James M. Butler

James M. "Jim" Butler was born about 1813 probably in Elbert Co. GA.  He was the son of Christopher Columbus "Kit" Butler and Mahala Cole.  Kit and Mahala moved their family to Shelby Co. AL about 1819 and a short distance to Coosa Co. AL in 1832.  The first record that we have of Jim is the 1850 census in Winston Co. MS.  Jim married Sarah Crawford about 1835 and they had seven known children.  Jim and Sarah lived in Alabama until about 1847 when they moved to Winston Co. MS.  Sarah died after their son, Billy, was born in 1852.

Following Sarah's death, Jim returned to Coosa Co. AL at least long enough to marry Amanda Bishop in 1854.  Amanda was an orphan or a widow with a three year old daughter, George Anne when she married Jim.  Amanda is living in the Samuel Pruett household in the 1850 census in Coosa Co.

In 1857, Jim purchased a land patent in Walker Co. AL.  Jim and Amanda and their combined family moved there and acquired an adjoining tract of land from John Cargile.  They did not stay in Walker Co. very long.  In 1861, they sold their total land holdings to Noah and Mary Ann Pariss and moved to northern Alabama.  Their youngest twin children were born near Tuscumbia in 1862. Jim and Amanda had five known children in addition to Amanda's daughter, George Anne.

By 1870, the family had made its way to Decatur Co. TN.  Family tradition is that they were on their way west to Arkansas and stopped along the way in Decatur Co. and decided to stay.  Thomas and Billy, sons from Jim's first marriage to Sarah Crawford, made the trip to Decatur Co. along with Jim and Amanda's five children.  Jim and Sarah's sons, James and John showed up later in Arkansas so they may have continued the trip after the bulk of the family stopped in Decatur Co.

Jim and Mandy and their sons farmed near Point Pleasant, TN but did not own any land.  They seem to go from cotton crop to cotton crop with several liens showing up through the 1870's and 1880's in Decatur Co. TN.  Their son, Columbus, was the first Butler land owner with a deed recorded in 1883.  They seem to live a difficult life with Jim borrowing money in 1887 at age 70 with his gray horse and cotton crop as collateral.  Jim died some time in the 1890's.

Mandy combined households with her youngest daughter, Virgie after Jim's death and the death of Virgie's husband.  They were living in Henderson Co. TN near Scotts Hill in the 1900 census.  Mandy died before 1910.


This story is the result of research into my Butler genealogy. More information about the Butler family is available at www.30504.com

Jerry L. Butler





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