Sunday, November 8, 2009

Butler, Albina Leslie (Conger)

Albina Leslie (Conger) Butler

The family of Silas Conger, 1800, moved to Steuben county, Indiana and settled on a farm near Salem Center, Steuben Co., IN.

Albina Leslie Conger, a daughter of Silas, was born on xxxx. She married Seymour Stevens Butler on 25 Nov 1858. He was the son of Jesse and Fannie Stevens Butler, who came to Steuben county, Indiana from North Hero, VT in 1849.

Albina and Seymour Butler lived on the Butler homestead with Seymour's parents until 1867 when they bought their own place close to Salem Center. Seymour was drafted and served as a Private in Co. K, of the 29th Indiana Regiment of the Union Army in 1864. He served 8 months until a substitute was found to take his place. He returned to his farm and his growing family.

The couple had eight children, 4 of whom survived childhood: Roelif (Ruly), b. 7 Jun 1860; Loren, b. 2 Mar 1869; Silas Ora, b. 9 Sep 1871 and Fred H. Butler, b. 15 Sep 1873.

Seymour Stevens Butler died on 19 April 1882 at the age of 50.

Albina continued the farm with the aid of her sons.

Ruly married, Dora Spears, and their eight children were born in Albina's home before they purchased another place nearby. Loren, never married and Ora married Lou Stoddard after Albina's death. Fred H. became a telegrapher with the railroad and married (1) Blanche Woodford. They were the parents of Mildred and Don Butler (the father of my husband, Fred A. Butler). When Blanche died, 28 May 1907, Grandmother Albina opened her home and Mildred and Don lived on the farm until Fred H. married (2) Mae McClellan on 4 Oct 1910. There was no issue.

In 1891, Albina (Conger) Butler began her 25 years of daily diary entries to record the comings and goings of her family and her neighbors. The diaries sketch a picture of a small town in northeast Indiana at the turn of the century. Albina (Bina) recorded births, marriages and social activities of a farm community, "the Burg," as she called Salem Center, Indiana. Someone wrote in the diary everyday even if "Grandma" was ill. The diary continued until 4 days before her death on 3 Aug 1916 at the age of 79 years.

A copy of the earliest diary, 1891, is at the Fort Wayne, IN library. The rest of them, 1892-1916 were loaned to her grandson, Don Butler, in Riverside, CA while copies were typed and indexed. They were returned to her namesake granddaughter, Emily Albina (Bina) Butler Cool, born on 31 Jan 1891, who lived in Salem Center, Indiana. The diaries were later given to Emily's son, Kay Cool, and then to his daughter, Janet (Mrs. James Persey). Her last known address in 1979 was: 1620 Crescent Ave., Fort Wayne, IN 46805.

Another descendant is: Kathleen Conger Petty: P.O. Box 56, Toledo, WA 98591. She is a descendant of Albina's brother, Pembroke Conger.

Don Woodford Butler, born 3 Mar 1902, lived at: 3477 Sunnyside Drive; Riverside, CA. He had many happy memories of Grandma Butler and the farm. He was 89 years old at the time this was written.
(Written by: Betsy A. Butler; 6240 Riverside Ave.; Riverside, CA 92506 - p. 677-678 of Conger Confab - furnished by Robert Guilinger)

RECOLLECTIONS: Some Diary Entries

The following excerpts from the diary of Albina (Conger) Butler pertain to her brothers, Casper Karlinski, 1827; Pembroke Sommerset, 1839; Selwyn LeRoy, 1841 and (Silas) Delmar, 1855. Mentioned often were her sisters: Nancy Bodley and Marissa Markle.

20 Apr 1891, It has been a nice warm day. Vina and I have done a large washing. Vina and I went over to see Lige tonight after supper. He says he feels the best that he has since he has been sick. Cal Myers came today, to help build slat and wire fence. Loren got done plowing, down on the Marsh tonight. Ruly has gone to Turkey Creek to Regulators meeting. It is nine years today since Seymour (husband) died. Oh how long the time seems since he went away. I don't think, or when I do think of that day -- I can't think of it as I do of the other days of my life that are passed but "that" day seems like a horrid nightmare. I can't describe it.

13 Jul 1891, Toledo, OH, Here at Delmar's. Nancy and I came over here this morning. It has been a splendid day, just warm enough to be comfortable in the house but the sun was hot. I am getting my share of strawberries, I think, for we have them every meal. We had the "best" potatoes for supper. Delmar went calling this afternoon, had a business meeting this evening but we put in a good long evening of visiting when he got home. He showed us some relics that he got in different places when he went to Europe.

13 Aug 1891, Today it looked some like rain. It is getting so dry they can hardly plow. Vina and I picked 22 quarts of blackberries today. When we got back to the Burg I got a letter from Selwyn and he has got his pension. Gets $12 a month, drew pay from June 4, 1890, and he just got a letter from Pembroke and he has got his pension too. I am so glad. Selwyn needs it so bad I expect he needs it worse than Pembroke.

13 Nov 1891, Ruly packed a barrel to send to Neb to Selwyn - we put in a large candy pail of Apple Butter and a small candy pail of Sweet Apple Jell, a bushel of walnuts and about three pecks of Hickory nuts - a few dried apples - a few dried peaches - and then all the green apples he could get in. I am going to send some Apple Butter to Delmar and Nancy (Bodley) tomorrow.

12 Jul 1904, (Was the first time Bina mentioned her brother, Casper (C.K.). It seems he never wrote, but later his two younger daughters did. Bina wrote, "Pembroke is going to start for CK's tonight. Selwyn is going to take him to Inman, (Neb).

17 Jul 1904, Selwyn went to Inman this morning and got Pembroke, he found CK quite well and he does considerable work too, does all his chores with his wives [sic] help. His two girls (Jane and Margaret) was away to school.

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