Elderkin Family History & Genealogy

Civil War - Civil Union: 
The Story of David & Mary Elderkin

Chapter 5: Lily M. (Elderkin) Butler (1875 - 1953)


Civil War-Civil Union
Prologue:  1600s-1842
Chapter 1: 1842-1862
Chapter 2: 1862-1863
Chapter 3: 1863-1882 Chapter 4: 1883-1912
Chapter 5: 1912-on


Descendancy Chart  (to come)

For Questions or Corrections, contact:
Susan Elderkin
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Civil War-Civil Union is copyrighted 2003


Lily worked as a teacher[i] and lived at home until she was at least 24, whereupon she followed her siblings to Montana.[ii]  Lily, however, first settled in Missoula, near where her Uncle Charles and Aunt Julia had moved, then later moved to Butte.[iii]  There she met John F. Butler, who was born in New York.  They married in 1904 or 1905[iv] and visited the family in Iowa that Christmas together.  In 1906, Lily gave birth to a girl they named Helen.[v]

There would be no more children for Lily and John.  John, who was a conductor on a railroad, died suddenly on October 10, 1912.  At first the coroner thought he may have been poisoned, but he ended up ruling it a heart attack.[vi] 

Lily found herself widowed, with a six year old girl.  Fortunately, she had an education, and she may have gone back to teaching to support herself.  She never re-married, and lived in Helena,[vii] Cedar Falls,[viii] and Whittier, California before she died April 11, 1953 in Los Angeles, of a heart attack.[ix]

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[i] 1900 U.S. census, Cedar Falls, Black Hawk County, Iowa, population schedule, sheet 27B, lines 66-71.
[ii] Sewell, Patricia, comp.  Missoula & Ravalli counties, Montana, County Directory, 1903-1904 from Missoula and Hamilton City Directory, Montana:  R.L. Polk & Co., 1903. Database online at <http://www.ancestry.com>.
[iii] Polk’s Butte City Directory 1912, Butte, Montana.  (Helena, MT:  R.L. Polk & Co, 1912).
[iv] John F. Butler household, 1910 U.S. Census, Silver Bow County, population schedule, 8-ward Butte, sheet 8B, dwelling 223, lines 74-76; National Archives micropublication T624, roll 836.
[v] Ibid.
[vi] John Butler obituary, Butte Miner, Butte, California, 12 October 1912, p. 5.
[vii] Polk’s Butte City Directory 1913, Butte, Montana.  (Helena, MT:  R.L. Polk & Co, 1913).
[viii] Mary Jane Elderkin probate file no.10482.
[ix] Lily Butler death certificate no. 6699 (1953), County of Los Angeles, Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, Los Angeles, California.