Life History of Charles W. Buttars

Charles William Buttars
(1871 - 1908)

Charles W. Buttars
Charles William Buttars was born June 20, 1871 in Clarkston, Cache, Utah, the son of David Buttars and Sarah Keep Buttars. He was born in the house, north of town, on the hill (known as Buttars' Estate). His folks were early pioneers to Clarkston, coming from England and Scotland. They came to the mountains in Utah because of their religious beliefs, traveling by handcart across the plains.

Charles had three brothers, Thomas, David and James, and four sisters, Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah, and Emma, and a half-sister Lucy Ann who was sealed to this family.

Charles got his schooling in Clarkston, in the log school house on the south corner, across the street from the southeast corner of the town square. He completed the five Readers, and his Arithmetic, and took a penmanship class given by Alfred White.

When he was about four years old, his finger was accidentally cut off. His mother buried the finger. A few days later, he was crying and saying "the worms are eating the end of my finger." So they dug it up and found that the worms were in it.

Some of the boyfriends in his youth were David and Willie Sparks and Isaiah Thompson. Together they pulled a Halloween trick one night. They tied two tom-cat's tails together and hung them over the doorknob at the bishop's house.

Charles had two patriarchal blessings in his life, one as a small boy and one in later years.

Charles courted Angela Stewart on his pony. He first went with her sister Julie. Angie was attracted to him and Julie wasn't, so Angie asked Julie if she could have him. At the age of 21, Charles married Angeline Vilate Stewart in the Logan LDS Temple, sealed for time and all eternity. They were married May 18, 1892. Angela was 18 years old.

They started their newly married life in a two-room log home on the ranch 2 1/2 rniles up the creek on the north side of Clarkston. Charles was granted this land under the Homestead Act, which required living on the land to redeem it. In this log home eight of their nine children were born. Their family consisted of 5 girls and 4 boys.

Charles' life was his family and his horses. Sometimes he held his children four or five at a time, because many days he rose so early and got home so late, he never saw them.

Charles loved his horses as few men do. He doctored them, put them in slings, and ruptured his own side doing it. His horses were beauties and understood his every word. He ran hundreds of head of horses on the range for other people, up in the mountains above Clarkston where they got summer feed. His own little pony "Little Bolly" he rode with pride, a beautiful bay who was eager to respond to the touch of his hand. The people of the town could tell when he was coming by the rhythm of his horse's footsteps. It took a lot of riding to keep track of and care for this many horses. He found it necessary to keep several hired men to assist him in his different tasks.

He farmed well, an inherited characteristic of the Buttars family. Charles' home and surroundings were scrupulously clean and wholesome. "The Buttars" were know as good citizens, good managers, hard workers, very progressive and loyal people to the community they lived in. They helped it to grow. He was loved and respected by all who knew him. He stood for what was right and honest to the core, regardless of the cost. He was cheerful in disposition and loved to talk and visit with people. He often would sing or whistle. He was always aware of others' needs and was on hand to offer himself or what he had. He was an advisor to many. He was a thoughtful husband.

It was said that Charles always wanted to give his wife every thing she wanted, as near as it was possible. He was quick in thought and action. He saved Angie's life many times during asthma attacks. She was so proud of him, his physical stature, his love and kindness to her, and his good looks.

He was a well-built man, six feet tall in his stocking feet. He had strong square shoulders, dark wavy hair and grey-green eyes.

Charles' mother, Sarah Keep Buttars, lived in Clarkston, too. He was a very dear son to her. He often went to see her. She had many flower gardens around her home, and when Charles got ready to leave after a visit, she would tuck a sweet pea in his hat band.

He had a close call with death when lightening struck him at the barn door and left him unconscious. His watch crystal in his left shirt pocket was powder. Without the watch there to catch the lightening, he would have died.

One day [30 May 1899] he took his fast team of horses and drove his cousin Mary Harmon, her baby and his mother to Logan. They went by way of the Benson Ward road. When they were about half-way across the Bear River bridge in Benson, it broke and the buggy, horses and all the people went into the water. A heavy timber fell across Grandma Sarah Keep Buttars, badly cutting her head. As Charles was trying to get the timber off her, he saw the baby floating downstream. Just before it floated under the broken bridge, he caught its clothing and saved its life. He needed help quickly, so he yelled for help loud enough for workers in a field a mile away to hear and come. Upon getting Grandma Sarah on the river bank, they felt sure she wouldn't live. The field workers came two days later to attend her funeral but found her very much alive.

Charles was able to obtain more land as his family grew and needed more, giving them more of the comforts of life. When the time came for the three oldest children to go to school, they moved from the ranch to a lot by City Creek on the north side of town. This home was still just a two-room log house with a room in the attic. They walls were covered with "factory cloth" and were whitewashed to add thickness and cleanliness. On this house was added a lean-to on the west and one on the south (before he died Charles had lumber on hand to build the barn). From here the children still had seven blocks to go to school. The winters in Clarkston were harsh, with lots of snow and wind. So hitching up a team of horses to a sleigh was sometimes necessary to take the children to school.

In 1908, at the age of 37, Charles began to feel pain and distress. He had a hernia. He blamed it on riding his pony after the horses so much. The horses were a good breed, lively prancing "Perchans." He enjoyed the speed they had when they went places and the time they saved. Charles was a good singer and spent much time rocking a couple of the children at a time and singing them to sleep. Ben well remembered him rocking and singing all the songs he knew to his children on the night before he passed away. In October Charles was stricken very suddenly and severely by an appendicitis attack. All that could be done was done to help him. It took 10-12 hours to get a doctor to Clarkston, and then when he did get there it was too late. The appendix had broken. Charles died that night of October 5, 1908 in much agony and pain. He was 37 years old.

Charles had been very interested in the mission his uncle served. He talked about it a lot and said he was going to take his place when he returned. When his uncle died on his rnission, he was the first to offer help to the family. He said, "I will be the next to go and I'll be seeing him soon. He doesn't want you to feel bad about his passing." Thirty days later, he came home early one day from the range not feeling well. By 10:00 that evening he was dead.

From that moment on was when the true character of his wife, Angeline was shown. Standing the shock, she took on the responsibility of raising nine children, all under the age of 14 years, alone. The oldest boy, Ben, was only ten years old. The baby boy, Earl, was only four months old. Angeline raised her children alone for twenty-three years and was a noble mother to them.

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