Biography of Rutherford B. Butts

Rutherford B. Butts, member of the bar at Muskogee, is a veteran of two wars and has been a most prominent factor in the field of relief work, of organized charity and of polity. His labors have at all times and along all lines been far-reaching and resultant and his cooperation is regarded as a most effective force in the attainment of desired results.

Rutherford B. Butts is a native of Houston, Ohio, born February 18, 1877, and is a son of Jacob A. and Mary M. (Carpenter) Butts, the former a farmer by occupation. During the youthful days of R. B. Butts the family removed to Kansas and there he pursued his education in the public and high schools and in the Art School of the University of Kansas. He afterward became a student in the law department, from which he was graduated in June, 1905, and on the 17th of October of that year he came to Muskogee, where he entered upon the-general practice of law, in which he has continued. He tries all kinds of cases and tries them well and one of the marked characteristics of his law practice is the thoroughness and precision with which he prepares his cases, so that he is never surprised by the unexpected in the courts. His clientage is now extensive and of an important character, his name figuring as counsel for the prosecution or defense in many of the leading cases heard in the courts of the state.

The military record of Rutherford B. Butts constitutes a most interesting chapter in his life’s history. For two and a half years he was in the military service of the country following the outbreak of the Spanish-American war, serving as a private in the Philippines. Again when the country became engaged in hostilities during the World war he was made a first lieutenant at Fort Riley. He entered the service on the 6th of June, 1917, and in September, 1917, was granted a leave of absence. In that capacity he was captain of war savings drives and was active in promoting the various drives necessary to finance the war, until August, 1918, when he was ordered back for physical examination and was made commander of Company D, of the Sixth Receiving Battalion, of the One Hundred and Sixty-second Depot Brigade at Camp Pike, where he served until honorably discharged on the 10th of January, 1919. From February, 1919, Mr. Butts was actively connected with the Near East Relief work, acting as vice state director of Oklahoma in 1919, while in 1920 he organized the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma in the Near East Relief work, of which he had charge until July, 1920. He then went to Colorado as a campaign worker for the republican party, after which he returned to Muskogee and took charge of the campaign of the republican party in this county. Since that time he has devoted his attention to the general practice of law. His mind is naturally analytical, logical and inductive and his clear reasoning and forceful presentation of a case have been salient features in the attainment of his success.

On the 30th of December, 1908, Mr. Butts was united in marriage to Miss Nettie F. Cook of Junction City, Kansas, who is a graduate of the Colorado University, class of 1906. Mr. and Mrs. Butts have become parents of two children : Ruth Bernice and R. Beecher. Mr. Butts was active in organizing the Tennis Club of Muskogee and he is connected with various’ fraternal and social organizations. He belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Mystic Shrine; is past state commander of the Spanish War Veterans belongs to the American Legion; and to the Veterans of the World war. His wife was the lady member of the County Council of Defense and took active part in various other lines of war work. They occupy a most enviable social position, enjoying the respect and high regard of all with whom they have been associated. Mr. Butts’ labors have been of great value in relation to public welfare along many lines and his broad humanitarian spirit has prompted him to do most effective work for those whom the tide of war has left stranded without the necessities of life.


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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