Biography of Joseph Hubbard Butler

Joseph Hubbard Butler, a representative of a pioneer family of Oklahoma, bears a name that has long been an honored one in business circles and public affairs of this part of the state and is now serving as Vice President of the Home Farm Mortgage Company of Vinita, displaying enterprise, determination and administrative ability in the control of his interests. He was born in Kokomo, Indiana, October 12, 1870, of the marriage of Hardy H. and Mary Butler, who were also natives of the Hoosier state. The father engaged in merchandising at Kokomo until 1877, when he went to Sterling, Rice County, Kansas, where he had farming interests, and there conducted an implement business, while he also took an active part in public affairs of that place, being elected police judge on the Republican ticket. In 1884 he came to Indian Territory and for three years devoted his attention to farming and stock raising near Afton, removing in 1887 to Vinita, where he engaged in the wholesale and retail hay and grain business. In 1892 he established his home in Miami, Ottawa County, becoming one of its leading citizens. He served as the first Mayor of the town, was deputy clerk of the United States court at Miami, a member of the council and was again chosen for the office of Mayor, making a most creditable record as a public official. He passed away at Miami in 1910, in the faith of the Quaker Church, while the mother’s demise occurred at Kokomo, Indiana, in 1871.

When Joseph H. Butler was seven years of age he accompanied his father on the removal to Sterling, Kansas, and he there acquired his public school education, while he spent the scholastic year of 1888-89 as a student at Wooster Academy of Vinita, which was the only educational institution in this vicinity not operated by the Cherokee Nation. On starting out in the business world he spent several years as a clerk in mercantile establishments of Vinita, Claremore and Chelsea, Oklahoma, and in 1898 was appointed postmaster of Vinita. He continued to act in that capacity until 1912, or for a period of fourteen years, his long retention in the office being unmistakable evidence of his trustworthiness and capability. During his incumbency many improvements were introduced in the local postal system,a city delivery being established in Vinita, and the first rural mail routes were also started in this locality. While serving as postmaster Mr. Butler, with the assistance of his brother-in-law, T. H. Byrd, had established the general insurance agency of Butler & Byrd, which was continued as such until the completion of his term, when a consolidation of interests was effected, the new organization operating under the style of the Fidelity Loan & Mortgage Company, of which he became Vice President. Subsequently he was made President, continuing at its head until 1917, when he sold his interests and resumed his association with Butler & Byrd. From 1918 until 1920 he was Vice President of the Security Land Credit Company of Vinita, and in 1921 the firm of Butler & Byrd, which had existed since 1906, became a part of the Home Farm Mortgage Company. Mr. Butler is now filling the office of Vice President and his intelligently directed efforts, thorough knowledge of the business and close application have been important factors in the development of the enterprise, which has made rapid progress since its inception. He was also a director of the First State Bank of Vinita and was one of the incorporators of the Vinita Building & Loan Company.

In 1900, in this city, Mr. Butler was united in marriage to Miss Fannie Byrd, a daughter of John W. Byrd, Sr., who removed from, Newton County, Missouri, to Indian Territory in 1895 and is now living retired in Vinita. He is a stanch Democrat in his political views and has been chosen to fill several public offices of trust and responsibility, serving as sheriff of Newton County, Missouri, while he has been police judge, tax collector and has also occupied other public positions in Vinita, discharging his duties conscientiously and efficiently. Mr. and Mrs. Butler have become the parents of a son, Joseph Byrd.

The family are members of the Presbyterian Church, in which Mr. Butler is serving as an elder, and his political allegiance is given to the Republican Party, with which he has been allied since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. In 1917 he was chosen to represent Craig County in the state legislature and is the only Republican who has ever held that office, his election being proof of his popularity in his district. He is well known in fraternal circles of the state, being a member of Vinita Lodge, No. 6, F. & A. M.; Indian Consistory, No. 2, A. & A. S. R., of McAlester ; and Akdar Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Tulsa. He is also identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and in 1905 was marshal of the grand lodge of Indian Territory, while he is like-wise a member of the Rotary Club. In his business career he has been a persistent, resolute and energetic worker and has steadily advanced toward the goal of success, while at the same time he has been a cooperant factor in the development and up-building of his community, County and state, being recognized as a capable business man and a progressive, public-spirited citizen whose influence is at all times on the side of advancement and improvement.



Benedict, John Downing. Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma: including the counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922.

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