Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 817 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PTONEERS OF TEXAS.
Michael Butler, one of Austin's leading business
men, is a native of Ireland, born near the city of
Limerick, February 17th, 1844, where his father,
John Butler, at that time lived.
John Butler owned farms, was a contractor in
the construction of public pikes, or roads, and was
regarded as a substantial, well-to-do citizen. Our
subject was the second youngest of five brothers;
received the rudiments of a good common school
education in Limerick, and acquired good business
habits and an irrepressible longing to accomplish
something for himself in the-business world. The
opportunities offered there for advancement were
not promising, and he, therefore, at the age of
twenty-one, left his native home and sailed for New
York, landing there in the spring of 1865. He
remained in New York but a short time and, in
harmony with the advice so freely given by Horace
Greeley to young men of those days, went West,
developed into a successful business man, and, in
1874, came to Austin, Texas, with a cash capital of
about $10,000.00. He came to Austin to continue
the contracting. business. He found here a great
need for brick to take the place, at least for some
speoial purposes, of the native rock so generally in
use, and in his usually thorough manner explored
the country for a suitable clay possessing the necessary
ingredients from which a good quality and
color of brick could be produced. He soon accomplished
the object of his search, and opened his
first brickyard in Austin. The brick theretofore
used had been of poor quality, and were shipped
from abroad and were expensive. His first efforts
were experimental, and his methods of manufacture
necessarily somewhat crude' but he had informed
himself thoroughly in the matter of clays
and, being of a naturally mechanical turn of mind,
soon constructed the necessary appliances, and
gratified his desire to show the people of Central
Texas what a good and sound brick looked like.
He then entered into the enterprise with his accustomed
energy and push, and the result is that
Austin has one of the finest brick yards in the
State. Houston has another which Mr. Butler
established in 1893. Both are doing a large business,
employ a large force of men, and annually
distribute large sums of money broadcast in these
communities. The results of Mr. Butler's work do
not stop here, however. His brick have so far taken
the place of stone in building, that the public
streets are now bordered with handsome brick
blocks and beautiful architectural residences, a
happy result that could have never been otherwise
Mr. Butler also established a brickyard at Dallas
in about the year 1882, built up a fine trade and
disposed of it to a brother, Patrick Butler, who still
owns it. Mr. Butler is a thorough-going business
man, broad in his views, and public-spirited. He
is a self-made man in everything that the term implies.
His success in life has been phenomenal and
he has accumulated a splendid fortune. He is a
thorough and firm believer in Texas' and Austin's
future, and has practically demonstrated his faith
by liberally investing his means in Austin realty and
her business enterprises, until he is regarded as one
of her most substantial property owners.
Mr. Butler is prominently identified with the
banking interests of Austin as one of the promoters
of and a stockholder and director of the American
National Bank of that city, one of the strongest
financial institutions in the State.
He married, in 1878, Miss Mary Jane, a daughter
of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Kelly, of Austin. The
union has been a most fortunate and happy one.
They have two sons and one daughter, viz.:
John Francis, Margaret Emma, and Thomas
The family mansion is one of the most elegant in
proportions and architecture, and most complete in
its arrangements and furnishings, in Austin, and
occupies a commanding position, overlooking large
portions of the city. Mr. Butler and his family are
members of the Roman Catholic Church.
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, 1880~; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/817/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .