Martin Leonard Butler was born in eastern Tennessee on September 13, 1868.  He was the son of Calvin M. (1831-1890) and Ellen Virginia Roland Butler.

Minnie Butler With 7 Children

Minnie Butler With 7 Children

His father, Calvin Martin Butler, was born in Jefferson County, Tennessee on September 8, 1831.  He served in Company C of the 1st Tennessee Calvary during the Civil War.  He died at 59 years of age on December 29, 1890 and was buried at Lawrence Cemetery in Hillcrest, Tennessee.

After the death of Martin’s father, his widowed mother, along with son, Martin L. and wife Minnie Lee Hodges Butler moved to Fannin County, Texas.  His mother died there on June 22, 18990 and was buried in Belmont Cemetery in Ector, Texas.

The lure of the rich farm land near the East Fork of the Trinity River soon called Martin and Minnie to Rockwall County before making the move across the river to the Cottonwood Community in northeastern Dallas County.

They soon received a warm welcome and most of their neighbors quickly became extended family members. Their home was located on near the sharp curve on Vinson Road just east of Cottonwood Creek.

Martin and Minnie had nine children total. Their children, listed according to age were: Floyd, Rachel, Ruth, Bruce, Ross, Leonard, Frank, Red, and M. Eugene “Gene” Butler.

Minnie and her children featured in the photo are listed as follows:  1. Floyd, 2. Red, 3. Gene, 4. Bruce, 5. Frank, 6. Ruth, 7. Minnie (Granny), and 8. Rachel Butler.

Martin L. Butler died on the family farm at Cottonwood in 1926 at 50 years of age.  Minnie followed in 1952 at 74 years of age.  Their son Ross was born in 1902 and died in 1940 at 38 years of age.  He is buried alongside his parents at Cottonwood Cemetery.

Family letters show that Martin and Minnie’s eldest son Floyd C. Butler married Trula P. Travis in Wapanuka, Oklahoma on December 24, 1918.  The couple returned to live and work on the family farm at Cottonwood.  This was near the Cottonwood Church of Christ, of which they were all members.

Floyd and Trula had 5 children. They also raised Trula’s sister as their own after her mother had died during childbirth. All of their children were raised and went to school in the two room Liberty Grove Schoolhouse.  Children of Floyd and Trula were M.L, Irene Travis (her sister), Louise, Glen, Laverne and Edward.

Floyd worked on the farm and at Ford Motor Company in Dallas while Trula busied herself raising a family.

Floyd also passed away on the family farm in November 1946 soon after his two sons, M.L and Glen returned from fighting in World War II. Trula never remarried and died in Garland, Texas many years later. She is buried at Restland Memorial Park beside her beloved daughters, Louise Butler Harrison and Laverne Butler Sellers.

Courtesy Glenda Butler Laughery.  Additional northeast Dallas County history can be found here or here.