Sunday, June 7, 2015

Perlin Shearer Butler (1838-1910)

Portrait from "Taylor's Legislative History and Souvenir of Connecticut" , 1906.

   Connecticut state assemblyman Perlin Shearer Butler is one of a handful of oddly named political figures who were also clergymen, in his case being a minister of the Adventist Church for nearly five decades. A native of Wilbraham, Massachusetts for the first three decades of his life, Perlin S. Butler was born in that town on October 2. 1838, being the son of Benjamin Gilbert and Hannah Cross Butler.  He attended schools local to Wilbraham and in August 1862 was ordained as a minister in the Adventist Church. Five years after being ordained Butler organized the Union Christian Church of North Wilbraham and for three years following was its pastor.
   In November 1869 Butler married Juliette Perrin (1845-1916), a native of North Woodstock, Connecticut. The couple would later have two sons, Sidney Perlin (1873-1952) and Ernest Morton (1878-1948). Of these sons, Sidney P. Butler would go to a distinguished career as an educator, being the president of the Butler Business School located in New Haven.
   A few months following his marriage Perlin Butler and his wife relocated permanently to Woodstock, where he would assist in organizing an Advent Christian Church. He would be that church's pastor beginning in 1874 (serving in that capacity for some thirty years) and helped organize two other churches in the neighboring towns of Putnam and Ellington. Elected to the Connecticut General Assembly in 1905, Perlin Butler was one of two representatives from Woodstock to serve in the legislative session of 1906, and was also honored by being named as chairman of the house committee on Women's Suffrage during his term. 
   Following his term Butler served as a member of the Woodstock school committee and was also a member of the Board of Trustees for his son's business college. He was for eighteen years the President of the Rhode Island and Connecticut Advent Christian Conference and died in Woodstock on May 12, 1910. He was survived by his wife and two sons and was interred at the Barlow Cemetery in Woodstock. Juliette Perrin Butler and Sidney P. Butler were also interred at this cemetery.

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