of the first settlers here was Pope Williams, who owned and cultivated
the land on which Butler now stands.
was first called Fourth Lock, on account of it being the
fourth lock and dam on the Licking River, being situated at this
place at the time of the attempt to make the river navigable. Though
the enterprise has been abandoned, the probability of it yet being
completed is often discussed. The principal trouble lies, we are
told, in the fact that there is such an accumulation at the mouth
of the Licing River at Covington and consequent shallowness that
the cost of its removal would be too great.
very few Butlerites know that Butler is not the name first given.
After the growing importance of the place demanded a more graceful
name than Fourth Lock it was called Clayton, and about the year
1852-3, when the new railroad had been completed, an attempt was
made to give Clayton a postoffice. There being another postoffice
in the State by that name, it was changed to Butler. It was so
named in 1852 or 1853 and not in 1836 as has been published. We
have been informed that one Mr. Joel Ham, a contractor on the dam
named the place Butler, in honor of Wm. O. Butler, a member of
Congress from this district.
first store was started by the Hams about 1837 and prospered as
long as the works on the lock and dam continued.
Ham brothers, who were also contractors, afterward moved to Cincinnati.
next store was started by Uriah Kendall of Cincinnati, in 1848
in a part of his 14-roomed house, situated where now is the residence
of Dr. W.H. Yelton. Merchant and Miller Kendall's orchard and pasture
was where R.F. Shaw's store, residence and adjacent buildings now
are. The next store was started by Messrs. Gus and Dan Yelton,
which seemed to prosper several years. Another store was started
also by Mr. Harry Stephenson, and operated by Mr. L.H. Armstrong,
one of the shrewdest business men that Butler or northern Kentucky
ever knew. Mr. Armstrong finally built a store of his own which
is now the one owned by F.M. McClure, and occupied by the prosperous
merchant, Mr. John A. Faris. Mr. Die Wheeler, however, had started
a sotre about 1856, which was previous to the starting of one by
Mr. Stephenson Mr. Kendall's saw and grist mill was built about
1847, but soon failed to prosper. The next one started was by the
Hon. U.S. Patton, a clear-headed, conservative business gentleman.
He was very successful, accumulated a fortune, was elected to the
Legislature of Kentucky as a Representative from Pendleton County,
in 18--. He afterward sold out his interest in the Butler lumber,
flour and grist mills to Messrs. C.C. Hagemeyer & Co., who have
so added to the buildings previously established, increased the
capacity and improved, throughout that the firm now enjoys the
reputation of bieng one of the most complete combined mills in
which has become such a universal crop and such a staple article
of commerce, and which has contributed much toward building Butler
to its present size, was first prized in hogsheads by R.F. Shaw
in an old orchard under an apple tree.
Barton was the first blacksmith in Butler, built the first and
the last shop and still follows the occupation.
attempt at teaching school was made in an old black smith shop
shortly before 1860, when the first school house in Butler was
built. It was a one-story, one-room frame building, and was used
until about 1882 or 1883 when it was removed to where it now stands,
opposite the residence of C.C. Hagemeyer. It is now occupied by
Jno. T. Williams. Many of the residents of Butler who have since
grown to men and women will ever remember many hallowed associations
of school days past and gone that were spent in this old Butler
first graded school Butler had was under the Principlalship of
Prof. T.M. Barton, the pioneer teacher of Pendleton County. This
was before the new house was erected, and three rooms, or all of
the upper story of the Armstrong - now the John Faris store was
rented. The school jumped from one to four departments. Miss Kittie
Storch, a highly accomplished graduate of Cincinnati, taught French,
Latin, Elocation, etc. Mr. Marion Bradford, Penmanship, Book-keeping,
Business forms, etc., while T.M. Barton and Miss Rouse taught the
other departments. The present building was erected at a cost of
$1,300 and is yet entirely inadequate for the number of children
in the district. A plan is on foot at this time to build an addition
of two rooms and otherwise fix up and beautify our public school
1871 the Butler Bridge was built at an immense cost, thus concentrating
the business of the surrounding country at Butler, making it a
place of permanent prosperity. In the same year was built the town
hall, the church, and Masonic hall - all in one building. UP to
this time there was no church organization, except that of the
Methodists, who were few in numbers and who held meetings in the
school house. UP to this time nothing like as much business was
ever known in Butler, and it was an era of great pride.
town was incorporated in 1856.
Kentucky Central Railroad was completed about 1853, when was established
J.J. Yelton was the first physician. Dr. F.M. Harris, a very prominent
physician, formerly lived here, but now practices in Vincennes,
Indiana. Judge J.J. Yelton has occupied various positions in the
town, being for many years Police Judge, and has for 76 years lived
in and around Butler.
an election held in November, 1882, to decide whether or not
whiskey should be retailed in BUtler, it was found the majority
were opposed to its sale and ever since, Butler has been a temperance
town. Before this, there were three saloons and no churches. Now,
there are no saloons and three churches. Butler has always been
noted for maintaining a high plane of morality. It is one of the
most peaceful towns in the State, and the citizens law abiding
October 1882, the Railroad Company erected a very nice rail-road
depot, which not only adds to the wealth of the town, but is a
Enterprise, a weekly newspaper devoted to the interests of
Butler and vicinity, as well as of Pendleton County, begun several
years ago by Leslie L. Barton, Editor and proprietor, was the
first last and only paper Butler ever had. It was printed at
Falmouth at the Guide book and job works, and edited and published
at Butler. The Editor being but a youth, began its publication
for experience more particularly than for lucrative compensation.
It was issued weekly and regularly for a ehile, but the editor
in time left for the west and the paper was suspended, but only
temproarily. It started up again May 4, 1889, and has since been
issued regularly on Saturday morning at the low price of 60 cents
per year. Though Butler is scarcely large enough to support a
paper, yet the liberality and public spirit of its citizens are
maintaining it manfully.
has a green grocery, a drug store, four general stores, two meat
shops, three blacksmith and wagon shops, no saloons, one Odd Fellow's
hall or police court, one masonic hall, three churches, one brick-kiln,
two attorney's offices, three cooper shops, one barber shop, one
photograph gallery, one stirrup factory, two millinery, and dry
goods houses, three doctors offices, four hotels and boarding houses,
two shoe shops, two carpenter shops, one flour and grist mill,
one saw mill, one newspaper one public school building, two schools
in session, and many residences of modern architecture.
is situated on a slight elevation above the Licking River, surrounded
by rather a rough, but by nature an exceedingly rich country.
great fertility of the hills in this the edge of the Bluegrass
region of Kentucky, have contributed to the wealth of the people
and prosperity of Butler. It contains about 800 inhabitants and
is situated on the left bank of the Licking River and on the K.C.R.R.
about 28 miles south of Cincinnati, about 11 miles north of Falmouth
the county seat and about 8 miles from the Ohio river. It is next
to the largest town in Pendleton county, and one of the oldest.