- Birth Date
- 15 August 1827
- Death Date
- 30 May 1905
William, originally from Ireland, started from Canada on 1 April 1850, and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on 16 August 1850. He didn't travel with a specific company, but followed the pioneers to the Valley. He was not a Mormon, however, he joined the church when he arrived in Salt Lake. He encountered the James Lake Company en route.
In 1856, at the end of a mission, William returned home with the Edmund Ellsworth Company. He was the Captain of the 2nd Hundred. At one point along the journey he was unable to follow the train and drive the stock, so his wife Emma took over for him. He was left behind to travel or die. He recovered and was able to continue the journey.
- Age at Departure: 22
- Age at Departure: 28
- Head of Household
- Ann Ham Hickenlooper, Diary of Ann Ham Hickenlooper, wife of William Hanney Hickenlooper, crossed the plains with the first handcart co., arrived in Salt Lake City 26. Sept., 1856 and record of work done for the dead (Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1957).
- Butler, William, [Autobiography], in An Enduring Legacy , 12 vols. [1978-89], 8:76-77.
- Butler, William, Journal, in Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Collection, 1828-1963, reel 11, item 3.
- Butler, William, Reminiscences, 1-2. Trail excerpt transcribed from "Pioneer History Collection" available at Pioneer Memorial Museum [Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum], Salt Lake City, Utah. Some restrictions apply.
- Daniel Spencer letter to Franklin D. Richards printed in "Foreign Correspondence," Millennial Star, 2 August 1856, 489-90.
- Edmund Ellsworth Emigrating Company papers, 1856, Folder contents: (1) Journal, 1856 June-September.
- "Emigrants for Utah," Deseret News, 6 August 1856, 176.
- John Oakley journal excerpt, 1856 June-August.
- Journal History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 26 September 1856, 28.
- Perpetual Emigrating Fund, Financial Accounts 1849-1886, Ledger A, p. 234.
- Perpetual Emigrating Fund, Financial Accounts 1849-1886, Ledger A, p. 89.
- Perpetual Emigrating Fund, Financial Accounts 1849-1886, Ledger B, p. 198.
- Smith, Andrew, Diaries, 1853-1856, fd. 2.
- Walters, Archer, Diary 1856 Mar.-Sept., 9-16.
- William Butler autobiography, 1850-1875, 3-5.
- William Woodward letter to Heber C. Kimball, 11 June 1856.
- Woodward, W., to Albert Jones, Handcart Veterans Association, 12 Sep. 1906. Handcart Veterans Association, Scrapbook, 1906-1914, fd. 2.