James C. Butler Biography

James C. Butler
Sarah Le McGuire

James C. Butler was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee on May 4, 1822; and died July 2, 1901 at 79 years of age. He was the second child born to Benjamin Butler, Sr. and his wife, Rachel Childers. Benjamin and Rachel were married 19 July 1816 in Madison County, Alabama. Rachel was born 1796 in Elbert County, Georgia and was the daughter of James Childers, Sr. and Nancy Jones. They lived in Lincoln County Tennessee and Tippah County Mississippi. Rachel died in Tippah County Mississippi in 1855 and is buried in the Butler Cemetery.

James himself lived in Lincoln County very close to the Giles County line for about the first 50 years of his life. He married Sarah Le McGuire, daughter of Cornelius Wesley McGuire and Sarah Meloney on October 15, 1846 in Lincoln County, Tennessee. Like the Butlers, the McGuires were a "fence straddling" family, owning land in both Giles Co. and Lincoln Co.

James and Sarah had eight children between the years of 1848 and 1872.
Cornelius b. 1848
Calvin Arthur b: 28 March 1850
Sarah b: 1853
Harriet Melissa b: 16 September 1855, d: 3 July 1856
Rachel Jane b: 30 March 1858 d: 21 December 1861 in Giles County and is buried in Bee Springs Cemetery
Xantippi E. b: 1863
Mayetta Bethania b: 1866
James Ollie Butler b: November 2, 1872.

Sarah Le McGuire was born April 28, 1828 in Tennessee, and died February 3, 1874. On February 11, 1874 James C. Butler was appointed the administrator of her estate. Later that same year, on September 17, 1874, James C. Butler remarried a widow from Giles County named Elizabeth Ann Bowers Austin. Their original marriage license shows that James C. Butler was at that time a resident of Giles County, as do original tax receipts filed in Giles County that show he paid taxes there.

Daughter James Ollie Butler lived with her sister Bethania after their mother's death and their father's remarriage. Ollie married Lunsford Long Luna, from Ripley, Mississippi on December 28, 1897. Ollie died October 25, 1945 in Waldorf, Maryland and was buried at St. Paul's Episcopal Church Cemetery, Waldorf, Maryland, at the age of 73, next to her husband. Ollie and Lunsford Long Luna had two daughters, Marye Thelma, born August 8, 1901 in Robinsonville, Tunica Co., Mississippi, died in Easton, Talbot County, Maryland on April 29, 1982; and Lucy Long, born July 28, 1907 in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, and died February 12, 1975 in La Plata, Charles County, Marylend.

Litigation seems to have plagued James for a lot of his adult life. He was sued by his brother in law, Calvin Bridges McGuire, over a parcel of land which was contested as part of Sarah L. McGuire’s estate. In 1875 he was called into court by James N. George, his wife’s brother-in-law, in a suit for expenses for two sisters of his late wife, Elizabeth Jane and Docia McGuire, for whom he had been appointed guardian. In 1881 he was sued by James Dogan over a dispute Dogan had with his father-in-law, the late George Bowers, over a parcel of land. James had administered the Bowers estate.

Although James C. Butler has not been located in some of the census records of Giles County between 1870-1910, he is in the 1880 Giles County Census with his second wife, his daughters and son Calvin Arthur. Documentary evidence in the form of court records places him as a resident there as late as 1887. In a deposition related to the Dogan suit given by C.O. Wynne in Dec. 1883, Wynne stated that he lived about 1/4 of a mile from J.C. Butler on the same farm. B.F. Malone also deposed that he lived about 2 miles from J.C. Butler in Giles County in 1883.

James and the widow Elizabeth Austin had no children together. She had 3 grown children by her first marriage. Elizabeth died on March 6, 1901 and was interred in the Bowers-Phillips Cemetery in Giles County.

This is a composite of information submitted by Regina Roper and Lucy L. Norris.