Noted in the 1860 Federal Census at age 1 month, living in Detroit, Wayne Cty., MI with his parents, Michael, age 45, and Mary, age 31. Siblings noted as Louise 18, Sarah 16, Charles 15, Moses 10, Adam 11, and Mary 1.
[Michigan, ANTRIM, Roll 570 Book 1, Page 595b ]
Noted in the 1880 Federal Census at age 19, living with his parents, Michael and Caroline Butler, in Elk Rapids, Antrim County, MI. His occupation was listed as teacher. The Butler family was living two doors away from the Hughes family at the time.
[Michigan, Antrim County, Roll 699 Book 2, Page 100 ]
Noted in the 1900 Federal Census, age 39 (July 1860), living in Elk Rapids, Atrium County, MI, with his wife Alice, age 30 (Sept 1869), and daughters Helen, age 9 (Jan 1891), and Josephine, age 8 (April 1892). His occupation at the time was Groceries Salesman. Sister-in-law, Harriette Hughes (Hattie), age 24 (Sept 1872) noted as living with the family. Caroline Butler, age 81 (June 1818) noted living next door.
[Michigan, ANTRIM, Roll 635 Book 2, Page 91a ]
Noted in the 1910 Federal Census as living, at age 48, in Elk Rapids, Antrim Cty, MI, with wife Alice, age 40, and daughter Josephine, age 18. His occupation is noted at Grocery Owner. He lists his parents as having both been born in Michigan (contradicts earlier census information).
Obituary from Warren family bible (newpaper unknown):
Joseph Butler, one of the successful and best loved business men of this village, passed on into that higher life and the broader activities of the spirit world Sunday afternoon, June 8th, and all Elk Rapids and surrounding country mourns. His loss to the business and social circle leaves a vacant place that no other can fill as Joe filled it. His forty-five years of usefulness, of clean, kindly and beautiful living here on Grand Traverse bay has stamped his memory indellibly upon the hearts and affections of the people. He was of that quiet, unselfish nature that bore troubles and pain without mumuring. Ever thoughtful of others, he hid his own vexing problems of life, whether of business or otherwise, behind a quiet, gentle manner, and worked out their solutions himself, troubling no one, utering no complaint or discouraging word. Thus it was that his gentle, courteous and kindly manner won all people and there is no one of all his acquaintance to speak anything but words of praise for the man now gone. What a beautiful, priceless legacy to leave to family and friends. He always stood for the principles that meant improved conditions, higher ideals, cleaner living and better Elk Rapids, and in his quiet way threw more force in the fight for these things than was generally supposed. Elk Rapids loses one of its best men.
Joseph Butler was born in Detroit July 23, 1860, and when eight years of age came with his parents to Elk Rapids and settled with them in a house on Cheppewa street back of the court house when it stood where the Alpern residence now stands. Here he grew to manhood, and when a boy of nineteen years taught school in the south yard near the county line and later entered the grocery store of the Elk Rapids Iron Company as a clerk and finally as manager of that department. When the company closed its stores, Mr. Butler went into the business for himself and opened a grocery in the building on the corner of River and Pine streets which, with its contents, was destroyed by fire eight years ago, on the ruins of which was builded the Progress office. After the fire he worked for a few months as salesman for grocery goods, but soon engaged again in business, this time with his nephew Henry Butler, as partner. Henry withdrew from the firm two years ago to open a grocery store for himself in Warsaw, Ind., and Mr. Butler continued the business, which, at the present time, is one of the finest business places in the village. He has held many offices of the trust and always gave to those official duties the same careful thought he gave to his own affairs. He was a member of the board of education twenty-two consecutive years - twenty-two of the best years of our schools. He also filled the offices of township treasurer, member of the village council and justice of the peace. He was a life long member of St. Paul's Episcopal church and many years a vestryman. He was a member of the Masonic order of Elk Rapids and Past Worshipful Master of the lodge. In the social life of the village he was ever popular and he and his family were among the hospitable entertainers, their home being one of the open door and the open heart. No entertainment was compelte without them.
On September 30, 1889, he was united in marriage to Miss Alice Hughes, who, with their two daughters, Helen and Josephine, now completing ther last year in college, Helen at the U. of M. and Josephine at Alma, mourn a tender loving husband and father. He also leaves a sister Mrs. Tom Marriott, and a brother, Moses, both of this villiage.
The funeral was under the auspices of the Masonic lodge, Rev. Warger-Slade of Traverse City conducting the church service. Music was rendered by the best singers from the choirs of al lthe churches in the village. At Maple Grove the Masonic burial service was used. The pall bearers were Charles Carver, Harry Magoon, Fred Ellis, Giles Archbold, F.O. Aslett, and Kebel Lewis. The floral offerings from friends at home and away were many and magnificent, and today they still bloom above his resting place in the cemetery.
The out-of-town friends who attended the funeral were Henry Butler and wife, Warsaw, Ind.,; Dr. Watson and wife, Grand Rapids; Kebel Lewis, Frank Carver and wife and Howard Musselman and wife, Traverse City; Chas. Mahan and wife, Kalkaska; Mrs. Wm. Rushmore, Mrs. James Herbert and daughter, Misses Louse Pratt and Anna Brinkman, E.H. Bagley and Marshall Pratt of Old MIssion.
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