Biography of Jacob Newton Butler, M.D.

Jacob Newton Butler, M.D., of Lempster, N.H., one of the best known physicians in this part of Sullivan County, was born in Lyndeboro, Hillsborough County, this State, February 6, 1821, son of Jacob and Sarah (Blanchard) Butler. His great-grandfather, William Butler, came, it is said, from England, and settled in Essex County, Massachusetts. He married, so we are informed, Sarah Perkins, and had seven children, three sons and four daughters. The three sons enlisted in the War for Independence, and one never came back. One was taken prisoner and carried to Halifax, N.S., where he died of small-pox. The other son, Jonathan Butler, grandfather of Jacob N., was born in Gloucester, Mass., and was the first of the family to settle in Lyndeboro. He served in the battle of Bunker Hill and in many other engagements during the War for Independence. While in the service he worked at his trade of a blacksmith nine months, and later followed his trade in connection with farming. He was Town Clerk for a great many years. He died in 1844, aged ninety-two years; and his wife, Lois Kidder Butler, died in 1846, aged eighty-six years. They were the parents of twelve children, as follows: Sarah, born January 11, 1779; Hannah, born October 27, 1780; Jacob, first, born December 30, 1782; Jonathan, born March 1, 1785; Lois, born April 27, 1787; Rachel, born July 4, 1789; Tryphena, born April 2, 1792; Jacob, second, born June 7, 1794; Mary, born September 4, 1796; Susannah, born September 23, 1798; Lucy, born January 21, 1802; and William, born April 21, 1805. William Butler, who became a practising physician, married Nancy Smith, of New Boston, N.H. Soon after graduating he located in Union, Broome County, N.Y. He was a successful practitioner, and lived to be over ninety years old. He had two sons: Smith Butler, who enlisted in the late war, and died soon after; and Morris, who is now a physician in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Jacob Butler, Dr. J. N. Butler’s father, was born in Lyndeboro, N.H., June 7, 1794. He served as a soldier in the War of 1812, and after his return from the army he engaged in agricultural pursuits in his native town. He tilled the soil with energy during the rest of his active period, and was an exceedingly able and thrifty farmer. In politics he was originally a Whig, but joined the Republican party at its formation, and was for many years a prominent factor in the transaction of the town’s public business. In his religious views he was a Congregationalist, and the temperance cause had in him a strong and earnest advocate. His wife, Sarah Blanchard, who was born in Lyndeboro, May 29, 1793, became the mother of six children, namely: Jacob Newton, first, born August 2, 1819, and died in infancy; Jacob Newton, second, the subject of this sketch, born February 6, 1821; Jonathan H., born June 17, 1823; William Horace, born October 28, 1825; Charles Milton, born August 7, 1827; and Olney Page, born April 22, 1835. Jonathan H. married and became a ranchman in Nebraska, where he was killed by the Indians. William Horace Butler was a harness-maker, and followed his trade until his death, which occurred in May, 1880. Charles Milton, who is a travelling man, wedded Martha M. Weston, of Ohio. Olney Page Butler, who was engaged in farming, died May 1, 1880, survived by his wife, Mrs. Hannah Langdell Butler, who is now residing in Lyndeboro, N.H. Mrs. Sarah B. Butler died in April, 1869; and her husband, Jacob Butler, died April 16, 1882.

Jacob Newton Butler pursued the primary branches of study in the district schools, and advanced by attending the academies in Hancock and New Ipswich. He resided for a year with his uncle in Union, Broome County, N.Y., where he attended a fitting school for college, and then devoted himself to educational work, presiding over schools in Greenfield and Temple, N.H. While thus engaged, he studied medicine with Dr. John Ramsay, of Greenfield, N.H., and Drs. Smith and Follansby, of Peterboro, and later with Dr. Joseph B. Parsons in Bennington, N.H. He attended two courses of lectures in Woodstock, Vt., and then entered the Berkshire Medical College, Pittsfield, Mass., where he was graduated in 1843. On December 5 of the same Lempster, where he began his professional career; and it has never been necessary for him to seck other fields for practice, as his ability has found ample scope for useful and lucrative employment in this town and vicinity. He has long enjoyed the reputation of being one of the most skilful and reliable physicians of this section, and he is still in active practice.

Dr. Butler is one of the oldest members of the New Hampshire State Medical Society. Politically, he is a firm supporter of the Republican party; and, although his professional duties have prevented him from often accepting public office, he was induced to serve upon the School Board, and for many years he rendered valuable aid to the cause of public education in Lempster. He is connected with Silver Mountain Grange, No. 196, Patrons of Husbandry. His activity in the temperance cause has been of much benefit to the community, and as a member of the Congregational church he has displayed a deep interest in religious work.

On June 22, 1846, Dr. Butler was united in marriage with Harriet Moore. She was born in Lempster, February 10, 1827, daughter of Charles and Airra (Beckwith) Moore, of Goshen. Charles Moore, who was a native of Bolton, Mass., settled in Lempster when a young man, and followed agricultural pursuits for the rest of his life. He was the father of four children, namely: Harriet, who is now Mrs. Butler; Helen, wife of Hiram Parker, a merchant and Postmaster in this town; George, who married Almina Weed, of Unity, and is now a prosperous farmer in Vermont; and Charles Austin, a travelling man, who married Ella Smith, of Ludlow, Vt., and resides in Rutland.

George Arthur, only child of Dr. and Mrs. Butler, was born May 23, 1850. He graduated in 1871 at the Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, N.H., having also attended the Thayer School in Hanover, N.H. He then entered the academical department at Dartmouth, from which he graduated in the class of 1875. During his college vacations for four years he was employed on the United States Coast Survey service. Since 1879 he has been in the civil engineering department of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, and resides in Chicago. He married Abigail McCrillis, of Sandwich, N.H., and has one son-Newton Crillis, born March 16, 1888.


Biographical Review Publishing Company. Biographical Review; containing life sketches of leading citizens of Merrimack and Sullivan counties, N. H. Boston. Biographical Review Publishing Company. 1897.

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