Hole-in-the-Rock Landmarks and People

Hole-in-the-Rock Landmarks and People
Answers at bottom of the left column.

January 13, 2010

Butt, Parley R.

Parley Butt was born 27 Jan 1862 Parowan  He died 20 Nov 1940 Dove Creek, Dolores, Colorado and is buried in Monticello. San Juan County Marriage records show that Parley married Bayles, Edith A. Verdure, UT, age 22 on 11/28/1898   They were then sealed in the temple 12/7/1898 Manti, UT by John D. T. McAllister (Elder of the LDS Church).
Parley Butt's saw mill
The cutting of ponderosa dates as far back as 1880, when the lumber for the first sluice gages on the San Juan River in Bluff were cut from trees on Blue Mountain.(4) This timber was taken using a combination of rip saw and sawpit by Parley R. Butt, Willard Butt, and George Ipson, in a region between Bulldog and Devil’s Canyon. (5) In 1891 Parley and Willard Butt set up the first sawmill on the Blue Mountain, halfway between Verdure and Monticello (9) (Blue Mountain Shadows Vol 3).

Story told by William Halls Jr (1863-1939)
After reaching Mancos, Colorado, all of the men folks took up desert entry claims. There had to be a six-mile ditch dug from the Mancos River to their claims. This was done mostly by hand work -- no bulldozers, no digging machines, and their horses were poor. Father worked in logging camps and coal mines, or wherever he could get work. He and the two Butt boys, Parley and Dick, were the first white men the Indians would allow on the Elk Mountain with cattle. This story was related to me by Parley Butt in 1915. He said the Indians rode into their camp and one of them was riding Dick’s horse. When he claimed the horse, the Indians laid back over their horses and pointed their rifles at the three of them. Parley said he and Dick were scared to death, but Dad was sitting on a log reading a yellow-back novel. He just looked up and grinned and went on reading. When I asked Dad about it later, he said, “Well, if you’re going to die, you might just as well grin.”

Parley called to Blue Mountain Mission
VERDURE The oldest Mormon settlement in the Blue Mountain Region was first known as South Montezuma. Later the name was changed to Verdure after the lush green growth along the stream bed. Verdure was settled by men of the Blue Mountain Mission March 11, 1887, under the direction of Pres. Francis A. Hammond of the San Juan Stake. He called George A. Adams, Frederick I. Jones, Parley R. Butt and Charles E. Walton to establish a new settlement at North Montezuma, later named Monticello. They first set up camp at Verdure to prepare for a permanent settlement at Monticello, six miles to the north. When company members moved on to Monticello in 1888 the Adams and Butt families remained at Verdure. By 1894 they were joined by the Alvin Decker, Willard Butt, Lingo Christensen, R.P. Hott and Francis Nielson families. Nielson operated a store and a school out of his log home, the first church met in the Decker home, and in 1893 a post office was installed in the Adams home. Verdure was a peaceful frontier village where cattle, farming and cheese-making were the main occupations. Gradually the settlers moved to Monticello.
Parley is mentioned on pp. 26-27, 150-151 in Miller's book.
Noelle Bronson recalls stories of her grandfather Parley Butt

Butt building in Dove Creek

Parley Butt (submitted by Lisa Rarick - his great, great granddaughter).
by Ernie Pyle
[Pyle was an American journalist who wrote as a roving correspondent for the Scripps Howard newspaper chain from 1935 until his death in combat during World War II. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944. His articles, about the out-of-the-way places he visited and the people who lived there, were a folksy style much like a personal letter to a friend.]

"One of the settlers around Monticello was a Mormon named Parley Butt. He was one of the first in the town of Bluff to the South, and into Dove Creek, to the east. We met him yesterday in Dove Creek. He's a character if I've ever seen one.

He was in the Mormon scouting party that first penetrated southern utah. He was a member of the fated group that made Mormon history by their experiences at "Hole in the rock."

Parley Butt is a lovable rascal. Ugly as mud fence (aw, don't get nervous; he won't mind), with huge, queer gold teeth in his lower jaw. He's got an ornery grin on his face. I'd like to know him better.

He has been very rich in his day. Was a great Mormon cattle man, and owned thousands and thousands of acres of land. Probably the first citizen of southeastern Utah. He's lost a great deal of that, but he's doing all right, too. He has a good time.

He ran for the Utah Legislature once. Got elected by one vote. He said if that was the best they could do, nuts to "em. He refused to go to Salt Lake City.

He served three terms as sheriff of San Juan County. They tell how he tracked three desperadoes into the desert, found them all asleep, took their guns, and then just sat quietly until they woke up, and laughed at them.

Utah and Colorado will miss Parley Butt when he's gone. He's got a sense of ironic humor that you seldom see in this day and age. You find it mostly in Alaska among the old boys.

The friend who is traveling with me chatted with Parley Butt at a different time than I did. When my friend started to leave Parley Butt said to him, 'So long, kiddo.'

And when I said goodbye to him he said, 'Well give my regards to all the good looking people in the world.' I kinda doubt if a guy like that will ever die."

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