WILLIAM J. BUTLER. - William Joseph butler, a member of the Springfield bar, was born in this city, May 12, 1868, and is a son of H.W. and Helen (McClernand) Butler. He pursued his education in the city schools, completing the high school course and then took up the study of law in the office and under the direction of the firm of Connelly & Mather, prominent attorneys of Springfield. Subsequently he matriculated in the law department of the State University of Illinois, at Champaign and was there graduated, after which he returned home and entered the law office of John H. McClernand, with whom he remained until 1894.
Even before he had attained his majority Mr. Butler was interested in political questions and kept well informed on the issues of the day. Taking an active part in political work he gained in prominence and influence in the ranks of the Republican organization and in 1894 he received his party's nomination for the legislature and was elected, representing the thirty-ninth district in the session of 1895 and during a part of the session of 1896. At the present time he is serving as a member of the Republican state central committee and his opinions carry weight in the councils of his party, while his efforts in its behalf have been attended by good results.
Upon his retirement from the legislature Mr. Butler resumed the practice of law in Springfield and has continued in the active practice of his profession to the present time, gaining a distinctively representative clientage, his business being of a character that indicates the possession of high legal talent and great care and precision in the preparation and presentation of his cases.
In 1896 Mr. butler was united in marriage to Miss Bessie Gross, a daughter of Eugene L. Gross, and they have one son, Henry Wirt. Mr. Butler is, socially, connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and he is now serving as a member of the city council of Springfield in which position he is exercising his official prerogatives in support of many measures which have proved of value in promoting the substantial improvement and progress of the city.