Benjamin Franklin “Ben” Butler was born on the 26th of November 1860 on the Pendleton Farm in Trimble County, Kentucky. He died March 17, 1926 in Trimble County and was buried at Moffett Cemetery on that high ridge in Trimble County that overlooks the Ohio River.
Mark Collis Butler, Junior relates in "The Butler & Farley Families of Trimble County, Kentucky" that "Joseph Forest and Nancy Jane Pendleton Butler were last mentioned as newly married and living with her parents on the Pendleton Farm. Their first child Benjamin Franklin was born there on 26 February 1860.”
In 1859 Joseph Forest Butler married Nancy Jane Pendleton (the Butler and Pendleton families being not unwealthy farmers in Trimble County Kentucky). The young newlyweds move in with Nancy Jane's parents Robert H. and Sarah "Sally" Peak Pendleton and in February of 1860 their son, Benjamin Franklin Butler, is born on the Pendleton Farm on the banks of the Little Kentuck River.
Throughout the years, seven more children (Sallie, Mary, Charley, Joseph, Ely, John and Mark Collis) are born to Joseph F. and Nancy Jane.
Conversation around the dinner table must have been interesting during Ben' s early years. Robert H. Pendleton and Robert's son, John R. Pendleton, were staunch supporters of the Confederacy. Ben’s father, Joseph F. Butler served with the 54th Kentucky Mounted Infantry (a Kentucky Union regiment) while Ben's uncle John R. Pendleton gave his life for the South in his first encounter with the Yankees at the Battle of Mount Sterling.
The War ends and, blood being thicker than water, Robert H., wife Sally, and assorted other Pendletons and Butlers head to Missouri in 1866. 1870 sees them back in Trimble County on Robert H's farm in Cooper's Bottom below Milton. Five years later Joseph F. Butler and his wife Nancy Jane Pendleton Butler strike out on their own by purchasing a farm in the Liberty neighborhood of Trimble County where a fifteen year-old Ben is probably setting the tobacco plants or pruning fruit trees on his father’s fine farm of 147 acres.
One can only speculate on how Ben filled the ensuing years, but there is a burgeoning household in 1880 in Trimble County where eighteen year-old Ben is the oldest son working on the farm for his father. Sallie, fifteen, and Mary, twelve, are both attending school. Charles is nine. Joseph is six. There is a little brother named Carp who is three. And, baby brother John is the youngest at age two.
[Ben's grandchildren, Bula Fay Butler and Benjamin Franklin Curry, remember that his first wife was named Lillie and that Ben and Lillie had two little girls, Allie and Mary.]
When Ben was twenty-seven he courted then married nineteen year-old Lillian Clara Trout on the 18th of October 1888. Ben and Lillie lived on a farm near Milton in Trimble County, Kentucky. Lillie and Ben's children were Allie, who was born the 16th of August 1890; Mary who was born the 2nd of March 1893; and Laura Brook. Baby Laura was born on the 19th of July 1894 and lived only a few weeks. She died on the 9th of August. Her mother, Lillie Clara, died on October 15th, only a few months after having given birth to Laura Brook. Lillie Clara was buried at Moffett Cemetery.
[Benjamin Franklin Curry, grandson of Benjamin Franklin Butler and son of Allie Butler and E. H. Curry, provided a copy of Mary Brook and Ben’s marriage certificate.]
"This is to certify that Benjamin F. Butler and Mary Brook Troute were united by me in Holy Matrimony at her home on the Sixth day of November in the year of our Lord 1895 in Presence of G. L. Cooper and Ida M. Cooper. Signed James E. Payne"
Ben was thirty-four and Mary Brook was twenty-one when their marriage was witnessed by Mary Brook's uncle Gibson L. Cooper and his wife Ida M. A bit more than a year later, William Franklin Butler was born on the 15th of October 1896. Mary and Allie had a little brother. Sadly though, within his first four years in Trimble County, William lost a baby brother or sister. In that same time span, Mary Brook also lost her uncle Gibson L Cooper and her grandfather Lindsey Anderson Cooper.
1900 U. S. Census
West Milton Township, District #1, Trimble County, Kentucky; by W. Willis Benjamin Butler, b. November 1860, age 39, married 5 years, b. Kentucky; parents b. Kentucky; farmer by occupation
Mary, wife, b. April 1874, age 26, married 5 years; 2 children born, 1 living; b. Kentucky; parents b. Kentucky Allie, daughter, b. August 1890, age 9, b. Kentucky; parents b. Kentucky
William, son, b. October 1896, age 3, b. Kentucky; parents b. Kentucky
According to the same 1900 U. S. Census of West Milton Township, widowed, twenty-nine year-old Ida M. Cooper, is living with her widowed mother-in-law, Matilda Ann Cooper. Matilda is Matilda Ann Luckett Cooper, widow of Lindsey Anderson Cooper. Matilda and Lindsey are the parents of Ruhama Cooper and the grandparents of the four Trout sisters. Ida M. is the widow of Gibson L. Cooper - Ruhama‘s brother and Mary Brook's uncle. Gibson L. and Ida M. Cooper were witnesses at Ben’s and Mary Brook Trout’s wedding.
In 1900 thirty-nine year-old Ben is farming in West Milton Township with his wife of five years, twenty-six year-old Mary Brook. Nine year-old Allie has been joined by three year-old William. Allie’s little sister and William’s big sister, seven year-old Mary, is living with her grandparents, William Francis and Ruhama Cooper Trout and the children‘s seventeen year-old aunt, Daisy June Trout.
Only a year after that census was taken, Mary Brook died on 27 November 1901. She and Ben had been married just six years. Mary Brook is also buried at Moffett Cemetery
Ben's children, Allie, thirteen; Mary, eleven; and William, seven, found a new mother when Ben married Brook Baker in 1903. And William finally got a little brother for his birthday that year when George was born on October 22nd. Five years later, Bula B. was born on May 14, 1908.
1910 U. S. Census
West Milton Twp., Trimble County, Kentucky, p. 27; by Burr R. Callis
Benjamin F. Butler, age 49, married twice; married 7 years, b. Kentucky; parents b. Kentucky; farmer by occupation
Brook, wife, age 47, married once; married 7 years; 2 children born, 2 living; b. Kentucky; parents b. Kentucky
Allie, daughter, age 19, b. Kentucky [16 Aug 1890]
William F., son, age 13, b. Kentucky [15 Oct 1896]
George W., son, age 6, b. Kentucky [22 Oct 1903]
Beulah B., daughter, age 2, b. Kentucky [14 May 1908]
[Mary Butler is not listed on this census with her father and new stepmother. She is seventeen years old and in five years she will marry Amer A. Asher and they will head west to Missouri, Oklahoma, and California.]
1920 U. S. Census, West Milton Township, Trimble County, Kentucky
William F. Butler, enumerator, 2 January 1920
Benjamin F. Butler, age 59, b. Kentucky; parents b. Kentucky; farmer by occupation
Brooke H., wife, age 57, b. Kentucky; father b. Kentucky; mother b. Virginia
William F., son, age 23, single, b. Kentucky; parents b. Kentucky; farmer by occupation
George W., son, age 16, single, b. Kentucky; parents b. Kentucky
Bulah B., daughter, age 12, b. Kentucky; parents b. Kentucky
Trimble County Historical Society, Obituaries from Trimble County, Kentucky
Benjamin Franklin Butler, 65, died 17 March 1926. Burial Moffett Cemetery. A lifelong resident of Trimble County, Kentucky, Mr. Butler is survived by his widow the former Miss Brook Baker, and the following children: Mrs. Mary Asher, William Butler, Mrs. Allie Curry, George W. and Miss Beulah; his brothers, Joseph F., Mark Collis, and John Butler; his sisters, Miss Mary Butler, Mrs. Sallie Luckett and Mrs. George Trout [Ely Butler Trout].
Six years after son William Franklin Butler enumerated the census for West Milton Township, Ben Butler died - on St. Patrick’s Day of 1926.