Morgan Butler

Morgan Butler

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.

​New Hartford Historical Society, 2 Paris Road, ​New Hartford, NY 13413
Phone: 315.724.7258
E-mail: historicalnh@yahoo.com
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