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BUTLER, Goold Taylor
Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
Pesented by Nancy Rayburn
II, page 118, 1923.
BUTLER, GOOLD TAYLOR. It is difficult for an outsider to appreciate the work accomplished
by one of those men who are essentially an outcome of twentieth century progressiveness, the
civil engineers; for the public generally has no realization of the importance of the work
of those who labor for the service of mankind in this special direction. No man can enter
upon this important field of endeavor without a careful and complete preparation if he expects
to succeed. The history of St. Augustine's achievements as to engineering shows that this
city has been the home of several master minds of the profession, among whom one who takes
important rank is GOOLD TAYLOR BUTLER.
Mr. BUTLER was born at Tarrytown, New York, June 22, 1857, a son of JOHN and SARAH A. (WILSON)
BUTLER. His grandparents on his mother's side were JOHN and SARAH A. WILSON, who came from
Edinburgh, Scotland, and located at New York City at an early date. On the paternal side
his great-great-grandfather was Gen. LEWIS BUTLER, of Gen. George Washington's army, which
entitles Mr. BUTLER to membership in the Order of the Cincinnati and the Sons of the American
Revolution. JOHN BUTLER was born in New York City, in 1816, and was one of the prominent
railroad men of his day, being one of the organizers of the Belt Railway of New York City,
of which he was president up to the time of his death, owning fifty-three per cent of the
road's stock. During the Civil was he was special commissioner from the United States to
South America, and included among his intimate friends President Lincoln, General Grant and
Thurlow Weed, the noted American journalist. Mr. BUTLER was also port warden of the port
of New York for a number of years and a prominent and influential republican of his day.
He died in 1868, at the age of fifty-two years. Mrs. BUTLER was born in Greenwich Village,
now a part of New York City, in 1821, and died in 1870. She and her husband were the parents
of two sons and two daughters, of whom three children are living.
The youngest of his parents' children, GOOLD TAYLOR BUTLER, received his early training in
public and private schools of New York, and was then sent to the Pennsylvania Military Academy,
now Pennsylvania Military College. He then pursued a course in civil engineering at Segler's
Academy, from which he was graduated in 1876. Prior to this, in 1872, he had visited Florida
for a short stay, and in 1878 returned to this state which since has been his home. He has
carried on his profession without interruption, but at times has also engaged in orange
growing, saw-milling and the lumber business at Jacksonville up to 1898. Mr. BUTLER surveyed
the old Green Cove Springs & Melrose Railway in 1881, and was the assistant engineer in
building a part of the Jacksonville & Tampa Key West Railway, now included in the Atlantic
Coast Line system. He also was identified with the Atlantic & Western Railway and the
Atlantic Coast & Indian River Railway, now included in the Flagler system. On February 6,
1898, he was engaged by Mr. Flagler as chief engineer of the Florida East Coast Hotel System,
and retained that position until 1912, when he resigned and opened an office at St. Augustine
for the general practice of his profession. Since then he has been county engineer for St.
Johns County for four years, and at this time is chief engineer in the building of the city
sewers of St. Augustine. He is likewise consulting engineer of E. L. Barnett, Inc., of New
York City, and vice president of the Fountain of Youth Hotel Company, capitalized at
$15,000,000. Mr. BUTLER is a member of the American Association of Engineers and the
Florida Engineering Society. In politics he maintains an independent attitude. His
fraternal, social and civic connections are numerous.
On July 22, 1885, Mr. BUTLER married Miss HATTIE E. REWEY, who was born in Utica, New York,
and to this union there has been born one daughter, MARY REWEY. Mrs. BUTLER is a direct
descendant of Capt. ZACHARIA TOWNSEND, who commanded one of Commodore Perry's battleships
at the Battle of Lake Erie, and she and her daughter are members of the Society of Colonial
Dames and the Daughters of the American Revolution.
This page created August 24, 2010
© 2010 Fran Smith