Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


JAMES M. BUTTS. Among the, self-made men of Greene county who deserve their present comfortable situation in life is James Butts, who hails from the renowned Blue Grass state. This latter fact may not have much significance to some who peruse this biography, but maybe if he had not been fortunate enough to have had in his veins the blood of the sterling people who lived in that state in its early history and had not been reared in that splendid environment he would not have succeeded in overcoming the obstacles that have beset his pathway. True it is that the Kentuckians who have located in Greene county have all been courageous, energetic and in every way good citizens, so there must be something after all in the place where we happen to be born as the humorist Bill Nye maintained long ago.

Mr. Butts was born in Simpson county, Kentucky, on December 28, 1842. He is a son of H. G. and Mary (Barker) Butts. The father was born in Rockingham county, North Carolina, in 1815, and was reared in Kentucky, to which state he went when a small boy. He had no chance to obtain an education. He made a trip to Texas but returned to Kentucky in 1850, and in 1856 moved to Missouri, locating in Dallas county, where he spent the rest of his life, dying on March 6, 1897. The mother of our subject was born in Simpson county, Kentucky, in 1813, and was reared on the home farm near the city of Franklin. Her death occurred on the Butts farm in Dallas county in 1891. She was a member of the Christian church. To these parents six children were born, namely: Reuben, deceased; John, deceased; James M., of this sketch; Richard, deceased; Nancy deceased; the youngest died in infancy, unnamed. So our subject is the sole survivor of his family.

James M. Butts was reared on the farm in Kentucky where he worked hard when a boy. His education was neglected for lack of time and opportunity. He came with the family to Missouri in 1856, and located in Greene county in 1885. Here he went to work in a mercantile establishment, later worked in a mill, then secured employment in a drug store. He became owner of a farm of one hundred and twenty-four acres in Dallas county. His present neat little farm of fifty-eight acres in Jackson township, Greene county, is well kept.

Mr. Butts was married in 1861 to Mary F. McGlothlin, who was born in Barry county, Missouri, on August 26, 1846. She is a daughter of Alexander and Mary (Durham) McGlothlin, both natives of Tennessee, the father born on October 15, 1808, and the mother born on February 2, 1809. They were married on February 22, 1831. They came to Missouri in 1833 and located in Barry county, making the trip over the rough intervening mountainous country in wagons. Their farm in Barry county consisted of three hundred acres. They were among the early settlers in that county. Mr. McGlothlin was influential in public affairs there and at one time represented the county in the state legislature. His death occurred in that county in 1857, in which year also occurred the death of his wife. Mrs. Butts was reared on the home farm in Barry county and received her education in the public schools there. She was ten years old when her parents died, but she continued to reside in her native county until her marriage. She is one of ten children, eight of whom are deceased.

Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Butts, namely: Columbia, born on July 14, 1864; Mrs. Lula Bryan, born on December 6, 1867; Mrs. Mcie Cowden, born on March 6, 1870; Mrs. Sipie Burford, born on October 26, 1872, is deceased; Mrs. Florence Leslie, born on April 24, 1975; the youngest child, James H., died at the age of thirteen years.

Mr. Butts is a member of the Masonic Order, and he belongs to the Christian church.

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