Oct. 2018 History Question of the Month

Oct. 2018 History Question of the Month
Posted on 10/01/2018

Who was the early Butler resident that was stranded along with her 5-year-old daughter by an early snowstorm at Brighton?



While living at their cabin in Brighton in the fall of 1869, Philander Butler left his wife, Charlotte, and their 5-year-old daughter to go to the valley to get supplies. While he was gone, an early snowstorm swept through the canyons, stranding Charlotte and the little girl. They were out of food and had burned most of their furniture to keep warm when they were finally rescued by a friend and two of Philander's brothers who had heard of their plight while working at the lower sawmill. The three men made a makeshift hand sleigh and using snowshoes, walked up the canyon. They bundled Charlotte and her daughter in blankets, put them on the sleigh and brought them down the mountain.  The following year, Philander built a large two-story adobe house on his homestead on the upper Butler Bench.

Charlotte Burell Butler was the epitome of the strong pioneer women who faced adversity with courage and resolve. She was a nurse and midwife and had a beautiful voice, singing at many community events. When Philander left Charlotte in 1881, selling their home and animals to the Deseret Paper Mill and taking his second plural wife to Oregon, Charlotte was left with only the dry farm on the upper Butler Bench. With the help of her seven children, she ran the farm. In winter, the ditch that brought water to their farm would freeze over requiring her family to go down off the hill daily to the canal on the Butler Bench and haul water in barrels to their farm. In 1900, Charlotte left Utah for Idaho, where she homesteaded with her son, Philander Jr., before returning to live in Salt Lake City where she died in 1914.