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Monday, September 28, 2009

Cat Head Biscuits and Watermellon........

Dare Modean Butler was the fourth child of Tom and Lydia Butler, born on Feb 10,1916. As a young child Dare tells the story about She and Dennis. They were playing, but Dennis was told to chop some wood. Dare, not wanting to stop playing sat down on the chop block and would not get up. So Dennis hit her in the head with the axe. They didn't take her to the doctor, they only wrapped it up and put kerosene on it to stop the bleeding. Dare would tell the story and show the scar.

Dare was friends with Annie Sells. She had a brother by the name of Willie Sells, better known as Bill. She introduced Dare to Bill and soon after Willie Hodge Sells and Dare Modean Butler were married Oct.17,1937.

Dare was a devoted wife. She never worked outside the home and never learned to drive. She made most all of her clothes on a pedal sewing machine that Papa Butler bought for $2.00. This machine is still in the family.

The early part of their marriage they lived in a big house that was divided like a duplex. Bill's mother and daddy lived in the other side of the house.

Dare would help her mother-in-law cook Sunday dinner. They never knew how many people they were cooking for. They had no phone or electricity and cooked on a wood stove. Dare was a wonderful cook. Some of Bills favorite foods were biscuits, chocolate pie, and his very favorite was egg custard pie.

David, Dare's younger brother came to visit often. On one occasion Bill had to take some hogs to South Georgia. Well David had a very bad cold, but he wanted to go with him. So Bill convinced David to take a big dose of Castor oil and maybe he would feel better. Bill tells the story about how many times they had to stop along the road and let David jump out of the truck and excuse himself!

In the early part of 1938 Dare was expecting their first child. But there were complications. Dare had toxemia poison and their little boy was not to be. He died Nov14,1938 at childbirth. With Dare in Georgia Baptist hospital, Bill had to take care of the arrangements. The little boy was buried in Haynes Creek Cemetery near the big bell. For you that don't know about the bell, it was used to ring the age of the person that died and friends and family would come and help dig the grave. At a later date the baby boy was moved to the cemetery at Chestnut Grove Baptist in Grayson. The baby was never named. Only the inscription on the tomb read,"Budded On Earth To Bloom In Heaven"

Dare was devastated over the death of the baby. She would go to the field where Bill was plowing and sit at the end of the row so she would not dig up the baby. The doctor told her she would never go through a pregnancy again, but in July they were expecting again. Dare was again to go through more complications and delivered early on July 24, 1940 a little girl 4lbs 3oz by the name of Rachel Annette.

I remember David being at our home many times. Calling him David never changed. Even when he married, I still called him David and Aunt Martha.

I remember mother was afraid of two things,fire and water. She loved shoes and purses. She was a wonderful and precious mother. Always thinking of others before herself. I miss her everyday.

Rachel Sells Moore

Dare Modean Butler Sells b Feb.10,1916 d Feb. 18, 2001
Willie Hodge Sells b Oct. 16,1912 d June 28, 2000
Married Oct. 17,1937

Children Infant Son d at birth Nov. 14,1938
Rachel Annette Sells
Married Billy Moore June 23, 1961

Children William Darrell Moore
Denise Renee Moore
Married Roger Alan Camp Nov.20,1992

Children Jordan Travis Camp
Chasity Brooke Camp

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nathan Taylor Butler..A little boy gone too soon..

Nathan Taylor Butler was the third son and the fifth child of Tom and Lydia Butler. He was born at home May 10,1918.

When he got sick he wasn't allowed to go outside and play, so he watched what he could out the front window. Papa never let anyone touch his pocket knife, but when Nathan was feeling unusually bad Papa let him hold it and turn it over in his hand and look at it. Uncle Mac told me that he died in Papa Butler's arms Feb.5,1927. He was 8yrs and 9 months old. I found a copy of his death certificate. He died of Endocarditis...infection of the heart valves or lining around the heart. Today this can be treated with antibiotics.

To outlive your children is a special pain that I can not even imagine. Mama Butler always kept a large picture of her little boy Nathan in a concave black oval frame above their bed. I looked at it every time I went to their house and wondered if he would have looked like my daddy if he had grown up.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tom & Lydia Butler..........

Tom & Lydia Butler 50th Wedding Anniversary
Dec. 27, 1958

Noby Butler Needam Tom & Lydia Butler
Tom & Lydia Butler w/ Mike & Tim butler

Tom Butler Family..........

L-R Ed Butler,Jimmy Martin,Rachel Sells Moore ,Hilda Reynolds Martin,Jerry Reynolds,Bill Sells,Charlote Reynolds Carruth,Linda Butler,Dare Butler Sells ,Robert Reynolds,Kenny Butler,Mike & Tim Butler,Dennis Butler,Gary Butler,Lydia Butler Anderson,Lyndall Brooks Butler,Mac Butler,Bud Reynolds,Steve Butler,Jewell Butler Reynolds,David A. Butler,Jeff Butler,Floy Norton Butler,John Butler, Wayne Butler,Martha Garner Butler,Dan Martin,Lydia Braswell Butler,Tom Butler 1957 Aunt Jewell & Uncle Bud's house,Tucker Ga

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pictures From The Past...........

Grandma Braswell,Tom Butler, Noby B. & Enoch Needam, Grandma Butler

Jonathan Braswell, Nancy Moon Braswell, Children-Zed,Mark,

Jonathan(deceased when this picture was taken), Lydia, Mattie Lou, Naiomi, Eunice

Jonathan N. Braswell b Feb. 9, 1855 d Nov.30,1921

Nancy Moon Braswell b May 8,1859 d July 14,1943

Parents Of:

William Zed b Nov.3,1879

Lydia Senora Braswell Butler(Mama Butler) b June 21,1882 d Sept, 21,1970

Jonathan C b April 13,1885 d Oct 22,1912

Eunice R. b Oct.6,1887

Henry Mark b Dec 11,1889

Margaret Naomie b April10,1881

Mattie Lou b Nov.21,1899

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"What is to be, will be" Mama Butler

Mama Butler saved everything of any use. She had balls of tin foil, string, and rubber bands in the kitchen just in case she might need them. She made quilts from parachutes brought back from WWII. She could make a woman's skirt and jacket out of a mans suit of clothes. She took the mans jacket and cut it down to fit, and took the trousers and opened them up and pieced together a straight skirt. I know because she made my mom one after my parents got married. She took plain cotton string and crocheted it into a useful doily or pot holder. I saw her take little pieces of used soap that she had saved and put it together with homemade lye soap that she made in her kitchen.

She was a Primitive Baptist and that meant that "God was all power". Everything happened just as it should and what was meant to be would happen. If you were meant to go to heaven ,you would and if not..well that was just preordained that way. No need to try and talk anyone into being saved, because their fate was sealed from the start. I never heard her argue or debate anyone about religion.. and I never knew her to worry about anything.

She was resourceful and practical, down to earth and kind. She always smiled when she saw me and said"There's my namesake" I always felt special when I was around her. One time she told me that she never had voted (I guess it was that trust that everything would turn out as it should). She said she had never had an injection from a Doctor and since I had , I was amazed by that fact. I don't know if she knew how to drive a car because when they lived in Loganville my grandparents would walk to town from their house. She told me that in school she had studied the Blue Back Speller and that she wrote on a slate with chalk instead of pencil and paper.

One time I went to church with her at Haynes Creek . The choir sang without instruments with the men on one side and the ladies on the other. Their voices sang in the Sacred Harp style. The harmony was so touching it could bring you to tears.

The day of her funeral, we all woke to a mocking bird singing outside. Daddy said ,"mama always told us, never kill a mocking bird." When we got to the church, there was another one singing its heart out right outside the church. I knew that the mocking bird's song that day at her funeral was a sign that she was in heaven and everything was as it should be.....

Husband,Father,Farmer,Musician..Papa Butler

William Thomas Butler b Oct.17,1881 d Aug.17,1966
m Lydia Senora Braswell b June 21, 1882 d Sept.21,1970
Dec, 27,1908
Edward Thomas Butler b Nov.1, 1909
Jewell R. Butler July 31, 1911
Dennis B. Butler Oct 13, 1913
Dare M. Butler b Feb. 10, 1916
Nathan T. Butler b May 10, 1918
William M. Butler b Nov.1,1920
John Eph Butler b Nov. 28, 1922
David A. Butler b Dec. 7, 1925 d Oct.17,1993
My grandparents were in their 70's when I was born. I remember Papa Butler would say very little, but when he did speak everyone listened. He had a walking cane that he would try and hook your ankle with to get your attention. He smoked Winston cigaretes in his favorite chair by the fireplace in their home in Loganville. He was a farmer and would sell his produce at the farmers market in Atlanta. They lived on 100 acres on Brushy Fork Road(now Old Loganville Road)on the Gwinnett Co. side of Loganville Ga. The farm was given to my grandmother by her Uncle Taylor Braswell. He gave a farm to my grandmother and each of her sisters. Daddy said Uncle Taylor would always have his horse and buggy ready at the front of his house in case he wanted to go somewhere.His house still stands on Ga. 20 South about 2 1/2 miles from Loganville on the left. One day I asked my dad what his father was like. He told me that he was a good man who worked very hard. Coming in from the fields ,all his clothes would be soaked with sweat. He would catch a possum and put it in a cage for a month to fatten it up. Then Mama Butler would cook it for him. People in the community would come to him to settle neighborhood disputes like land boundaries. When he was young he played in a band. These "coronet" bands sprung up all over America at the turn of the century. He played the drum. Times were tough during the depression and in 1929 cotton reached an all time high. Papa had a crop that was ready to sell and the price was going higher and higher. He decided to hold his cotton for one more day in hopes of getting an even better price,but the next day the stock market crashed and the price of cotton fell to only 5 cents per pound. Papa Butler was a member of Grayson Methodist Church as were his parents and sister Noby.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Patrick & Georgia's Children..........

Noby Francis Butler Needam
Enoch Needam

William(Tom) Thomas Butler Lydia( Littie) Braswell Butler

Patrick and Georgia Butler had 5 children.

William T. Butler b October 17,1881

m Lydia Senora Braswell b June 21,1882

Clayborn P. Butler b May 25,1883 d Nov,24,1884

Merty R. Butler b Aug.18,1885 d May 12,1887

Neasey L. Butler b Nov.22,1887 d May 4,1891

Noby Francis Butler Nov.20,1890
m Enoch Needam

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

She called Him Mr. Butler.......

Pictures of Georgia Robertson Butler, Papa Butler's mother

In the picture you can see Georgia sitting second from the left. She is in a black dress signifying mourning. Three of her children died young. Georgia's mother is sitting next to her with the white apron on , her name was Jane Reed Robinson m William Robinson 1854. (Seated left-right) Evie Robertson Green,Georgia Robertson Butler,Matilda Jane Reed Robertson, Melissa Robertson(standing left-right) Henry Green, Morgan Robertson,Lacy Robertson, Benjamin Franklin Robertson. Child -Unknown

Nathan Patrick & Elizabeth( Elizer) Georgia Robertson Butler

Mary M. Butler's Death Certificate

Mary Whitley Butler lived to be 92 years old. As was the fashion of the time, she wore black after her husbands death. She never remarried. Here is a copy of her death certificate. Cause of death "old age" and "dropsy"Notice her parents were born in North Carolina, Nathan Whitley and Lucy Uday.

William H. Butler b 1827 m Mary M. Whitley 12/05/1849
Nathan Patrick Butler b Oct 8, 1851 Elizer Georgia Robertson b Jan 19,1864 m Jan 16, 1881

Georgia Robertson was a teenager(17) when she married Patrick Butler age 30 in 1881. Still in the Victorian Era she addressed him as Mr. Butler as women of that time often did including their grown sons. The loss of three of her children was very hard on her. Aunt Jewell told me that especially the last one who died from pneumonia.
Two of Patrick and Georgia's children lived to adult hood. William Thomas Butler(my Grandfather) and Noby Francis Butler.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ain't nothing left but the cryin'........

After the war Mary(Polly) M. Whitley Butler carried on with what was left of her life. She had a lot to be thankful for. She was in good health and she had her children who needed her. I am sure she received help from relatives also. They were not going to let her family starve. William(Will) and Mary(Polly) did not own any slaves. They were used to working hard and doing everything for themselves. Even though they could not read or write they managed through that hard work and determination. Later Congress and the state of Georgia approved pensions for confederate widows of $100.00 per year. By putting her X on the application Mary, got this pension. Mary lived with one of her children the rest of her life. She lived her final years in Centerville, Ga. with her daughter Rebecca Francis, who married Henry C. McCullers. Mary's son James Butler married Josephine McCullers, which produced many Butler/McCullers double first cousins. See this picture of a reunion held in 1918. Mary is the old lady in the front row. Rebecca is sitting next to her and her son James is on the other side.In 1911 Mary Butler, Fannie & Henry McCullers, Celia Butler, and Marie Butler were members of Rockbridge Baptist Church, one of the oldest churches in Gwinnett County Ga. May 14,1920 she died at the age of 92 and she is buried in the church cemetery on Hwy 124 in Centerville, Ga. Aunt Jewell said they called her "Big Mama".

William H. Butler B 1827 m Mary Whitley 1849
Nathan Patrick (Papa Butler's father)
Rebecca Francis (Fannie)
James W.
Joseph Henry

Nathan Patrick Butler b 1851 m Elizer Georgia Robertson Jan 16, 1881
William T. Butler Oct 17,1881
Clayborn P. Butler May 25,1883 d Nov.24,1884
Merty R Butler Aug 18,1885 d May 12,1887
Neasey L Butler Nov 22,1887 d May 4,1891
Nobie F.Butler Nov 20 1890
The three children between Papa Butler and his sister Nobie died young. The story has been told that one died from a pitch fork in the eye, one from falling into scalding water, and one from pneumonia. They are buried in Youth Ga in a Family cemetery ( Reed) on Gum Creek Church Road. Patrick and Georgia are buried at Chestnut Grove Baptist Church, Grayson Ga. It is well known in our family that Georgia called Patrick Mr. Butler...after all he was 30 and she was just a teenager when they married..........

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Yankees are coming........

1861-65 The death of William H. Butler in first months of the war must have shocked everyone who knew him into the reality of the nightmare they were all living. How the loss of his father affected Patrick, we can only surmise from the way it affects people today. Suddenly he was the man of the house at age 9. He may have been responsible for too much too soon. His mother would depend on him to be strong and his siblings would need him to help them understand why Papa had to go away. At least Will made it home, and hopefully he died in his own bed with his loved ones around him. I wonder if his mother and father came to Walnut Grove to say goodbye.
I have not been able to find his grave. I have searched for deeds, but so far I have found no property that they owned. They could have been living on the Whitley farm or perhaps they rented. I know they buried people the same day they died back then. My guess is he is in a family cemetery and it probably is Mary's family. I am going to keep looking, because I want to find his grave and put a marker there.
The next year Will's brother Nathan would die in North Carolina from disease or wounds I don't know which. Two other brothers would survive the war. In the end, Georgia would be where one of the final acts of cruelty would be played out with the arrival of William T. Sherman. Burning their way, the Yankees plundered wherever they went. Railroad tracks and bridges along with barns and livestock were destroyed. Churches became stables, and private homes were ransacked and burned to the ground. The civilian population was terrorized as the invaders swept through like a plague.

" The story is that one of the slaves led the mules into the woods to hide them from the Yankees, the sun reflected off his bald head as he disappeared behind the pines. That's the only story I heard about the war." (As told to David Butler by his grandmother)

What was left of home after Sherman was finished with Georgia was a desolate defeated land. Crops and animals were gone, homes were damaged or destroyed and people were hungry and tired. They must have resolved to take what was left and go on, because that's what they did.....