Edward Burgess Butler

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Edward Burgess Butler
Edward Burgess Butler.jpg
Born(1853-12-16)December 16, 1853
DiedFebruary 20, 1928(1928-02-20) (aged 74)
Parent(s)Manly Orville Butler
Elizabeth Howe
RelativesOrville Washington Butler, George Henry Butler, Arthur Caverno Butler, Charles Hamblet Butler, Frank Fairfield Butler, Sarah Elizabeth Butler, and Olivia Annette Butler, brothers and sisters

Edward Burgess Butler (December 16, 1853 – February 20, 1928) was an American businessman who founded Butler Brothers department stores.[1][2] He served as the first president of the Pasadena Society of Artists.


He was born on December 16, 1853 in Lewiston, Maine to Manly Orville Butler and Elizabeth Howe. He had eight siblings: two of them, George H. Butler and Charles H. Butler formed a partnership with Edward. Manly owned a grocery store. In 1858, his family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, and he attended the Boston public school system.[3]

With two of his brothers, George Henry Butler and Charles Hamblet Butler, he founded Butler Brothers in Boston in 1877.[3]

For five years he sold goods throughout New England and Canada as a traveling salesman. He married Jane Holly in 1880, she was the daughter of William Henry Holly, of Norwalk, Connecticut.[3]

With his wealth he collected works by George Inness, and later donated the collection to the Art Institute of Chicago. Having trained under Frank Charles Peyraud, Butler became a landscape painter. For a time he exhibited his works under a pseudonym, "Edward Burgess". In 1908, he exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago. One of his oil paintings was displayed at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915.[3]

Butler moved to Pasadena, California after he retired from business. He died in Pasadena, California on February 20, 1928.[2]



  1. ^ George Derby (author) and James Terry White (1900). "Edward Burgess Butler". The National cyclopædia of American biography. p. 51. Retrieved 2011-11-18. Edward Burgess Butler merchant, was born at Lewiston, Androscoggin co., Me., Dec. 16, 1853, son of Manly Orville and Elizabeth (Howe) Butler. His parents were both natives of New Hampshire and representatives of the colonial stock of New England. Educated in the public schools of Boston, he spent his time, between school hours, assisting in his father's store, and at the age of sixteen he was employed in a wholesale dry-goods house in Boston.
  2. ^ a b "Edward Burgess Butler. Wealthy Dry Goods Man and Artist Dies in California". The New York Times. February 21, 1928. Retrieved 2011-11-18. Edward Burgess Butler, retired millionaire head of Butler Brothers, a wholesale dry goods concern with warehouses in ...
  3. ^ a b c d Edward Burgess Butler. Chicago and Its Resources Twenty Years After, 1871-1891. Chicago Times. 1892. p. 170. Retrieved 2011-11-18. Edward B. Butler, of Butler Brothers, wholesale dealers in department store supplies, at 17 Adams Street, was born in Lewiston, Maine, December 6, 1853. When five years of age he removed with his father's family to Boston, Mass. ...