of little beauties and very nice - to see if she's like to go for a ride. And, as usual, I found that she was amenable - got into the buggy and we drove off over westward from Green Forest on the Berryville Road,"

"And about a mile before we came into Berryville we passed a farm house with an immense apple tree in the corner of a yard. And, admiring it as we passed by, she made the statement apropos of nothing at all; she'd just like to be married under a tree like that. And that was that."

"It was a mile out from Berryville, and on the way in I opened up the subject again, and I said, 'Now, aside from the apple tree, did you ever think about getting married at all?' And she said that she didn't and never had given it very much thought."

"Well," I said, "Suppose we go into Berryville and get married!" And her answer was "All right."

"Now that's the part that she persistently denies. We drove on into Berryville and up on the public square. Out came Joe Maples who at that time was the circuit clerk of Carroll County."

"He was an old school teacher of mine, a greatly loved friend, he liked me and I like him. And he came out at once with grin to say howdy do and shake hands and greet Essie, whose father he knew very well. And I said to him, 'Mr. Maples, Essie and I have just been talking about getting married and have concluded to get married.' That wasn't so. There hadn't been anything said about getting married or actually pulling off the stunt."

"Well, he said, " I think that's fine but I can't marry you. I'm court clerk, I'm not county judge anymore. But Bert Pitman, here in the courthouse, he's county judge. I'll call him out."

"And about that time Bert came to the front door and came out to the buggy to shake hands also, with my companion and me. And I broached the subject to him. I said, Bert, Essie and I here have been talking about getting married and concluded we'd get married and would like to have you perform the ceremony. Well, he said, I don't know whether I can. I never have married anyone since I was county judge. But it's all right. Do you want to be married right here in the buggy? And Joe spoke up and said, Why no, they haven't got any license yet. They just spoke to me about getting a license for them. No, they're not ready to get married yet. I'll go and see about the license."

"Well, Bert said, my team and Buggy is hitched here to the fence. You go ahead and get their license and they can get turned around and in some shady place on the square. But Essie said, No, I want to get married under that old apple tree a mile out from town. Oh, yes, everyone knows about that old apple tree. All right, we'll go ahead. And Bert turned back into the office (courthouse) and pretty soon came out, got into his buggy, and hitched in behind us, and we all went around the square and out the south road and took the road back toward Green Forest."

"Joe maples had gotten into the buggy with Bert Pitman. When we got out to the Apple Tree Farm, I got out and hitched my team to the fence and went to the porch and knocked and the woman came to the door and I said to her, my girl and me have decided to get married and we want to get married under your lovely apple tree if it's all right with you. And she said, why, of course, it's all right. Just wait 'til I get my apron off and I'll come out, which she did."

"By that time Pitman and Joe had hitched their team to the fence and come in and we all arranged ourselves under the great big apple tree, whose lower limbs were high enough from the ground that we could all stand upright even under that big spreading tree. And then the ceremony was performed. That apple tree never died. It was still a living apple tree the last time I passed by there and stood biggety, biggety as could be. It had no effect on the tree."

"The woman insisted on us waiting until she cooked up a supper for us, which we didn't. Maples and Pitman went back to Berryville, and Essie and I took our way back to Green Forest and I took her home. That was the sum total."

"Her father came in about the time that we got there. Shortly after he got there and before I had left to go home myself, my horses and my team buggy were hitched to the front fence, and Father Cox himself came in. And Essie proceeded to tell him about it, much to his apparent amazement and satisfaction. He said several nice things to me; how pleased he was and if he had to give Essie up he knew of no one he'd give her up to more cheerfully than me. He's a fine old man and a good friend of mine."

"Question: Did you go home alone?"

"Oh no, We stayed all night there at father Cox's, after supper which Essie prepared for me."
"The following day, we got into my buggy and for the first time went home, which was a little 6 room cottage up on the wrong side of town. We lived there until we moved to Eureka Springs."

"Pitman performed the ceremony, but Maples and he were witnesses to it, and 2 or 3 local townsmen whose attention had been attracted."

"There were, I guess, 3 or 4 people, actually lookers-on present at the wedding. But the wedding itself didn't take place under the apple tree. We were under the apple tree a few minutes afterward. We had a little side verandum crown around the buggy at the time I did drive out, with Bert Pitman in the lead. But we actually weren't married under the apple tree. It wasn't until we went out to it that we hitched our team and I went in and attracted the attention of the lady of the house who seemed to be the only person..."

(background, Kathleen Butt (Huntington): "Don't tape that. I don't want that.")

(Above from tape of F.O. Butt recital of his and Mama Butt's marriage. Taped in late 1971 or early 1972 after comment about Tom(as K. Butt) and Shirley (Ryland) Butt having been married (November 1971) in Muir Woods, California; and Papa remarked that he and Mama had been married under an apple tree)

Green Forest Tribune, July 27, 1901: Price Jones was found not guilty in city court Saturday on a charge of selling fresh meat without a license. His counsel, F.O. Butt, convinced the jury that fish was not meat and did not come under the city ordinance (p. 3, col 2).

Green Forest Tribune, August 3, 1901: Bank of Green Forest opened last Tuesday, with W.R. Sneed, president; J.E. Franklin, vice-president; J.O. Mitchell, cashier; and Sneed, Franklin, Michell, M.S. Coxey, F.O. Butt, C.B. Grim, W.T. Gray, J.M. jernigan, and A.J. Cox, directors. (p. 1, col 4)

Elected Mayor of Eureka Springs (The Eureka Springs Times, April 7, 1911)

The candidate of the People Who Believes in a Dry Progressive City

Festus O. Butt who was elected mayor of Eureka Springs on Tuesday was born near Chicago, Illinois in 1875. In 1886 he removed to Carroll County with his parents. He was educated in the high schools and at seventeen began to teach, studying law at night. At nineteen years of age he was admitted to the bar, the legislature by a special act removing his age disability. He was twice elected to the legislature, the first time being only twenty-one years of age, and twice elected to the senate. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and belongs to the Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. He is a man of wide learning and brilliant legal attainments a finished orator being noted not only for his fine delivery but for his splendid diction. He is a man of wonderful executive ability and the good people of Eureka Springs have made no mistake in electing him mayor.

From the notes of Nelita Snow:
"Fes" was an attorney, well-respected and well-known. Accused early in his career of bribery by two other attorneys, his only defense was that they were the ones who really knew the truth of his innocence. He was found guilty and sentenced to prison, where he served one year. At the end, one of the men came forward with the truth, and Uncle Fess was released. He obtained a full pardon and went on to practice law in Eureka Springs for many years. A life-long member of the Masonic Lodge, Odd Fellows, and Bar association, he maintained an office until well into his nineties.

(above from Marilyn L. (Ramsey) Nickless

Festus O. Butt was born in 1875 in Lovington, IL, and removed with his parents to Green Forest, AR in 1884. Educated in the public schools, he did not attend college, but "read" law and at age 19, took an examination administered by the Carroll County circuit judge to qualify to practice law in that circuit. His Arkansas license was granted by the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1896, and he practiced continuously in northwest Arkansas for 75 years until shortly before his death at age 97 in 1972. He had been dean of the Arkansas Bar since 1960.

In addition to his law practice, he served two terms as mayor of Eureka Springs; a term as superintendent of schools for Carroll County; two terms (1897-1900) as representative for Carroll County in the Arkansas Legislature; two terms (1901-1904, 1927-1930) in the State Senate where he was president pro tempore. He was a delegate to the Arkansas Constitutional Convention of 1917-18. He was elected chancellor and probate judge of the old 13th Chancery Circuit by the Bar of the Circuit to serve in 1942-43, during his son John's service in the United States Navy in World War II.
(from Thomas F. Butt)

Father: William Alvin BUTT , Sr. b: 19 AUG 1843 in Bethany, Moultrie County IL
Mother: Anna Marie WEAVER b: 14 JUN 1848 in Canto, Stark County, OH

Marriage 1 Essie Mae COX b: 28 APR 1879 in Carroll County, Arkansas
Married: 23 MAY 1901 in Green Forest, Carroll County, Arkansas 1 3 2
Married: 22 MAY 1901 in Berryville, Carroll County, AR
Dorothy Deane BUTT b: 23 NOV 1909 in Eureka Springs, Carroll County, Arkansas
William Jackson BUTT b: 21 JUN 1912 in Eureka Springs, Carroll County, Arkansas
Thomas Franklin BUTT b: 26 MAR 1917 in Eureka Springs, Carroll County, Arkansas
Annie Kathleen BUTT b: 30 MAR 1904 in Eureka Springs, Carroll County, AR
John Kenneth BUTT b: 10 MAR 1902 in Green Forest, Carroll County, Arkansas
Joseph Volney BUTT b: 17 NOV 1914 in Eureka Springs, Carroll County, Arkansas
Robert Lee BUTT b: 21 MAY 1906 in Eureka Springs, Carroll County, Arkansas
William Jackson BUTT b: 21 JUN 1912 in Eureka Springs, Carroll County, Arkansas
William Jackson BUTT b: 21 JUN 1912 in Eureka Springs, AR

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  • Created by: Bobby and Carol Babin Estes
  • Added: 8 Apr 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 88247264
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Festus Orestes Butt (3 Feb 1875–30 Jun 1972), Find a Grave Memorial no. 88247264, citing IOOF Cemetery, Eureka Springs, Carroll County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by Bobby and Carol Babin Estes (contributor 46900498) .