Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon

BUTLER, WILLIAM G.

BUTLER, WILLIAM G. (1831–1912). William G. Butler, one of the earliest and most active trail drivers of South Texas, was born on June 14, 1831, in Scott County, Mississippi, the son of Burnell and Sarah Ann (Ricks) Butler. In 1852 he moved to Karnes County, Texas, with his parents and twelve siblings. In 1858 he married Adeline Burris, who bore him eight children. During the Civil War Butler volunteered for Confederate service and was mustered into the Escondido Rifles, a company of mounted riflemen raised in Karnes County in July 1861. Later, as a member of Franklin C. Wilkes's cavalry, he was transferred to the Trans-Mississippi Department for service in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. After the war, like many other South Texans, Butler started ranching and trail driving "to connect the four-dollar cow with the forty-dollar market." He soon became important in the cattle industry in South Texas. His first string of cattle was driven to Abilene in the spring of 1868. For many years he and Seth Mabry of Austin were partners, and together they sent up the trail an estimated 100,000 cattle. In Karnes County, Butler owned nearly 75,000 acres of land, leased another 25,000, and stocked 10,000 cattle. He also helped secure the passage of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway through the county. He died in Karnes County on June 20, 1912, and was buried in the family cemetery at his home near Kenedy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
J. Frank Dobie, ed., A Vaquero of the Brush Country (Dallas: Southwest, 1929; new ed., Boston: Little, Brown, 1943). Wayne Gard, The Chisholm Trail; with Drawings by Nick Eggenhofer (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1954). J. Marvin Hunter, Trail Drivers of Texas (2 vols., San Antonio: Jackson Printing, 1920, 1923; 4th ed., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985).
Robert H. Thonhoff

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Robert H. Thonhoff, "Butler, William G.," accessed May 26, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbu65.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.