Morgan Butler was born on the family farm on South Street, (Oxford Road) in New Hartford on July 7, 1807 to Eli Jr. and Rachel Kellogg. As a young man he was active in the affairs of the days. At age 18 he was the bugler in his company of the militia and escorted General LaFayette to Oriskany when the General made his distinguished visit to this county in 1825.
When Morgan's father died in 1832, he purchased the interests of the other heirs and became sole proprietor of the property. Mr. Butler lived on the farm until he was 85 years old, and was widely known for his progressiveness as a farmer, and his public spirit as a citizen.
In 1841 he married Marianne Howard the daughter of Rufus Howard and Nancy Hungerford of Litchfield, N.Y. She was born on July 6, 1815 and was the sister of General Rufus Howard. She was a woman of great reserve of character, gentle and quiet, but of strong and well maintained convictions.
As a farmer, Butler was noted for his progressive spirit. He owned the first mowing machine in Oneida County and, as agent for the Howard & Ketcham firm, sold 1,500 mowers. He also sold hayracks, field loaders and barn forks. He grew corn for the canning factory and provided milk for the cheese factory and dairy. At one time he raised a 4,200-pound ox which was the wonder of the neighborhood. He took a deep interest in all that pertained to agriculture in Oneida and surrounding counties. He was President of the Central New York Farmers Club and a member of the State Agricultural Society.
In politics he was an Independent and generally voted the Republican Ticket. He was a prominent member of Stephen's Episcopal church and, for a time, an assessor of the town of New Hartford.
Mr. and Mrs. Butler
In 1889, at the cost of $15,000, he built a public hall (Butler Hall) which stands today as a monument to his memory. The building, when it was erected, contained a large hall for general meetings, offices for the village and town trustees, a post office, reading room, library, and bowling alley. Mr. Morgan's sisters furnished the books for the library.
On August 3, 1892, after a succession of illnesses from the previous winter months, he died. He had a long and useful life. His leadership among the farmers of Central New York was widely noted.
After her husband's death, Marianne Butler lived a quiet, retired life, growing old gracefully and contentedly, but retaining a full interest in the affairs of the time. She died in 1902 in her 87th year. The Butlers were married for 51 years. There were no children.
Morgan Butler was inducted into the Oneida County Historical Society's Hall of Fame in 2007.