was born December 15, 1797, in Adair county,
Kentucky. During the war of 1812 he was
selected to carry important dispatches from the
Governor of Kentucky to General Harrison, in the
He traveled on
horseback, and made the trip successfully, although
he was but fifteen years of age. When a young
man he was employed in the iron works of Tennessee,
and after that he was deputy of the Circuit Clerk
for Adair County, Kentucky. While thus
engaged, he made the acquaintance of a young lawyer,
now the venerable Judge Stephen T. Logan, of this
thus formed continued through life. Mr. Butler
spent a portion of his time as a clerk on a
steamboat. In 1828 he came to Sangamon county,
and purchased a farm in Island Grove. On that
farm his father, Elkanah Butler, lived and died.
came to Springfield, and was soon after appointed
Clerk of the Circuit Court, by his early friend,
Judge Logan, March 19, 1836, and resigned March 22,
1841. He was appointed, by Governor Bissell,
State Treasurer, August 29, 1859, to fill the
vacancy occasioned by the resignation of State
Treasurer Miller. He was elected to the same
office in 1860 for two years.
and Elizabeth Rickard were married December 18,
1832. They had three children.
History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County A
Centennial Record by John Carroll Power Published
In the autumn
of 1836, Abraham Lincoln obtained his law license.
Unfortunately, little is known about the exam which
was administered to Lincoln in Sangamon County
Circuit Court. Without much ado, the clerk of
the court, William Butler, entered Lincoln's
admittance to the bar on the court record.
Butler, another supporter of Lincoln, often brought
the then struggling Lincoln home to have meals with
wife and family. Although Lincoln had passed
the bar, he faced the difficult job of obtaining a
position with an established firm.
the Southern Illinois University Law Journal Volume