MRS. EMMA A. BUTCHER
SURNAMES: SMITH, HARRINGTON, DAFT, HOLLENBECK
the widow of Rolla Butcher, resides on the San Francisco road, in the Millikin District, about four miles west of Santa Clara. She is the owner of a magnificent orchard, of sixty-four acres, containing a choice variety of fruit, which may be classed as follows: twenty-five acres in the different varieties of prunes, twelve acres in apricots and peaches, eight acres in apples, and the remainder in cherries, plums, and grapes.
The subject of this sketch is the daughter of Samuel Smith, of Essex County, England. She came to California with friends who emigrated from that country. She became the wife of Rolla Butcher, in Plumas County, of this State, in 1859, and proved a loving wife and devoted mother. She was ever ready to sustain her husband in the various enterprises in which he engaged, and in the works which he was constantly instituting for the welfare of the communities with which he was connected. Mrs. Butcher is a woman of a high order of intelligence, and the possessor of sound, practical business knowledge and customs. These sterling qualities have been shown in a remarkable degree since the death of her husband, which occurred only a few weeks after their settlement in this county. By his loss she was left not only with the care of the large estate and the settlement of his business affairs, but also with the education and rearing of their children. How well, by her unaided efforts, she has fulfilled the trust, what maternal solicitude and moral influence she has displayed in the work, let the present attest. She is the owner of one of the finest fruit ranches in the county, in a high state of cultivation, with well-ordered buildings and comfortable home, which contains all the needed comforts, if not luxuries, that characterize the rational enjoyment of life in this age. Her children are grown to intelligent manhood and womanhood, most of them married and settled in homes of their own, and all in the enjoyment of the happiness that their education and moral training so well befit them to enjoy. Mrs. Butcher is a member of the Episcopal Church, and is connected with the San Jose Grange.
In a sketch of this character it is eminently proper that extended notice should be made of her husband, Rolla Butcher, who was born in Wood County, Virginia, in 1825. His early youth was spent upon his father's farm, but his ambition led him to seek something more congenial than farm life. He studied hard to acquire an education, and in his young manhood was a teacher in the schools of his section. He also engaged in such mercantile ventures as his restricted capital would enable him to carry to a successful issue. At a later date, he was quite extensively engaged in the lumber business on the Kanawha River, in Wood County, Virginia, but the heavy floods of 1856 and 1857, destroying his dams and carrying away his log booms, entailed such losses as to compel him to retire from this pursuit. In 1857 he came to Salt Lake City, being engaged in a civil capacity with Johnston's expedition against the Mormons. Thence he came to California and entered the mines. He was extensively interested both in placer and quartz mining in Butte County, of this State, and was also connected with mercantile interests in Silver City, Idaho. He was the discoverer and developer of the famous Alice Mine, of Butte, Montana, which he sold to Walker Brothers, of Salt Lake City, and which was afterward listed in the Eastern stock market at $10,000,000. Mr. Butcher was a man of prominence in whatever community he made his home. Always at the head of every project for public improvement, the establishment of schools and the erection of churches, ever ready with extended hand and open purse to aid the sick and needy, he was a man whose worth was felt, and whose character was respected. Had he so chosen, any office of trust in the gift of the people of his community would have been at his command. He was elected as County Commissioner of Silver Bow County, Montana, and filled the position with great ability and faithfulness, but failing health, after more than twenty years of business and mining pursuits on this coast, compelled him to seek some more congenial climate than was found in the Montana mountains. Accordingly, in 1881, he came with his family to this county, and on the first day of the succeeding year took possession of the estate upon which his widow now lives. He was left but a short time in the enjoyment of his new home, his death occurring February 13, 1882.
There was born from the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Butcher five children, as
follows: Elizabeth E., the wife of J. A. Harrington, of Butte, Montana; Emma F.,
the wife of Joseph Daft, of the same place; Josephine, the wife of A. C.
Hollenbeck, of Santa Clara County; Rolla, and Arthur C.
Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.